Cruising Attitude: 20 Tips from A Travel Expert

Traveling soon? Below are 20 Tips from Heather Poole, a real-life flight attendant and author of Cruising Attitude, an insider’s look at life in the sky, on sale March 6th.

1. Always bring a sweater / hoodie on the plane.  Airplanes are like movie theaters. They’re freezing!

2. Airplane mode is not off! Bring a magazine to read during takeoff and landing! I’m talking to you Kindle people!

3. Wear running shoes in case you have to run from the airport bar to the gate. Flips flops and heels will only slow you down

4.  Remember you can bring food through security. Bring leftovers! Share with the crew! More water / wine for you!

5.  The airplane is the perfect place to let kids watch movies & play video games THE ENTIRE flight. Just bring headphones

6.  Ladies: leave the jewelry in your carry-on bag. Put it on AFTER you go through security. Do the same with your belt

7.  Let it go! You can’t control delays and getting all stressed out about it will only ruin your trip.

8.  Buy water! We never have enough on board for everyone. You’ll be glad you have it if your flight diverts. IT HAPPENS!

9.  Eat something! Even if you’re not hungry. Calories don’t count at the airport. Plus you never know when you’re going to eat again.

10.  A long line of frequent fliers (think single passengers holding computers) will go 10 X’s faster than a line with a family with a new baby in it!

11.  Airlines do NOT hold planes for connecting passengers. Unless there are 20 of you going to same place. Get to know your neighbors

12.  Record the sound of the overhead bins being shut. You never know when you might need to prove you’re on a plane

13.  A real frequent flier knows to check the inbound flight when checking to see if their flight is delayed.

14.  Always check the monitors even if you know your gate number. Sometimes gates change!

15.  FYI: Anything under $500 roundtrip is cheap! Especially during the holidays.

16.  Offer to buy passengers a drink in flight if they switch seats with you. It’s just a nice thing to do. Only half will take you up on it.

17.  Book trips the first week of January! Everyone is broke after the holidays. Empty flights = cheap flights.

18.  Traveling ANYWHERE in September is great.  Kids are back in school, tickets are cheap & weather is still nice.

19.  Last flight out always has empty seats because everyone tries to get on earlier flights. More aisle seats / upgrades available!

20.  Use your time wisely.  Delays are the perfect time to call your mother.  She’ll be glad you did.

— Heather Poole

Be sure to check out Cruising Attitude when it goes on sale March 6th!

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One thought on “Cruising Attitude: 20 Tips from A Travel Expert

  1. Ooh – how about: 10 Tips from a Savvy Tech Traveler?

    1.  Learn how to pack … there are three rules to efficient traveling – NEVER check a bag, NEVER EVER check a bag, and NO MATTER WHAT NEVER check a bag.  10 day trips with an airline approved roller bag and backpack ARE possible … my backpack holds two laptops, iPad, iPhone, chargers AND food (and fits EASILY under a seat).  I highly recommend the Samsonite leather laptop backpack and the Eddie Bauer luggage line … OH and the new all-in-one laundry detergent, softener, dryer sheets!!

    2.  Download lots of books and movies from iTunes at home … be sure they are both ON YOUR LAPTOP and synced to your iPad/iPhone.

    3.  When in an airport without “charging stations” … look for electrical outlets behind trash cans located near pillars.  Other hiding places are IN the floors, near the massage chairs and under the old pay phone stalls.

    4.  Use your laptop IN the airport where you’ll still have electrical outlets (remember, sometimes behind the trash cans) to keep the battery fully charged.  (Yes, some planes have power outlets … but that’s “touch and go” from my experience!)

    5.  If you have a WiFi connection and can share it with a couple other passengers at your gate … do so!  (You could also offer to charge one of their devices from your laptop USB port.)  You never know when that favor will be repaid … seat exchange, drink on the plane, forfeiture of the all-important shared armrest!!!

    6.  Watch the video offerings of the airline FIRST.  Saves your device batteries … some of the documentaries are AMAZING and will give you insight to something you never dreamed you would be interested in.

    7.  Buy the Bose In the Ear headphones for 1/3 of the price and 1/100th the packing space and ALMOST as good as the VERY BULKY noise cancelling version.  (Double bonus, much easier to sleep wearing the in the ear style.)

    8.  Bring an extra set of $1.99 headphones and an audio Y-adapter and offer to share your iPad movies with your seatmate … this can be HUGE on an 12 hour international leg that has a “close call” layover when he/she helps you to exit the aircraft as quickly as possible!!

    9.  Use your iPad/iPhone (instead of your laptop) on the plane … and if the flight is longer than 8 hours, use that fully charged laptop and a USB cable to recharge the iPad/iPhone.  (More planes have USB outlets now for recharging these types of devices than ever before too!)

    10.  For “close call” layovers … be sure to power up the iPhone/Droid as soon as authorized.  Ensure you have your airline’s App installed … check your flight, and if things are going to be close, use the App to get on standby for the next outgoing flight.  All can be done FROM YOUR SEAT before the door to the aircraft is even opened … gives you something to do, instead of stress.  In the event of cancellations, book a hotel room and rental car all while waiting for the plane to empty!!

    11.  OKAY … one more.  Be KIND to your airline crew … ALL OF THEM from pilot to cabin staff to jetway personnel to check in ladies and gentlemen.  As a 200,00-300,000 mile per year flier who has seen a whole-lotta-travel-stress … I can tell you that you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar … but SOMETIMES there are JUST NO BEES FOR THE CATCHING.  Not every problem can be solved, you just might have to suck it up, buttercup.  Yelling at the airline crew won’t fix anything.

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