Topic Wiki

Organizing & Securing SIM cards
Tape your SIM cards to a lounge Access card or the inside of your passport to secure them in one place.
Use a staple instead of carrying around a pin with you. (I am sure you can find something with staples in the Seat Pocket)
An earring works perfectly well too.

Instant Carry-On
If you have a carry-on bag that has a chance of not being allowed on board (even after telling the agents that you have a connecting flight an hour after landing and have no time to wait at the carousel) Pack along a drawstring bag (takes up less room than a pair of socks) so you can take your iPad and teffilin on board - They go for just $1.99 at amazing savings for instance. (Also, if your bag is overweight for carry on, you can put the heavier stuff such as a laptop in the drawstring bag and count it as your "personal item"

Foreign Currency
Just use your Debit Card of choice to withdraw at an ATM. I use my PayPal Debit Card (pictured below) as they do not charge ATM fees and are pretty decent with the conversion rates.
Do NOT get currency at the airport. Worth noting that some change places will give a worse rate for USD bills of lower denominations (I have experienced this in SEA countries).
Always look for "Skimmers" when using your card at an ATM. Do not let your cards out of sight when transacting in 3rd world countries (for instance don't let the hotel clerk take it to the back office to swipe)

You can google conversion rates and get a semantic answer by using the following format: 100 USD to ILS or 1 NPR to EUD

Kosher on the go
I have many ideas for this category but will start with a simple one; Always carry silver foil.
You can use it to make grilled cheese or french toast using the Cloths Iron in your hotel room. You can (according to most poskim) double wrap fish etc in silverfoil and then bake it in a non-kosher oven - (confirm with your local rabbi). You can use it to cover stove tops, sandwich makers, toasters etc.

Documents and Important Information
It's always a good idea to take pics of all your important documents, itineraries, tickets, reference numbers, rental contracts etc. You can take photos of your hotel or other points of interest to show cabbies who don't speak your language. Take a 360 video of anything you rent such as Scooters & Cars to prevent scams & fraud. Always carry a copy of your passport in another bag or pocket. (Remember the passport page you get your entrance stamp on - to speed up immigration by a few seconds - P.S. I keep all my Israeli stamps on 2 facing pages so i can "accidentally" glue them together if need be)

Chargers, Converters Etc.
If you don't have a converter with you, try asking the front desk at your Hotel or Airport Lounge (they usually have a box of stuff people have left behind) Being that its not theirs to begin with - you might not have to return it.

Priority Lines Etc.
If flying economy, you can try sweet talking your way into Priority lines at immigration, Security etc. It usually works for me. You can try telling flight crew that you have a connecting flight when landing and if they can let you sit in business just for landing - this way you get off first (and get on the VIP bus if not parking at gate)

Lounge Guesting
This has been mentioned & discussed many times here. You can hang around next to VIP lounges at airports and ask anyone going in if they would be so kind and take you in as a guest.

Employee Showers
Some airports (I have tried this at LHR and FRA) Have showers for employees and flight crews, They usually have a combination lock that can be figured out by looking for the rubbed out numbers, or watching an employee enter the number.

Economy Bed
I often have very comfortable beds on 4/5 seat rows in economy. Keep in mind that some armrests that seem locked usually have a little latch on the bottom towards the end that unlocks it. Seat cushions are Velcro'd on to the seat frame, you can remove one from an unused seat and use it as a very comfortable pillow (prop it up on the armrest to form a sort of ramp) (i will try to snap a pic of it in action next time i get stuck in economy)

Economy Electrical Outlets
To ensure you have an outlet by your seat, go to flight guru and check which seats are located near the outlets. 
Lots of aircraft such as the A320, A330 and 777 have outlets on the floor or wall next to do the doors (for ground grew to plug in vacuum cleaners).  They are usually covered, but if you look you shall find. You can also ask Flight Crew nicely if they can plug it in somewhere in Upper Class or Galley.

Suits & Coats in flight
If you are flying economy, you can nicely ask flight crew if they can hang your suit/coat in the business/first wardrobe. I have never been refused.

Smoking in flight
Obviously smoking on an airplane is not a good idea, but if you have an e-cig, you can smoke it in the lavatory (as the detectors don't detect vapor).
I try to identify stewardesses who are smokers and offer them a drag - I often get nice favors in return, such as first class amenity kids, chocolates etc.

