If you travel in 2023, travelling with tech is unavoidable. After reading a completely unhelpful, but similarly-titled ZD article that read more like an Apple fanboy post, I decided to write something that’s actually helpful.
Table of Contents
To Laptop, or Not To Laptop
Travelling with tech 10 years ago (2013) was a much different experience than it is today.
- Although cell service had finally become more or less ubiquitous, it was not uncommon to have dead zones or sporadic connectivity, especially inside of buildings, and WiFi was just starting to become universal.
- Smart phones still had small screens, phones and tablets were under-powered for most applications, had minimal storage and meager battery lives, and most of the internet was yet to be made “mobile friendly”.
To do any real work in 2013, you needed a laptop. If you were travelling for work, or editing video while on vacation, gaming, or even for any research beyond “Google” reviews, you probably needed a laptop. Back then, a laptop was also a convenient way to “dump off” pictures from your cell phone or tablet, in order to make room for more.
In 2023, a decade later, I use a desktop for any serious work, but I haven’t traveled with a laptop in years.
My opinion is that the only real use case for travelling with a laptop these days is for work.
That said, here are some things you CAN do with a laptop:
- Bring a HDMI cable. If you’re working, you can use the hotel TV as a second monitor. If you’re NOT working, you can watch Netflix in style. YES, I know the hotel TV allows you to sign in to Netflix, NO don’t ever do that.
- If your laptop has a Bluray optical drive, you can use your laptop as a Bluray player.
- If you use your laptop as a portable hard drive, you can copy some movies or music to a memory stick, and then plug the memory stick in to the hotel TV. Of course, you can also play them through HDMI, as well.
- Use the hotel electricity and WiFi to mine Bitcoin to pay your hotel bill. Well, not likely, but it’s funny.
Core Travel Tech Accessories
These are tech accessories you should never travel without.
Light-duty Extension Cord
Formally known as a 16 AWG, NEMA 1-15, 6-Foot, 3-Outlet extension, we all have one of these sitting in a drawer.
Although these are light-duty, they are usually rated at 13 Amps or 1,500 Watts, and are capable of powering just about anything in the hotel room, including a hair dryer. Because of the narrow wire gauge, these fold up in to a compact bundle that you can secure with a velcro wire tie and throw in to your carry bag.
Why You Need It
- Multiple outlets allows you to charge or power multiple devices from a single wall outlet. Most hotels have a single “convenience” outlet on the desk or credenza, but this puts you ahead of the game.
- If you want to charge your phone AND keep it next to the bed, you might find that the nearest outlet is on the wall BEHIND the night stand. Having an extension allows you almost absolute freedom to charge your devices from the most convenient outlet.
- Share a single power tap. Especially for work, I’ve been in a single conference room with 10 people, each with laptops and mobile devices, and only one power strip. Do the math. Also, “back in my day”, I’ve been stuck at an airport with a bunch of people trying to share a single outlet to charge their phones. Nowadays, fortunately, most airports have dedicated charging stations, but having a multi-tap in your carry bag means that you always have the ability to share a single receptacle.
Carrying a light-duty mutli-outlet extension is cheap insurance – it doesn’t take up much space, and you would rather have it than need it.
These are made by General Electric and many other companies, and will set you back a whopping $10. On Amazon search for “2 prong extension”.
Multi-Outlet USB Charger
I prefer the Anker Powerport 6. In addition to 6 USB fast-charge outlets, and a total capacity of 60 watts (rivaling a laptop power supply), it also has a convenient 5 foot power cord.
When my wife and I travel together, instead of requiring 4, 5 or more USB bricks, I just throw this bad boy in my carry bag, along with the requisite cables. On ONE charger, I can charge my phone, her phone, my tablet, her tablet, and I still have two ports free for almost everything else these days that also charges from USB. I actually own two – the second one sits in the console of my theater seating so that we can charge all of our doo-dads while enjoying a movie in the living room.
Of course, at $30, this ain’t exactly cheap.
