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 17264 times)

Offline Emkay

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2014, 12:03:56 PM »
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.

if not using a vacuum one then I can technically use large ziplocs, no?

Offline srap

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2014, 12:08:36 PM »
if not using a vacuum one then I can technically use large ziplocs, no?
Technically yes, but the closure isn't thickly, triple reinforced, ie can easily pop open.  All you need is a pinhole puncture in a ziplock and the vacuum is gone.  The real bags are made of a different plastic.

Online Joe4007

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2014, 12:16:03 PM »
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.

Offline Vosizderneias

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2014, 12:24:26 PM »
To ensure you have an outlet by your seat, go to flight guru and check which seats are located near the outlets. 

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2014, 12:24:55 PM »
To ensure you have an outlet by your seat, go to flight guru and check which seats are located near the outlets.
Fly in F :)
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Offline Suave

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2014, 12:26:08 PM »
To ensure you have an outlet by your seat, go to flight guru and check which seats are located near the outlets.
also, many flights have little icons near the seat number that show if there is an outlet there. But that's more common on smaller aircraft like regionals
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Offline moish

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2014, 06:52:58 PM »
such as first class amenity kids,

i have a hard enough time with my own, why would i want to watch someone in first class'?

Offline Suave

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2014, 06:54:31 PM »
i have a hard enough time with my own, why would i want to watch someone in first class'?
well. At least you proved that you actually read the post. Thanks.
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Offline moish

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2014, 07:40:03 PM »
well. At least you proved that you actually read the post. Thanks.
hehe, thanks for taking the time to jot it down

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2014, 10:42:31 PM »
With the  Google Drive app, it's easy to keep updating the sheet as the trip progresses (transportation, food costs, etc.)

Not anymore as of this week :'(

http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/05/02/google-drive-app-updated-to-v1-3-now-requires-new-docs-and-sheets-apps-for-editing-capability-apk-download/
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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2014, 12:45:13 AM »
Quick tip: I was told by a friend that if you tell them your luggage is fragile, and they put the sticker on it, it comes out on the belt before most of the other luggage. Haven't tried this yet.

Offline ayman

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2014, 12:49:40 AM »
IIRC one of the "confessions" from baggage handlers was that they handle these bags especially rough.

Offline dudi

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2014, 10:00:23 AM »
Here are a few tips from my travels.
1. For Sim card pin as long as my wife is with me I use her earring it was her idea and it works great.
2. From a personal experience which was very close to ending up in me being stuck in Belarus for leil haseder if you are traveling to a third world country (Kiev belavia etc.) Make sure you have a boarding pass with a eticket number on it especially if your flight gets canceled and they transfer you to a code share make sure they give you a slip with your eticket number and that you get that slip back from all the agents who use it and that you have it with you till you land in your final destination oh and always bring more food than usual bcs the chances are that it will take longer than you think to get there.
3. I have gotten stopped many times in countrys who are not that familiar with Jews for tfilin or different Jewish objects if that does happen the word "religious" works everytime even for those who don't understand English.
4. The same thing works many times for heavy hand laugage if you tell them you need to bring food for religious perposses they will be way more chilled about it (especially in Europe).
And now for two religious tips
1. If your suitcase is heavier then it should be put in it two small notes one says "ein od milvado" second "Levi Yitzchak Ben Sara Sasha" ( mibardichov) and believe in it 100% that god is the one deciding if your suitcase will go through and not the person behind the desk.
2. If you ever have a problem with authorities (immigration etc. ) think ein od milvado and believe in it 100% that god is the one deciding what is gonna happen and this person is just a puppet.
These 2 have worked for me every single time.

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2014, 10:05:10 AM »
Why dont you just close your eyes & say ein od milvado, your sim will pop out without having to use your wife's earrings :P

Offline Suave

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Re: Travel Hacks & Tips Master Thread
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2014, 10:10:19 AM »
Is your wife available for travel next Sunday?
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