Bribing flight crew
I often buy nice chocolates in duty free and bring them out to the galley after meal service and hand them out to the flight crew. I have scored upgrades, kisses and even a ride home using this method (on one flight I was greeted as The Gentleman by a stewardess who remembered me from a previous flight.

Crew Bag Tags
I have not checked in a bag in nearly 2 years, but back in the day I would put "CREW" tags on my bags to cut down on the carousel wait and decrease handler abuse. Use at your own risk.

Lock Row
Some check in clerks and most supervisors have the authority to lock seats (which is often done for exit rows and bulkhead rows). I have gotten them to lock entire rows for me so I can lay down on more than one occasion. (Put your charm face on)

Business in Economy
Some aircraft (especially leased aircraft that budget airlines use) such as the A321 have interchangeable seats in the first 10 or so rows of the aircraft - They can be converted to business class seats by locking out the middle seat on a 3/3 config so it turns into a 2/2 - You can always try getting seat without a neighbor and extend your armrest out towards the middle (look for the latch under the armrest) and dropping the seatback down(turns into a little tray).

Vacuum Pack Bags
These can be VERY useful. It's how I can travel for 3 months at a time with just a carry on.

Google Spreadsheet
Prior to any trip, I make a Google spreadsheet to keep track of all expenses. With the  Google Drive app, it's easy to keep updating the sheet as the trip progresses (transportation, food costs, etc.) and I really like seeing an exact total cost for the trip.In addition, it serves kind of like a TR. When I look back at old trip spreadsheets it reminds me of all the places we went to during that trip.
« Last edited by MC on May 08, 2014, 05:39:55 PM »

Author Topic: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread  (Read 16423 times)

Offline Suave

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Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« on: May 05, 2014, 04:29:40 PM »
Ladies & Gents,

As most of us are avid travelers I assume we all have travel tips & tricks to share. Eventually we can perhaps publish a small guide or something.

I'll start with a few of mine....


Organizing & Securing SIM cards

Tape your SIM cards to a lounge Access card or the inside of your passport to secure them in one place.
Use a staple instead of carrying around a pin with you. (I am sure you can find something with staples in the Seat Pocket)
(these are just a few of my SIM's obviously)

 



Instant Carry-On
If you have a carry-on bag that has a chance of not being allowed on board (even after telling the agents that you have a connecting flight an hour after landing and have no time to wait at the carousel) Pack along a drawstring bag (takes up less room than a pair of socks) so you can take your iPad and teffilin on board - They go for just $1.99 at amazing savings for instance. (Also, if your bag is overweight for carry on, you can put the heavier stuff such as a laptop in the drawstring bag and count it as your "personal item"





Foreign Currency
Just use your Debit Card of choice to withdraw at an ATM. I use my PayPal Debit Card (pictured below) as they do not charge ATM fees and are pretty decent with the conversion rates.
Do NOT get currency at the airport. Worth noting that some change places will give a worse rate for USD bills of lower denominations (I have experienced this in SEA countries).
Always look for "Skimmers" when using your card at an ATM. Do not let your cards out of sight when transacting in 3rd world countries (for instance don't let the hotel clerk take it to the back office to swipe)

You can google conversion rates and get a semantic answer by using the following format: 100 USD to ILS or 1 NPR to EUD




Kosher on the go
I have many ideas for this category but will start with a simple one; Always carry silver foil.
You can use it to make grilled cheese or french toast using the Cloths Iron in your hotel room. You can (according to most poskim) double wrap fish etc in silverfoil and then bake it in a non-kosher oven - (confirm with your local rabbi). You can use it to cover stove tops, sandwich makers, toasters etc.


Documents and Important Information
It's always a good idea to take pics of all your important documents, itineraries, tickets, reference numbers, rental contracts etc. You can take photos of your hotel or other points of interest to show cabbies who don't speak your language. Take a 360 video of anything you rent such as Scooters & Cars to prevent scams & fraud. Always carry a copy of your passport in another bag or pocket. (Remember the passport page you get your entrance stamp on - to speed up immigration by a few seconds - P.S. I keep all my Israeli stamps on 2 facing pages so i can "accidentally" glue them together if need be)



Questionable Tips (Use at your own discretion)

Chargers, Converters Etc.
If you don't have a converter with you, try asking the front desk at your Hotel or Airport Lounge (they usually have a box of stuff people have left behind) Being that its not theirs to begin with - you might not have to return it.