If you don’t need 6 outlets, the next step down is a high-quality 2-port charger that you can get for about $15. This might be all you need, especially if travelling single, but it still beats travelling with two bricks.
Why You Need It
Reduce clutter from your carry bag, and charge all of your devices from one source.
The Anker Powerport 6 also has a built-in extension cord.
- Anker Powerport 6, 60W on Amazon for about $30
- Anker Elite Dual Port, 36W on Amazon for about $13
Although most modern cars and airplanes have USB charging ports, they don’t always support quick charging, and having a good quality car charger is cheap insurance. If your phone is low because you’ve been on-the-go all day, or maybe you forgot to charge your phone overnight, grabbing even a few minutes of charging while in transit is helpful.
Why You Need It
Anker Powerdrive III, 2-port, 36W car charger, $17 on Amazon
USB Data AND Fast Charging Cable
Rather than bringing a scraggly handful of generic cables, get a couple of good quality data AND charging cables. Having a slightly longer cable gives you more flexibility to charge your device while you use it, and I prefer a 6 foot, braided cable. The braided outer sheathe provides strain relief and helps prevent kinks and damage.
Be sure to spend a few extra dollars for a cable that supports both data transfer and fast charging. Look for “data” or “data transfer” and “fast charge” or “quick charge” in the product description. Also, make sure that the cable is certified for at least USB 3.
Rather than buying a normal USB cable (USB “C” on one end, “normal” USB A on the other), buy a cable that’s USB C on both ends, and get an adapter. This gives you maximum flexibility to connect almost anything to your phone or tablet.
Why You Need It
Beyond simply charging your phone, you can do all sorts of things with a data cable:
- Some phones, tablets, and laptops support an external display connected through USB. If your hotel TV supports it, you might be able to use it as an external monitor. If not, most hotels have smart TVs, and you can at least play movies or music from the phone’s storage (glorified memory stick).
- Transfer files to and from other devices – for example, you can exchange holiday photos with your uncle, or save off a copy of the important presentation
- Use your phone as a memory stick – transfer files between two unrelated devices. Once, I was able to fix someone’s laptop by downloading an antivirus program to my phone, booting their laptop to safe mode, and then transferring the antivirus software from my phone via USB.
- In the age of IoT, many devices can be connected via USB, and then used or controlled by a phone.
- Use both type “A” (normal) and “C” USB charging sources
Cable: USB C male to USB C male, 6-foot, braided. Data transfer and charging. $17 on Amazon
USB C Adapter: USB C female to USB A male adapter. Less than $10 for 2 or more on Amazon
Compact LED Flashlight
Wait… doesn’t everyone carry a smart phone? And, doesn’t a smart phone double as a flashlight?
Well… yes and no.
- How easy is it to enable and disable? If you need a flashlight quickly, you probably need to unlock your phone, access the status bar, and then click the flashlight button. Now, my cousin has a Moto (not sure which model) that allows you to shake it to activate the flashlight – that’s VERY COOL – but not every phone has that ability.
- Using the light on your phone drains its battery.
Compact LED flashlights are cheap, fast, easy to use, run on AAA batteries, and don’t take up any room in your carry bag.
Travel can be hazardous. In any emergency situation, the first thing you need to do is to be able to see. Whether you need to exit a crashed vehicle in the dark, or find your way in a crowded casino after a power failure, having this in your pocket might mean the difference between safety, and not… safety. Don’t laugh me off…
- I’ve been in a stranded vehicle (a coach bus) in pitch darkness, and WISHED I had a flashlight.
- I’ve been in a crowded building when the lights went out – apparently, even the emergency lighting was faulty. It was only dark for a few minutes, but my tiny little flashlight staved off any sense of panic from the immediate crowd.
- I’ve been in a hotel room (in the shower, actually), when the power failed. I WISHED I had a flashlight. Try attempting to turn off the water and not die tripping over the shower curtain while the room you’re in is so pitch black, you can’t see your hand in front of your face.
