My last two trips to Germany pushed me over 100,000 air miles for the year on Star Alliance. An excellent accomplishment because I like to board early and enjoy my sometimes complimentary upgrades!
As any frequent traveller knows you have to seek ways to increase your chances at successful and comfortable travel. Once-in-while travellers can get by with an uncomfortable flight here and there; missing luggage, or other challenges but road-warriors who frequently take to the globe depend upon minimizing these distractions so they do not interfere with business.
Here are a few personal observations:
Pack small and light. I have a small backpack (30 liter volume) which I use as my carry-on bag. If making multiple connections the fewer bags the better, if at all possible carry-on everything.
Use the smallest computer you can get away with, simplifies pulling in and out at all x-rays.
Place all associated electronics in one or two gallon size ziplock bags. This allows easy visual inspection and unpack/repack at security. Also, sometimes they want to x-ray these separate.
Carry a collapsible pillow and fleece blanket. This cuts down on germs from the airline provided stuff and provides in-terminal sleeping comfort when making long intercontinental connections.
Bring snacks - sometimes you cannot change money late at night in developing world airports and there may be nothing for sale anyways. Also, always have a headlamp. When the power goes out in the Mombasa airport you will be the only one able to see.
Always keep some money in your pockets, along with a photocopy of your passport.
Limit the number of books you bring, better off buying a new one than adding weight to your carry-on. This is hard for voracious readers like myself.
Pack a toothbrush!
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