Travel and Baggage Tips, Part II

Here’s the second part of my travel and baggage tips post. It might stretch into three parts.

I figured this out when I last went to Las Vegas, and implemented it for our Europe trip. Ideal wear for flying involves jogging outfits, especially for long-haul flights. Here are the benefits for wearing jogging clothes:

— No metal items to strip off during security screening, although you will have to remove the hoodie if you choose to wear one. The hoodie is the most significant portion of your air-wear ensemble.

— The hoodie. That pouch in front is perfect for carrying must-have documents.

— Layered comfort:  It’s great for airplane wear, since you can remove the hoodie for the on-ground heat and wear it for a myriad of reasons on the aircraft.

— Keeps the funk in: Let’s be realistic: If you have three flights ahead of you, and one is more than 10 hours in duration, you might get a little ripe. Especially if you have to run for your flights, like we did at Dallas Ft. Worth. After a trip on The Longball, you might want to keep the hoodie on to keep from knocking out your fellow passengers.

On our DFW-LHR flight, I couldn’t help but notice the people wearing business clothing. Of course, some are forced to attend work right off the plane. But most of the people were wearing business casual clothing and they weren’t going to work. What’s the point? Find a restroom…or an airline lounge…take a shower and change into your business clothing. I can tell you, flight attendants and fellow travelers will not give you respect…until they figure it out about 10 minutes into the flight. Some young women did figure it out; they’ll wear their athletic gear on the flight back.

Power up. This is where your advance planning pays off: If you have a laptop, tablet or Kindle, you want to use that device when you have nine hours to kill. I checked seatguru and seatexpert … a lot … before our flights to Europe. I found seats with power ports. I then purchased a device by CyberPower, available at Wal-Mart. I could write a blog post on this item alone:

CyberPower mobile power inverter

I can’t tell you how awesome this device truly is.  It has a USB port,  a three-prong plug and another outlet for a cigarette-lighter plug. In other words, it works on everything you’ve got. That’s fine, because you can still use the CyberPower device’s plug adapter for your iPad power. After our flight from Barcelona to Miami (approx 10 hours), my iPad and MacBook Pro were at 100% power. Electronic devices at 100% after transoceanic flights is not a normal occurrence.

Apple sells a device specifically for air travel power applications. The Apple device is interesting because it only pushes power for the device; it does not charge the battery like CyberPower’s does. The CyberPower device cost me $44, versus the Apple device for $48. Way more utility for less money? I’ll take it.

Sleeping: You’ll observe a lot of fliers wearing pillows around the neck. This can create issues when it comes to bag space. My significant other bought me a blanket you can insert into an inflatable pillow, which is way more useful. I can stuff the pillow with the blanket instead of inflating it, which makes more sense. On long-haul flights, I’ll get a pillow and blanket issued by the airline. Since I’m in my jogging clothes, I won’t need a blanket.

Your carry-on bag: I use a full-size carry-on; the maximum size generally allowed by all airlines. Flying in Europe, I saw the rules for carry-on baggage enforced. People try to carry mini-suitcases as carry-ons, which is a huge negative. They force longer boarding times because most passengers can’t handle those carry-ons.  They get too heavy and they can’t lift them. As we stated in the first part, airlines are reducing overhead bin space in an effort to shut-down larger carry-on bags, and get you to pay their baggage fees.

— In my opinion, you should bring your full size carry-on and make sure it fits in the test bin, or you could be forced to get the damn thing checked.

— Make sure you carry at least ONE change of clothes, shoes and toiletries in that carry-on. It simply ensures you’ll have enough clothes to start your trip while you are waiting for the airline to find your checked luggage.

Headphones: When you are traveling on an airplane, you might want to listen to something.  You’ll have a tough time hearing what you are listening to if you use traditional headsets. If you want a set of noise cancelling headphones, seatguru reviewed some fairly popular models. Some are bluetooth capable; this is a really neat feature. To replace my old falling-apart Phillips headphones, I purchased a set of Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B headphones. They are superb, and although I had coveted the Bose QC-3 and QC-15‘s, the ATH-ANC7B’s cost less than half of  either pair of the Bose. The only drawback of the Audio-Technica’s is, they tend to get really warm in extended wear. There are ear covers available for them.

Some other things: Bring a travel can of Lysol or buy a full-sized one at the nearest Wal-Mart. Someone slept in your hotel bed last night, and you don’t know what they may have done in that bed.  Some hand sanitizer or hand wipes might also come in handy.

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About bittersportspills

I love sports. I don't love the hype, homerism, ratings talk, self-important egomaniacs, bias or any of the other nonsense you get with the national media. Nor will you get the two clowns on sports talk radio who stage phony arguments. It doesn't make it entertaining. It makes it time to turn on your iPod and jam instead of listening to white noise generators. This is the sports blog for you, the ones who don't like everything Los Angeles or New York. Just because the sporting media is based there doesn't mean we have to like their teams. We do treat them fairly, though. That means if one of those cities has an average QB who plays particularly well...we'll note it. If they're garbage, we'll say so. Instead of crying "why, why, why" like a certain sports media homer did in his radio broadcast. This isn't my job...I have a real one. Nevertheless, I'll post here when I make an observation. Common sense in sports is nearly dead. Now we're attempting to bring it back.
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