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  1. #1
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    Travel hacks and advice

    I was recently promoted to a new job. A job I neither applied for or really wanted. Nonetheless, my corporate overlords see potential so they tossed me the brass ring.


    However, now Iím going from two work trips a year to at least every other week, with some international. Therefore, reaching out to the collective on advice to living your best life in an airport, in business class, and in moderately priced chain hotels. I've applied for global entry, TSA Pre, and Nexus (I'll be going to Canada a lot) but looking for input from the road-hardened maggots who lived or currently living life on the road for work to make this new life a bit more easy on me. Fortunately my trips are short so will always travel just with a carry on. But I have no status, points or much else yet.


    I donít even know which domestic airport bathrooms are ok for my Ďwide stanceí these days or even if youíre supposed to ask the bellman or the concierge for coke. What are the tells to look for to decide if the nice lady at the hotel bar giving me the fuckeye is a high-end call girl or just a girl genuinely interested in my new fedora?
    كافر
    (Infidel)

  2. #2
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    She's a pro, but, if you ask her nicely for life advice, who knows.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  3. #3
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    need a life coach...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    She's a pro, but, if you ask her nicely for life advice, who knows.
    Ever since Coach's suicide I have nowhere else to turn.
    كافر
    (Infidel)

  5. #5
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    Get an Amex Platinum card and you can use the lounges at airports all over the place. https://www.americanexpress.com/idc/...ollection.html

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parvo View Post
    Ever since Coach's suicide I have nowhere else to turn.
    did i miss a TR?

  7. #7
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    The TSA doesn't care about edibles.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by acinpdx View Post
    did i miss a TR?
    Last I heard she adopted a dog, moved to LA, killed herself.
    كافر
    (Infidel)

  9. #9
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    Here's my random advice from ~2.5 years of consulting, which was flying 2x a week and living 4-5 nights a week in a hotel:

    * Pick an airline and a hotel chain and stick with them. Get the best credit card you can from either the airline or hotel. Book everything on this credit card. If you stick with your bands and use one of their credit cards (you can use both, idk I like just using one personally) you will rapidly accrue loads of free flights, free hotel nights, airline/hotel status perks, etc.

    * Re: picking an airline, be sensible about what your closest airport's major airline is... so if you love Delta but you always fly out of Ohare, just accept you're going to fly United and deal with it. (edit to add: also consider their international partners like Delta/KLM, American/British, and so on). And for this type of travel, pick one of the big ones ie NOT Southwest, your goal should be flying first class at no cost. Southwest's status perk is (used to be?) free companion flights which are nice for average-joe types, you'll have a shitton of miles and you can fly whoever you want wherever. When you're living a large chunk of your life on an airplane, you don't want to be squashed in the back between foul smelling children, but MOST OF ALL you want to get OFF the plane first. Watching a bunch of clueless fuckface dipshits who haven't flown anywhere this decade try to pull their lawn bag filled with christmas presents out of the overhead bin will make you very unhappy.

    * Don't drink on domestic flights, get yourself used to getting proper restful sleep on there instead. This is a lot easier in the nicer seats (first, business, economy+, etc) and it's a lot easier with window seats. Long international flights, ehh up to you. But making a habit of sleeping on planes allows you to recoup some of the considerable amount of your personal time that you're giving up when you agree to live like this.

    * Tip the room cleaning at the hotel, (and the bartender if you drink at their bar), especially if you're going to stay there a lot. Most people don't, and they notice.

    * Hotel status, at least with Marriott, rolls over year-over-year (you need 75 nights to be platinum for the next year, but if you stay 225 nights, you're platinum the next 3 years. Platinum is nice and you want to be that).

    * It's worth going out of your way on a particular trip to accommodate your airline/hotel, but when you're initially selecting an airline/hotel, make sure it's going to work reasonably well for you (so if you know you need 15 trips a year to Footown and the only brand they have is Hilton, consider making Hilton your hotel brand)

    * Absolutely get TSAPre, Clear, whatever other things of that sort you can... the regular security line will make you homicidal very quickly when you deal with it weekly.