And now, I never travel without a flashlight. And, my advice to you is to never travel without a flashlight.
They make compact LED flashlights in all colors, including ultraviolet (UV). I ALSO travel with a UV flashlight whenever I stay in a hotel because… a UV flashlight makes “biological” stains… glow blue-white. To the dismay of YOU, dear reader, AND myself, I have checked every hotel I’ve stayed at in the last 15 years or so, and YES, on a few occasions, I’ve found “biological” stains.
Kill all the lights, close the drapes, and sweep the room with your UV light. If you find “biological stains” call housekeeping. If housekeeping won’t fix it, call the front desk. If the front desk won’t fix it, check out!
Contrary to popular belief, the TV remote and the phone aren’t exactly CLEAN, but they aren’t the dirtiest thing in the hotel room, either. They might be a little greasy, but nothing a wet wipe won’t fix.
This is also a good way to find the lens of a hidden camera, if you suspect that one is present.
Most rooms in reputable hotels are clean… but why not CHECK?
Why You Need It
- A regular flashlight is good to have when you travel – either in an emergency situation, or even in a dark stairwell.
- A UV flashlight can be “illuminating”
Compact LED flashlight: Less than $10 for 2 or more on Amazon
Just like having a flashlight, having a screwdriver and a small pair of pliers is invaluable if you need them, rather than needing one and not having it.
Why You Need It
Fix luggage, glasses, handles, etc. on the go.
The Swiss+Tech ST53100 is a little expensive at $27 on Amazon, but there are cheaper options.
Recap: Always Travel With
- A light-duty, multi-outlet extension cord
- A multi-port charger
- A car charger
- A data AND charging cable, preferably USB “C” to “C” with a C to A adapter.
- Compact Multitool
Recommended Travel Tech Accessories
These are things that make life easy, but are not required.
Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse for Tablets
Most tablets and smart phones support a keyboard and mouse, and when paired with a tablet, can be used almost like a mini laptop.
Although using this set-up for work every day would be tedious, it’s a good alternative if you think you might need to do a little bit of work, but don’t want to bring a laptop. If your company supports VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) or Citrix, it may be possible to read your corporate e-mail or edit a spreadsheet right from your tablet. If not, then updating your online store or making a blog post from the road is much easier with a keyboard and mouse.
In addition to your phone or tablet, you can control anything that pairs with a Bluetooth keyboard – for example, the TV in your hotel room might support this.
Why You Want It
Typing anything more than a couple of dozen words on a tablet is tedious at best.
Bringing a keyboard and a tablet allows you to perform some light work while on vacation.
Fintie Ultrathin 4mm Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard with Built-in Multi-Touch Touchpad, $30 on Amazon.
Other styles and models are available, including a full-size keyboard and separate mouse.
Amazon Fire Stick
When connected to a TV’s HDMI port, a USB power supply, and your hotel’s WiFi, this turns the TV in to a big Fire tablet.
Stream on Prime, Youtube, or Netflix (and many others) or shop on Amazon, all from your hotel room.
If you bring a Fire Stick, you might not even need to bring a tablet – just make sure you test all of your software, and make sure your hotel supports it before you leave.
Caveat: I’ve stayed in hotels that do something to periodically block access to Netflix and Prime. WiFi works fine for all other sites, but if you try to stream, it drops out every few minutes. Very annoying. Presumably, this is to coerce you to pay WAY too much money to rent a crappy movie rather than stream one for free. If this happens, and if your cell phone plan supports it, set up a hot spot and connect the Fire Stick to your phone’s hot spot. Be careful though – if your plan does NOT support mobile hot spot, you might rack up a hefty phone bill.