Priority Lines Etc.
If flying economy, you can try sweet talking your way into Priority lines at immigration, Security etc. It usually works for me. You can try telling flight crew that you have a connecting flight when landing and if they can let you sit in business just for landing - this way you get off first (and get on the VIP bus if not parking at gate)

Lounge Guesting
This has been mentioned & discussed many times here. You can hang around next to VIP lounges at airports and ask anyone going in if they would be so kind and take you in as a guest.

Employee Showers
Some airports (I have tried this at LHR and FRA) Have showers for employees and flight crews, They usually have a combination lock that can be figured out by looking for the rubbed out numbers, or watching an employee enter the number.

Economy Bed
I often have very comfortable beds on 4/5 seat rows in economy. Keep in mind that some armrests that seem locked usually have a little latch on the bottom towards the end that unlocks it. Seat cushions are Velcro'd on to the seat frame, you can remove one from an unused seat and use it as a very comfortable pillow (prop it up on the armrest to form a sort of ramp) (i will try to snap a pic of it in action next time i get stuck in economy)

Economy Electrical Outlets
Lots of aircraft such as the A320, A330 and 777 have outlets on the floor or wall next to do the doors (for ground grew to plug in vacuum cleaners) They are usually covered, but if you look you shall find. You can also ask Flight Crew nicely if they can plug it in somewhere in Upper Class or Galley.

Suits & Coats in flight
If you are flying economy, you can nicely ask flight crew if they can hang your suit/coat in the business/first wardrobe. I have never been refused.

Smoking in flight
Obviously smoking on an airplane is not a good idea, but if you have an e-cig, you can smoke it in the lavatory (as the detectors don't detect vapor).
I try to identify stewardesses who are smokers and offer them a drag - I often get nice favors in return, such as first class amenity kids, chocolates etc.

Bribing flight crew
I often buy nice chocolates in duty free and bring them out to the galley after meal service and hand them out to the flight crew. I have scored upgrades, kisses and even a ride home using this method (on one flight I was greeted as The Gentleman by a stewardess who remembered me from a previous flight.

Crew Bag Tags
I have not checked in a bag in nearly 2 years, but back in the day I would put "CREW" tags on my bags to cut down on the carousel wait and decrease handler abuse. Use at your own risk.

Lock Row
Some check in clerks and most supervisors have the authority to lock seats (which is often done for exit rows and bulkhead rows). I have gotten them to lock entire rows for me so I can lay down on more than one occasion. (Put your charm face on)

Business in Economy
Some aircraft (especially leased aircraft that budget airlines use) such as the A321 have interchangeable seats in the first 10 or so rows of the aircraft - They can be converted to business class seats by locking out the middle seat on a 3/3 config so it turns into a 2/2 - You can always try getting seat without a neighbor and extend your armrest out towards the middle (look for the latch under the armrest) and dropping the seatback down(turns into a little tray).

Will try to add more soon.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 06:47:40 PM by Suave »
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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 04:33:59 PM »
Nice ideas, Thanks for taking the time to post.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 04:37:41 PM »
Ladies & Gents,

As most of us are avid travelers I assume we all have travel tips & tricks to share. Eventually we can perhaps publish a small guide or something.

I'll start with a few of mine....


Organizing & Securing SIM cards

Tape your SIM cards to a lounge Access card or the inside of your passport to secure them in one place.
Use a staple instead of carrying around a pin with you. (I am sure you can find something with staples in the Seat Pocket)
(these are just a few of my SIM's obviously)

 



Instant Carry-On
If you have a carry-on bag that has a chance of not being allowed on board (even after telling the agents that you have a connecting flight an hour after landing and have no time to wait at the carousel) Pack along a drawstring bag (takes up less room than a pair of socks) so you can take your iPad and teffilin on board - They go for just $1.99 at amazing savings for instance. (Also, if your bag is overweight for carry on, you can put the heavier stuff such as a laptop in the drawstring bag and count it as your "personal item"





Foreign Currency
Just use your Debit Card of choice to withdraw at an ATM. I use my PayPal Debit Card (pictured below) as they do not charge ATM fees and are pretty decent with the conversion rates.
Do NOT get currency at the airport. Worth noting that some change places will give a worse rate for USD bills of lower denominations (I have experienced this in SEA countries).
Always look for "Skimmers" when using your card at an ATM. Do not let your cards out of sight when transacting in 3rd world countries (for instance don't let the hotel clerk take it to the back office to swipe)