    I'll update more when I think of it...

  10. #10
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    Never use the shampoo to spank it, always use the lotion.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mall walker View Post
    Here's my random advice from ~2.5 years of consulting, which was flying 2x a week and living 4-5 nights a week in a hotel:

    * Pick an airline and a hotel chain and stick with them. Get the best credit card you can from either the airline or hotel. Book everything on this credit card. If you stick with your bands and use one of their credit cards (you can use both, idk I like just using one personally) you will rapidly accrue loads of free flights, free hotel nights, airline/hotel status perks, etc.

    * Re: picking an airline, be sensible about what your closest airport's major airline is... so if you love Delta but you always fly out of Ohare, just accept you're going to fly United and deal with it. And for this type of travel, pick one of the big ones ie NOT Southwest, your goal should be flying first class at no cost. Southwest's status perk is (used to be?) free companion flights which are nice for average-joe types, you'll have a shitton of miles and you can fly whoever you want wherever. When you're living a large chunk of your life on an airplane, you don't want to be squashed in the back between foul smelling children, but MOST OF ALL you want to get OFF the plane first. Watching a bunch of clueless fuckface dipshits who haven't flown anywhere this decade try to pull their lawn bag filled with christmas presents out of the overhead bin will make you very unhappy.

    * Don't drink on domestic flights, get yourself used to getting proper restful sleep on there instead. This is a lot easier in the nicer seats (first, business, economy+, etc) and it's a lot easier with window seats. Long international flights, ehh up to you. But making a habit of sleeping on planes allows you to recoup some of the considerable amount of your personal time that you're giving up when you agree to live like this.

    * Tip the room cleaning at the hotel, (and the bartender if you drink at their bar), especially if you're going to stay there a lot. Most people don't, and they notice.

    * Hotel status, at least with Marriott, rolls over year-over-year (you need 75 nights to be platinum for the next year, but if you stay 225 nights, you're platinum the next 3 years. Platinum is nice and you want to be that).

    * It's worth going out of your way on a particular trip to accommodate your airline/hotel, but when you're initially selecting an airline/hotel, make sure it's going to work reasonably well for you (so if you know you need 15 trips a year to Footown and the only brand they have is Hilton, consider making Hilton your hotel brand)

    * Absolutely get TSAPre, Clear, whatever other things of that sort you can... the regular security line will make you homicidal very quickly when you deal with it weekly.

    I'll update more when I think of it...
    All of the above is legit advice.

    Don't rent cars if you can help it. Total pain. Uber/lyft wherever and whenever.

    Gold United MileagePlus gets you access to the lounge on international flights from all Star Alliance. You WANT lounge wherever you can get it regardless of airline. There's civility within. The better lounges have showers for coming back to life after an overnight international flight. You WANT that.

    With hotel status comes faster wifi. Fast wifi is the single biggest factor in selecting a hotel. Chains like Marriott are very consistent with it.

    Invest in good over-the-ear headphones.

    A pair of ear plugs and a mask for your eyes makes all the difference when you NEED to get sleep. Stay away from ambien, melatonin, etc. Shit doesn't really work.

    Get the carry-on salad before the flight and try not to rely on the chipper chicken on the plane. Yes, the pretzels are free, but fuck pretzels and cookies. You'll feel better for it.

    Download a game or two for your phone. Download some shows into your netflix account just in case.

    You'll be tempted to work anywhere, everywhere, all the time considering your new home is on the road. Don't. You'll burn out.

    Always carry gum.