Why You Want It
- Bypass the hotel’s smart TV functions – never enter your credentials on an untrusted device
- Get tablet-like functionality on your hotel room TV, from a device that’s slightly bigger than a thumb drive
- Fire Stick Lite: $20 – $30 on Amazon (never pay full price – wait for it to go on sale)
Bluetooth Game Controller
Hotels are BORING places, especially if you travel for business – I’ve been to cities that figuratively roll up the sidewalks at 9 o’clock. However, if you have a controller and a Fire Stick or tablet, you can at least play some games to keep yourself entertained. And, if you travel with kids and you need to do a little bit of work after dinner, a game controller is a great way to keep THEM entertained.
If you plan to connect with a Fire Stick, Bluetooth is your only option. However, you can get the same controllers in wireless 2.4GHz (some do both), which comes with a USB dongle. For example, I use a 2.4GHz controller with the dongle connected through my tablet’s USB “C” port (via USB A female to C male adapter) to play retro Playstation games.
- Bluetooth is native to Fire Stick, smart phones and tablets.
- Wireless 2.4GHz requires a USB dongle, but still works fairly well. Since Fire Stick has no USB port, you must use Bluetooth instead.
- Some controllers support both.
If storage is a concern, they make much more compact game controllers, which are perfect for casual and retro gaming.
Make sure you test everything before you leave home. You don’t want to find out later that you’re missing some software or a connector.
Why You Want It
- Entertain yourself or your kids
- Play all sorts of games, including retro, FPS (First Person Shooter), Minecraft, and even casual
A controller similar to the one pictured above costs less than $40 on Amazon.
Folding Tablet Stand
A folding tablet stand is one of those conveniences that is easy to overlook, but makes living in a hotel room more comfortable. A good folding stand folds flat, and even if you don’t have room in your carry bag, you can throw it in your luggage.
Even if you have a kick stand or a folio case currently, a “real” stand is especially convenient when used with a keyboard or game controller, and can also be used for your phone.
Why You Want It
Convenience and comfort, especially if gaming or typing.
Various manufacturers and models, less than $20 on Amazon
Rii X8/i8S – Mini Keyboard with Touchpad
I have two Rii X8 mini keyboards, which is the older version of the I8s. I have one that I use for projects and travel, and the other is connected to the TV in the living room.
Ever try searching using a smart TV remote? This fixes that problem, and can also be used as a simple game controller. Although it connects via 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle, it can be connected to anything with a USB port, including a tablet (assuming you have a USB C adapter). The unit itself charges via USB.
Why You Want It
- Control anything with a USB port, any time, wirelessly from about 20 feet away.
- Typing more than 3 letters on the hotel TV’s on-screen keyboard using a remote should be punishment for shoplifting.
Rii X8 or i8s: less than $30 on Amazon
Recap: Things to Consider Bringing
- You probably don’t need a laptop, unless you plan to do some fairly significant work. If you do bring a laptop, bring an HDMI cable so that you can use the Hotel TV as a second monitor.
- A folding tablet stand and a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard provides limited laptop-like functionality for light work. If you don’t plan to work, leave the keyboard and mouse at home.
- A Fire Stick is a great way to leverage the hotel TV without having to sign in to your accounts on a foreign device. Watch Netflix, shop online, or play games on the hotel TV.
- A Bluetooth game controller is a great way to entertain yourself (or your kids) when paired with a Fire Stick or tablet.
- A Rii mini keyboard is nice to have, and can be used as a very basic game controller for your tablet.
Other Travel Tips
In addition to stuff you should bring with you, here are some travel tips that I learned during the 8 years I was a consultant and numerous other travel, both personal and business.
Safety and Security
No matter where you travel nor how you get there, there is some element of risk. Looking ahead and doing some simple planning can help you stay as safe as possible by avoiding known risks.
Check the Crime Rates
This sounds like it should be obvious, but the biggest thing you can do to avoid personal risk is to avoid high-crime areas.
- View a crime map online (Google crime map [destination]) to check the recent criminal activity around your destination. If you have a choice of hotels, make sure you stay at a place with the amenities you want, but also having an acceptable crime rate.
- Staying near a bar or adult-oriented business automatically means more crime – maybe staying a few blocks away is a good idea.
