10 Tips from a Newbie Road Warrior

Occasionally when I tell someone what I do, they look very sad. Like they feel sorry for me. But I'm pretty sure I have the best job in the world, so save your tears. And most weeks I'm away from home no more than two nights.

But I have been on more than 140 airplanes since last fall, so here are my 10 best tips for how to make life a little bit easier when you travel;

1.     Get a window seat. Look out and notice that you are flying through the air at 500+ mph. Look at the amazing sunsets and sunrises and cloud formations. Think about how many thousands of years that humans never had the amazing luxury of flight. What a time to be alive!

2.     Don’t think evil thoughts about the people in First Class. Most of them aren’t pompous entitled people. The vast majority are road-weary men and women whose travel frequency has earned them the right to a seat that makes life away from their families a little bit more tolerable.

3.     Getting upset about travel delays, broken airplanes or bad weather doesn’t change anything. Seriously, you can’t speed up the process. At all. Ever. The flight attendants and gate agents also want to go home. Don’t be mean.

4.     Realize people are people wherever you go. Some are happy and content and well-adjusted. Some are hurting and take their pain out on others.

5.     Look for opportunities to love on people. Especially if you are a person of faith--our love for others is the only thing Jesus said we would be known by. Respond graciously when you have every reason to be annoyed. Be patient when you deserve to be upset.

6.     Remember that people in the travel industry aren’t trying to make your life miserable. They really want to provide you a great experience. I’ve been on more than 140 flights on United Airlines since last summer, and very few have been delayed (I’d guess less than 10%). Many have arrived early. There is a lot involved in putting a couple hundred people in an aluminum can and flying them 7-miles in the air across the country. So if your flight leaves late, take a chill pill.

7.     Look for celebrities. It’s just fun to try to figure out that guy who looks so familiar. In the past few months, I’ve traveled on planes with William Sadler (actor of Iron Man and many other movies), Jeff Smisek (CEO of United Airlines, who sat across from me in economy!), and Alan Simpson (former US Senator).

8.     Plan ahead and bring something to do. An airplane is the one remaining place where your phone won’t ring, no one will knock on your door, and you won’t have to answer emails. So use your time to work on projects, write, think, read a book or watch a movie.

9.     If you travel a lot, pay the fee for TSA Pre-Check. In most airports, you will fly through security without waiting in lines, removing anything from your bags, or taking off your shoes or jacket.

10. And my final tip, next time you rent a car, consider Silvercar. Good prices, great cars (all silver Audi A4’s), no nickel and dime pricing (such as no add-on fee for tolls), Wifi built into the car, and so much more. You can only get Silvercar  in 8 airports right now—but they are worth it!

What travel tips would you add to my list?

Tim Stevens2 Comments