  12. #12
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    Bring 99% rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle or put some in one and disinfect the door handles, light switches, remote control, toilet seat and handle and pretty much anything that gets touched.
    Or
    Bring a black light

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    Get an Amex Platinum card and you can use the lounges at every airports all over the place. https://www.americanexpress.com/idc/...ollection.html
    Good advice right there! Also I have given up on hotels for any duration longer than 2 nights, I much prefer Airbnb. If your company will foot the bill I highly recommend it. Not having to march through the lobby to get to your room, not having to put up with the 3 AM partiers, sleeping in without the maids banging on your door and ignoring the do not disturb sign is all priceless!
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  14. #14
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    Clear

  15. #15
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    Sep 2010
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    716
    Hereís my approach, some of it is a no brainer:
    - eating healthy is tough, since I usually drink at night with dinner, go light at lunch
    - if your company doesnít require a corporate card, get a good rewards card tied to your airline for extra points (already stated, if they do Amex and you have to, sign up for the rewards)
    - uber/ Lyft from home to airport, usually cheaper and allows for airport beers on way home
    - anywhere <4 hour drive you should drive, itís always faster if a metro airport is involved
    - exercise, pick a decent part of town to stay in so you can run outside instead of the usually shitty hotel gym
    - research the town youíre going to and eat/ drink local. Winging it usually means doing what your lame ass coworkers want
    - always look for some recreation activity where you go and bring your shit. For me itís fly fishing, mt biking and skiing. Then rent a car on the company and head out after work to experience something new
    - if people work for you in that town, donít make them go out to dinner all the time with you...they want to go home and spend time with their friends/ families not you
    - if you have a lot of shitty bigger group dinners with a fixed menu or buffet, show up early have a drink or two then fucking bail and do your own dinner

    Iím sure Iíll think of more...


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #16
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    Ditto everything huckbucket said, especially the work balance thing, and a few more:

    * When shit inevitably hits the fan and your flight is canceled/delayed/rerouted etc, remember that while traveling is inconvenient and awful, working customer service in the travel industry is also awful. The person you want to yell at spends their whole day getting yelled at. Being nice really does go a lot further. That said, once you have some airline status, use the airline's app on your phone. Most airlines have a dedicated customer service line for <x status> members, and the higher your status gets, the better you'll be treated.

    * Get an iPad over a kindle. The kindle app is just as good on the iPad as on the kindle, and the iPad will do a lot of other stuff. Either way though, have something with a battery that isn't your phone battery, and leave your phone in airplane mode to save battery when you get stuck on the planes without chargers in the seats. Read on the plane if you can't sleep, don't work... like huckbucket said, you're already giving so much of your life to work when you live this way.

    * With respect to the expense accounts, it depends on the company. The hotel room service bill is always itemized; a liquid "dinner" at the hotel bar may not be. Drink at the bar, hotel bars are a lot of fun anyway, the bartenders usually have great stories, the customers are always huge jerkoffs but they're fun to laugh at. Once you know the bartender it gets even better.

    * Once your seat is assigned, you don't get any bonus points for getting there early (with the caveat that you may be upgraded, but this SHOULD happen irrespective if your presence at the gate). When the "we'll start preboarding in 5 minutes" announcement goes off and a huge mass of mouth-breathing people-of-walmart types glob up in a big buffalo herd around the boarding area, you should still be eating/reading/whatever. Don't stand in that dumbass line, they aren't leaving until everyone gets on and the seating isn't first-come-first-served unless you're Southwest, which you won't be. If you want to get on early, walk up when they call first class (which you will be) and smile as the red-faced huffy fat seas part. Or just wait until there's no line. You'll have plenty of time to spend on the plane.

    * Don't book the cheapest flight, book the flight that works for you. At minimum, book a flight where you can select a seat / are assigned a seat, rather than "seat assigned at gate" (most airlines make this sleazy distinction in the booking process). You should never be risking getting bumped off of a work flight due to an oversell, and the cheapest flights are sometimes not eligible for upgrade. No place you want to work is going to give you grief over a somewhat more expensive flight (maybe up to 50% more) if it's to keep your airline, have a guaranteed seat, etc... these things might be luxuries for the casual traveler, but necessities for your sanity if you will depend on living this way. You aren't paying for it anyway, and trust me your employer is getting the better of this arrangement whether this or that flight costs them an extra couple hundred bucks. You can always add up your flight/hotel/airport-travel times, add it to the hours of what THEY consider "work", and compute your effective hourly rate if you feel guilty... the feeling won't last long.