You can google conversion rates and get a semantic answer by using the following format: 100 USD to ILS or 1 NPR to EUD




Kosher on the go
I have many ideas for this category but will start with a simple one; Always carry silver foil.
You can use it to make grilled cheese or french toast using the Cloths Iron in your hotel room. You can (according to most poskim) double wrap fish etc in silverfoil and then bake it in a non-kosher oven - (confirm with your local rabbi). You can use it to cover stove tops, sandwich makers, toasters etc.


Documents and Important Information
It's always a good idea to take pics of all your important documents, itineraries, tickets, reference numbers, rental contracts etc. You can take photos of your hotel or other points of interest to show cabbies who don't speak your language. Take a 360 video of anything you rent such as Scooters & Cars to prevent scams & fraud. Always carry a copy of your passport in another bag or pocket. (Remember the passport page you get your entrance stamp on - to speed up immigration by a few seconds - P.S. I keep all my Israeli stamps on 2 facing pages so i can "accidentally" glue them together if need be)


Will try to add more soon.
Love that idea!
Quaerite et Invenietis.

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 04:52:25 PM »

It's always a good idea to take pics of all your important documents, itineraries, tickets, reference numbers, rental contracts etc.
and email them to yourself so you can access them anywhere

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 05:10:26 PM »
Great tips. I like the business name!

Offline Suave

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 11:32:53 AM »
anyone else have any useful tips?

Vacuum Pack Bags
These can be VERY useful. It's how I can travel for 3 months at a time with just a carry on.

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2014, 11:37:45 AM »
anyone else have any useful tips?
For my recent trip, i made an Excel sheet with information for all my flights, hotels and other places i planned on visiting. I put the flight information/confirmation numbers down along with addresses and important numbers for places i was going/staying. Aside from emailing it to myself, i printed a copy and kept it with my passport so i would be able to access it quickly.

Takes a little time to put together, but Excel has some templates on can work with.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline srap

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014, 11:41:29 AM »
Excellent idea for a thread!  TY.

Offline Emkay

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014, 11:43:16 AM »
For my recent trip, i made an Excel sheet with information for all my flights, hotels and other places i planned on visiting. I put the flight information/confirmation numbers down along with addresses and important numbers for places i was going/staying. Aside from emailing it to myself, i printed a copy and kept it with my passport so i would be able to access it quickly.

Takes a little time to put together, but Excel has some templates on can work with.
the trip-it app is great for this

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 11:43:49 AM »
I use the Worldmate travel app.  I can no longer travel without it....

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 11:47:19 AM »
anyone else have any useful tips?

Vacuum Pack Bags
These can be VERY useful. It's how I can travel for 3 months at a time with just a carry on.


how do u reseal it on the go?

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 11:51:40 AM »
how do u reseal it on the go?
or do u use the no vacuum ones?

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 11:52:52 AM »
anyone else have any useful tips?

Vacuum Pack Bags
These can be VERY useful. It's how I can travel for 3 months at a time with just a carry on.


Does it not make your carry on weigh a ton?
Quaerite et Invenietis.

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2014, 11:54:59 AM »
how do u reseal it on the go?
I prefer the ones that you roll up to remove the air if I will need to reuse them before I reach my ultimate destination.  OTOH, I have also asked maintenance and house keeping to borrow vacuum and attachments for the vacuum cleaner type.  Always 20% off at BB&B.


Does it not make your carry on weigh a ton?
Yes so I put it in the suitcase with the lighter, bulkier items in cargo.  OTOH, my computer will fit inside of one of my carryons this way instead of being a carryon.


ETA: Either I need a new vacuum cleaner or that picture is more than a bit misleading.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 12:01:50 PM by srap »

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 12:03:20 PM »
I use travelon bags, they are roll up bags, without the ziplock thing. I have tried several but these win.

http://cdn3.volusion.com/btxhw.cxnwp/v/vspfiles/photos/grtrvlncompressionpackers-2.jpg?1364026086

My carry-on usually weighs 12-18 kg if I take my laptop. 8-12kg if I don't. I always manage to sweet talk my way out of situations if they say it's too heavy. (when I lift it, i pretend it's light as a feather)
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