- If you plan to travel by ground, check the crime along your planned route, and perhaps alter your route. You don’t want to break down in a high-crime area. Likewise, if you have a multi-segment trip, make sure you stay overnight in a city with a lower crime rate.
Take Advantage of Hotel Security and Transportation
When available, take advantage of transportation provided by the hotel, which has a vested interest in keeping you safe.
- Many hotels provide complementary or low-cost shuttle bus service to and from the airport.
- If you stay at a resort destination, take advantage of the hotel’s transportation to and from the venue. For example, most hotels in the theme park area of Orlando offer free transportation to and from the parks, and in Vegas, many hotels offer free shuttle bus service and other free transportation to various locations.
- If you are attending a conference, try to stay at the preferred hotel – often, the hotel is directly-attached to the venue, or transportation is provided. In addition to saving time and money, you’ll reduce the hassle factor as well as your stress level.
- If you need to divert for a day, take a cab or rent a car. If you plan to rent a car, plan your route in advance, make sure you have a safe place to park, and do a little bit of research about the area – for example, avoid problem intersections or high-crime areas.
- Even if you want to go out for dinner, the hotel might provide transportation to local restaurants – it never hurts to ask. If not, they can at least call you a cab.
- Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to take a cab versus Uber or Lyft, which are not completely safe nor completely reliable. The taxi and its driver are licensed by the government, and you are much less likely to have a problem with one. If you take a cab, make sure you use the GPS on your phone or are familiar with the route – some unscrupulous taxi drivers will try to run up the fare.
- Avoid public transportation such as busses and subways – these are crime magnets.
Stay With the Herd
There is a lot of truth to the adage, “safety in numbers”.
- If you are travelling with a group, stay with the group.
- Try to stick to popular / populated areas, and avoid untraveled areas. This is especially true of resort destinations, and places like the Las Vegas Strip, where there is a strong police presence in the tourist areas, but bad things can happen if you stray.
- Even if you aren’t travelling with a group, walking within a crowd can help protect you.
- Avoid dark and isolated areas, or situations where you don’t have a decent field of view. Examples include stairwells, hallways, alleys, and the like. Try to explore during the day, so that at night you have a sense of where you’re going.
Stay Secure Inside the Hotel
The location of your room matters way more than you think.
- Hotel rooms on the first floor are more likely to experience crime. Generally, the higher the floor you stay on, the lower your risk of crime. However, you’re generally going to have to wait longer for an elevator, and it will take longer to evacuate in the event of a fire or other emergency.
- Hotel rooms near a stairway are more likely to experience crime. On the other hand, if you stay in a room near a stairway, you are more likely to survive a fire or other disaster.
Make sure the hotel takes basic safety and security measures.
- Stairways used for fire evacuation usually exit to the exterior of the building. The first-floor door should prevent entry – either by having a latching door with an egress push bar, or by having an electro-mechanical lock that requires your room key for entry. Stairway doors (even interior ones) should swing closed automatically and latch automatically. Likewise, interior stairway doors should prevent access from the stairway to the floor without a room key. If the stairway doors are blocked, locked, propped open, or don’t latch properly, these could all be very serious safety issues.
- Every exterior entry way should be monitored and staffed. After hours, un-staffed entry doors should be locked and inaccessible without a room key.
- The hotel should have security on-site 24 hours.
- Parking lots and other public areas should ideally be staffed, but should at least be well-lit, and monitored.
- Ideally, the elevator should require a room key to access guest floors.
In your hotel room, take these precautions:
- Make sure your room door latches every time you go through it. Tug the handle to make sure.
- Use the secondary bolt, latch, chain, or whatever. Although it’s better than nothing, it will at least help repel an invader. Also, you never know when someone with a card key could simply walk right in to your room – either through error, by chance, or ill intent.
- In the case of a security latch, generally, hotel security has a way to open it from the outside. And, if hotel security can open it, so can a criminal. However, a simple, rubber door stop from Amazon costs $6, and if jammed under the door with sufficient force, makes the door almost impossible to open.
