Travel is about to get weird.
At least weirder than it has been.
If someone from the 1950s rolled up into a modern airport and saw us whipping off belts, flinging shoes into gray plastic bins, and standing in spinning X-ray machines their heads would blow.
And now, in the age of contagion, travel is about to take another weird turn.
Hopefully, a vaccine comes out sooner rather than later so we can easily return to our jet-setting ways.
But, for the time being, here are a few ways you can make the most of your next travel excursion.
If there is one thing I always tell people it’s to invest in an airport lounge. Some lounges let you buy day passes. Heck, your credit card may give you access to one. However you go about doing in, if you fly more than once a year, investing in airport lounge access is beyond worth it.
I’ll even take airport lounge access over the TSA Precheck. A few years ago the Precheck might have been worth it. But now there are times where the Precheck line is just as long as the regular security line. Kind of defeats the purpose. And even if it isn’t, it isn’t going to save you much time because you still have to arrive at the airport early just in case the Precheck line is in a logjam.
The airport lounge is so much different.
You’re secluded, have more comfortable seats, and have access to complimentary snacks, Internet, and drinks (oftentimes alcoholic drinks. Just don’t be the bro that tries to drink he’s lounge fee’s worth of booze in one visit).
Some lounges, especially international lounges, include showers and private rooms.
But really, maybe the best current reason to take advantage of the airport lounge is the lounge has its own cleaning staff. This means the seats are wiped down more frequently, the room has its own HVAC system, and you’ll limit your exposure to other people.
Trust me, if you’re going to do any bit of flying, consider investing in an airport lounge.
Booking Your Flight
Airlines have said they will space seating out.
But I think we’ve all learned to take what airlines say with a very large grain of salt (perhaps a boulder of salt might be more accurate).
After all, United just fully-booked a flight, so probably not a good idea to believe everything the airline industry spokespersons have to say (it’s also why I fly Delta, as I find they don’t blow as much smoke as others).
This trick only really works if you’re flying alone. If you are, select the middle seat of an open row.
I know, I know, that’s crazy talk. Nobody wants the middle seat.
Here’s the thing. A large number of people who fly do so in pairs (or more). This instantly prevents them from taking the seats next to you, leaving only the individual passengers. If someone does take one of the seats, you can always take the open seat when the plane takes off. So at least you saved yourself some buffer room.
There is the chance that both seats are booked. Especially with popular flights. So while it is a bit of Russian roulette with seats, there’s a good chance you’ll at least have one open seat, if not a full row.
Call The Hotel
If you’re like me you’d prefer to do everything online. But you’ll want to call the hotel to find out how often they change the bedspread.
Many hotels change the sheets but keep the duvet or comforter or whatever it is they have over the sheets.
You know, the thing that you sit ass-naked on after getting out of the shower? Well, the last dude probably sat ass-naked on it as well. So call and find out how often they change it. They need to change it after every guest.
You’d be surprised as to how many don’t.
And, while you’re at it, tell them how much you’re seeing their hotel running online and ask if they can beat that price. They might at least undercut the price by a few bucks. So at least you’ll save some cash and get a new duvet cover at the same time.
The Bag of Liquids
There’s never enough space in that bag of liquids you put into your carry-on.
I’m someone who absolutely hates to check baggage, so I’ll only take a carry-on. Don’t worry, I’m not the guy who brings a full suitcase onto the bag then can’t figure out how to get it into the overhead.
Anyway, the one great thing about the bag of liquids is you can put just about any kind of liquid in it. Including booze.
If you’re someone who needs a drink to calm your nerves for flying, you probably find yourself at an airport bar. Well, you may not feel comfortable grabbing a drink at one of the airport bars (or it may not be open at all, to begin with).
When that’s the case, you can have your single-shot bottle ready to go.
I wouldn’t recommend downing it as you walk up to your gate. Put you can pour some whiskey into your morning coffee if it helps, or add some into your can of ginger ale.
Just don’t go crazy with this. Especially when you’re on the plane. The airplane staff has enough to deal with, don’t be the person that adds to their list. If ever there is an art to nursing a rum and Coke, now is the time.
A Word On Air Travel
You might be a little worried about hopping onto an airplane. After all, it’s all recirculated air. While this is true, modern airplanes use hospital-grade air filtration systems.
So wear your mask and protect yourself from anyone sitting in the rows in front of you or behind you. Other than that, you’re good to go (toss some Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer in that liquid bag while you’re at it).
Hopefully, travel gets back to normal in the coming months. But in the meantime, if you do need to travel, here are a few tips to make it easier, more comfortable, and, hopefully, more enjoyable.