Up In My Air

I wound up actually doing a decent amount of traveling during my YWO days off — to LA for the Fast Five Screening /meetings and then to NYC for my brother’s bachelor party after the last day of shooting.

And in doing so, it made me recognize a few travel behaviors that I’ve come to heed over the years.

Some of these will be obvious but regardless, they are my Top 5 — ‘Up In The Air”/George Clooney-esque rules:

1) Purchase an aisle seat in the last three rows.

I feel there are more benefits to this that outweigh getting to deplane faster sitting in the front.

The first being — you’ll get to board first and have dibs on the overhead luggage rack of the entire plane.  Heck, you could stick your luggage at the front of the plane if you really wanted to and snatch it up right before you left.

Secondly, the most important room — the bathroom will never be further than two steps away and you can quickly monitor when there’s not a line.  This is especially an important feature for parents with kids who always need to frequent the ‘potty’.

Plus according to this chart, you’ll have the highest chance of survival in the unlikely event of a crash (as it’s statistically the safest way to travel) – so, bonus!

2) Just drink water.

Short of an IV, it’s what’s going to keep you the most hydrated.  No two ways about it.

Don’t drink soda.  Don’t drink tea or coffee.

And don’t imbibe alcohol.  Unless you’re on your way to Vegas or like to drink out of tiny bottles — then have at it.

But if I’m on a plane it’s usually to get to a place and conduct business; therefore I need to be at my best once there.  Planes are a weird environment.  No one gets on a commercial flight to enjoy themselves.  Your #1 priority is to stave off biological attacks and stay healthy while being transported inside this human petri dish.

I’ve always had a better flight when I’ve stuck to the basics of hydration.

3) Underpack.

You can do without a lot of things.

Imagine whatever you pack, you’ll need to lug across the desert for an entire day.  That’ll cut things down.  In my case I would be ditching the extra pair of shoes while still keeping the hair gel.

Doing this will prevent you from having to check luggage.  Obviously taking advantage of the Self Check-in stations/Pre-Printed boarding pass will save you a solid hour – which means more time in bed.

4) Undress backwards at the X-Ray machine.

No, not like Celine.

But right before you approach the security check point — place all your big metal items (cell, change, belt, keys, watch/ jewelry into your carry on bag).  That way, you know it’s all 100% with you  instead of seeking out that tiny tray everyone else has their valuables in.

Then place on the conveyor belt in this order: shoes, jacket, bag, liquids and laptop.

This way when you’re at the other end, you can get dressed in the order these items dispense — like an assembly line.  And you can get outta there in the most expedient fashion.

You don’t want to be fumbling with a laptop first, then bag, then jacket whilst trying to put on your shoes.

So if you’ve planned it out right, you’ll put on your shoes first (so you can walk), then the jacket, get your bag and proceed to refill its contents with the liquids, laptop, etc.

5) Park at the shuttle’s entrance.

If you park in the airport’s lot – don’t park closest to the departing depot.

It may seem tempting but what’s the most annoying part about picking up your car at the airport?  Waiting for that damn shuttle bus to circle the entire lot until it gets to your car, right?

Or thinking, “Hmm, now did I park in F27 or M49?”

You’ve taxied on the tarmac, waited for luggage (if you’ve checked stuff), waited for the shuttle and by this point, you just want to get home.

So think ahead and park where the shuttle will be making its first stop when it enters into the lot.

Sure, when you initially drop off your car you’ll have a longer walk (never wait for the shuttle – walk straight to the depot).  But once you get back from your trip and the shuttle enters the lot… BAM!   You’re right next to your chariot and ready to roll.

I hope something new was picked up, and if not… well — that blows that you had to read through this entire thing to realize you indeed ARE a Master Class Traveler.

Gold Star for effort.


2 thoughts on “Up In My Air

  1. re: sitting towards the back

    Do you ever find that you get a whiff of the bathroom if you’re back there? After many Chinatown buses to/from NYC and Boston, I just started avoiding any seats behind bathrooms. Thankfully airplane toilets don’t smell very much, but sometimes in international flights, they can start to get annoying…

  2. Yes, I would not recommend the ‘last 3 rows’ rule for buses. Airplane restrooms seem to keep certain ‘aromatics’ from wafting into the main cabin as opposed to lingering ones that Greyhound Buses accumulate.

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