- The fire / evacuation plan is required to be posted on the back of the hotel room door. Take 2 minutes when you first arrive to make sure you know where to go. I usually make a habit of walking down the nearest stairwell from my floor to the ground floor, to make sure it’s not blocked, obstructed, or propped open.
Although this is not meant to be comprehensive, here are some “hotel hacks” that I’ve used quite a bit over the years.
- I already mentioned this, but if you are attending a conference or visiting a specific venue, try to stay at a hotel that’s as close to the venue as possible, if not directly-connected. Having a short ride in the hotel’s coach or a short walk is far better than having to walk several blocks or catch a cab. Also, being able to easily “duck out” in the middle of the day to visit your hotel room is an added benefit.
- Look at your hotel on Google satellite view. Are you near a lake or river, or anything scenic? When you make your reservation, ask for a scenic view. You can also ask for this at the front desk, but you stand a better chance of getting what you want if you ask for it in advance. Some hotels charge extra, and some will do it for free (or for only a few dollars per night). Having a nice view makes a huge difference. Would you rather stare at the parking lot, or a nice, scenic plaza? And, without being creepy, even a nice view of the hotel’s pool is better than the view of the adjacent building’s roof.
- If you are next to a busy street or a roof full of condensers, your room might be noisy. Generally, the closer you are to the elevator, the noisier your room. Just like asking for a scenic view, you can ask for a quiet room. Unless they are crowded, the hotel will usually accommodate you for free.
- If you have a choice about which hotel to stay at, try to look for one that has a nice view, or better amenities, or both.
- I prefer to stay at a hotel that has both a restaurant and room service. Having breakfast in the morning is a nice perk, but if I’m working late, I prefer to have room service deliver a cheeseburger and fries. ALWAYS ALWAYS ask the front desk for a free meal voucher when you check in. The worst they can say is “no”.
- Some hotels offer a complimentary breakfast. This ranges from a full, traditional breakfast buffet, including make-your-own waffles, to-order crepes and omelettes, and a variety of sides and juices at the top end; to a limited buffet of eggs, bacon, sausage, bagels, and toast in the middle; to a “continental” breakfast consisting of toast and bagels at the low end. Be sure you know in advance what to expect, and then plan ahead so that you can take advantage, accordingly.
- Many hotels that offer a complimentary breakfast buffet also offer happy hour “drinks and snacks”, which usually consists of free beer and wine, watered down drinks, and bar food. BUT, it’s free. If you have no plans, free food and alcohol is much better than no free food and no free alcohol. Again, make sure you plan ahead.
- If you are going to be at a hotel more than a few days, try to find one that’s near a Walgreens or CVS, which both have a virtually unlimited supply of everything, including snacks, drinks, and alcohol.
- If you travel for work, use Google maps to explore the area near the hotel. There might be shopping, nice restaurants, or entertainment nearby.
Also, if you’re travelling for work, your company might offer these perks:
- Stay an extra few days on your own dime. If you are travelling somewhere interesting, move out your departure date by a couple or more days, and spend the time sight-seeing. Usually, your company will allow this, if:
- You have vacation days and request the time off in advance
- You pay for your hotel room for the extra days
- There is no difference in air fare
- Pro Tip: If your company allows it, sometimes you can get cheaper air fare if you fly out on a Sunday afternoon rather than a Friday or Monday, which could offset the cost of the extra night or two in the hotel. So if your job-related responsibilities end on Friday, rather than fly home right away, you can spend Friday night and Saturday exploring and sight-seeing “for free”.
- Travel with your spouse. Some companies offer low-cost air fare vouchers, and the hotel and transportation are already paid. Ask if your company offers this, and have your SO travel with you! If so, you will generally be expected to pay any extra costs:
- Spouse travel voucher
- Transportation – e.g. cab fare is by person
- Meals and entertainment
- Some companies allow you to use their travel program to get discounts on personal travel. Although you will have to pick up the tab, it might be significantly cheaper. ASK!!! The worst they can say is NO.
