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    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Travel lessons after 100k airmiles in 2009

    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!