    * Re: renting cars, it's the worst and avoid it whenever possible. Car rental places are often hugely inconvenient to access from the airport (ahem DIA), you have to be at the airport later, get there earlier, the whole thing is terrible. If you absolutely must though, don't get into one of these "share with your coworkers" situations. Do everything you can to avoid being the one to have the car in their name if that situation arises (fake a diarrhea attack when you get to the rental car terminal, whatever), as then you're the chaperone for a bunch of folks you probably don't like all that much to begin with. Have fun being obliged to go to the one place everyone too fat or lazy to walk can agree on for lunch. Absolute worst case, if you are carless, you can pay your own money for an uber and do what you want. If you are expected to drive where "everyone" wants to go, you are stuck doing what the most annoying, pickiest, whiniest people you are with want to do. And should it all fall apart and you're the one with the car, never let anyone else drive a rental car that is in your name.
    Last edited by mall walker; 10-23-2018 at 07:48 PM.

  17. #17
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    Download all apps for your preferred partners, practically eliminates waiting in line


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    The TSA doesn't care about edibles.
    TSA also not interested in hash pens. Foreign security seemingly unaware as well*


    *YMMV, this is not a recommendation to import hashish into SE Asian countries, etc.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mall walker View Post
    * Re: renting cars, it's the worst and avoid it whenever possible. If you absolutely must though, don't get into one of these "share with your coworkers" situations. Do everything you can to avoid being the one to have the car in their name if that situation arises (fake a diarrhea attack when you get to the rental car terminal, whatever), as then you're the chaperone for a bunch of folks you probably don't like all that much to begin with. Have fun being obliged to go to the one place everyone too fat or lazy to walk can agree on for lunch. And should it all fall apart and you're the one with the car, never let anyone else drive a rental car that is in your name.
    Haha, travelling now and ignored the threats. Took my own car and doing whatever tf I want. Hoping mgmt gets ornery and lets me go with a severance.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bromontane View Post
    *YMMV, this is not a recommendation to import hashish into SE Asian countries, etc.
    that's like bringing cocaine to colombia.

  21. #21
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    This is a good thread
    My Company: Made in Colorado SKi Clothing- check it out

    www.freeridesystems.com
    20% Maggot Discount Code = 'MAGGOT20'

  22. #22
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    marriot points accumulate quicker than hilton points

    i prefer to fly american - many people will disagree - i fly american because they have better flights out of my airport

    the full sized rental car is always the best deal

  23. #23
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    submit the credit card bill not the itemized bill for "dinner"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBdude View Post
    i prefer to fly american - many people will disagree - i fly american because they have better flights out of my airport
    This is 100% the best way to decide which airline to fly. I worked with a guy who flew US Airways, and we all gave him shit about it, but their hub airport was 10 mins from his house. In the 2+ years we worked together, he always got the first class upgrade.

  25. #25
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    mallwalker, huckbucket, and dtown speak the truth. Listen to them. After living in an airplane for the last few years any trick you find that works for you will positively impact your happiness.

    Spend as little time at the airport as possible. This means nailing your routine to the airport in your home city and getting precheck/clear. Having access to a lounge comes in handy for international or delayed flights but can be skipped for almost all domestic flights. Other than the Centurion Lounge, domestic lounges are garbage.

    Noise cancelling headphones. Worth more than what they charge for them.

    Pick an airline / hotel chain and stick with it. Frequent traveler programs are constantly being devalued. Picking a single chain will mean that you'll hopefully be able to redeem some of points/miles you earn for a vacation down the road.

    Be courteous to the the gate agents. They aren't trying to fuck you over and will be more inclined to help you if you treat them with a little respect.

    If you fly through Heathrow, make sure your liquids conform to their limits and are out of your bag before going through security. The agents will make you unpack your entire bag if you don't do this. I've seen it every time I've flown through there.

    If you're at the airport and you notice your flight being delayed in continuous 30 minute increments, rebook onto a new flight or find an alternate route. There's a good chance that the original flight will either end up being cancelled or delayed by a number of hours.

    Poop before you fly.

    Sit as close to the front of the plane as possible on international flights. You don't want to be behind 300 people in the customs line after a 12 hour flight.

    Try to avoid the airplane meals.

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