- Some companies have “perks at work” or other programs that might cover part of your personal travel, such as just the hotel room. Likewise, if you plan to travel to a specific resort destination, they might have discounts or coupons. Again, ASK.
- Most companies allow you to keep miles and points, which is a great way to travel for cheap or free. Most airlines offer frequent flyer programs, and most hotels and car rental agencies offer points and other incentives for frequent travelers.
Tips for Flying
Post-911 air travel is a nightmare, and the airlines seem to revel in dreaming up new ways to make it worse.
- If you can avoid flying, avoid flying. For me, the break-even point is about a 1-hour flight, which equates to up to a 6-hour drive. If you include drive time to the airport, parking, shuttle bus, standing in line to check in, checking your baggage, standing in line at security, and then waiting at the gate, all of that takes about 2 hours. Further, the airlines have made “finding your flight” a pro-gaming challenge, and any bad weather causes immediate and irrevocable delays. From Cleburne, TX, I can drive-as-fast-as-fly to Tulsa, OKC, Austin, and Houston. If I drive there in bad weather, I simply add an hour. If I fly there in bad weather, I might get bumped, then bumped again, then bumped again, and end up arriving 6 or 8 hours later than I expected.
- As an IT professional, it’s normal for me to travel with pocket knives, pliers, and other tools in my pocket. Make sure you throw your tools in your checked bag BEFORE you check it. I’ve lost MANY knives and other tools to airport security. “Well, you can mail it to yourself” they say. Well, WHERE THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO THAT, I ask. It’s not like they have flat-rate mailers at airport security.
- Streamline your trip through security. I wear a fishing vest with all of my stuff in it. I throw the vest in one of the “bins”, with my shoes and belt, and I never have a problem.
- DO NOT TRAVEL WITH CASH. Whether you fly or drive, if the government catches you travelling with cash, they will assume you are a criminal, and confiscate it.
- Do not argue with any airline employee, even if they are rude. In today’s climate, this could get you forcibly-removed from the aircraft, carted off in handcuffs, and labeled as a terrorist.
When I was a consultant in the 90’s, I used to fly 2 to 4 times per week, and I got to know the gate attendants, the flight attendants, and even the folks at security, and I rarely had any issues. I seriously doubt that any level of rapport or respect would be afforded to anyone today, much less a frequent traveler.
There is so much personal risk, hassle, and inconvenience involved in flying, that I just don’t do it. I’d rather drive two days than take a 4-hour flight that ends up being 10 hours of voluntary incarceration.
My major tip for flying is: Do not fly, if you can help it.
Other Tech Tips
- TEST your tech before you leave. Make sure you can connect to work, or upload a post from your tablet. Problem-solving from the road is always more difficult.
- Bring some movies with you on a memory stick. Whether you’re stuck in a car, plane, or hotel room without internet, at least you can watch a movie.
- Don’t bring redundant tech. For example, we live in an age where you can go buy a USB cable at CVS, so there is no need to bring an extra USB cable.
Recap: Other Travel Tips
- Stay safe by avoiding high-crime areas, and try to travel “with the herd”.
- Take advantage of hotel-provided transportation when available. Be aware of where your room is located, and make sure nearby stairways are kept secure. Stay secure in your hotel room by always locking and latching the door.
- Take advantage of hotel hacks, like asking for a nicer view or a quieter room. Take advantage of free meals provided by the hotel, and if the meals aren’t free, always ask for a free meal voucher.
- If you travel for work, try to stay near something fun or interesting, and take advantage of work perks for free or cheap travel, or perhaps bring your SO with you.
- Test all of your tech BEFORE you leave. Always bring some movies with you on a memory stick, so you at least have something to do, even without internet. Don’t travel with extra stuff if you can help it. You can buy things like chargers and cables if the one you bring with you breaks.