We’re doing a combo post since this will be more informative than anything. For fun, since we’ve racked up more miles than we could possibly imagine the last ~2 years, we’re going to give out all the tricks you’ll need for traveling. In addition, since we’re selling one of our internet assets (expected close on October 30, 2017) we have a small announcement as well. We have no idea if this post will be of interest, but if you plan on making a good deal of money you’ll likely be forced to travel quite a bit for at least one year of your working life. If you end up getting a good career in sales? You’ll be traveling quite a bit as you move up the stack.
If you have additional airport travel ideas be sure to drop a comment. That said we think we’ll cover a ton of time saving tips with this post alone. After racking up hundreds of thousands of miles, you’ll find multiple tricks that work and we have no problem giving them away for free. Besides. Time is something we never get back so we may as well save it starting on day one!
Step 1 – Clear, Pre-check/Global Entry and Others: The first step is to get pre-check or Clear/Global Entry. We prefer using Clear/Global Entry but the difference is relatively minimal. Unless you plan on doing a lot of international travel, going with Pre-check will work perfectly fine (otherwise go with Global Services). You’d be surprised at how much time this will save you in an airport. While the lines are perhaps a tad shorter (lots of travelers do have pre-check) the key is that the people are organized. Instead of dealing with swaths of people taking their shoes off, forgetting laptops and not remembering to clear out their pockets… The vast majority are fast. We estimate total time savings of 15 minutes by signing up for these programs. On a round trip flight that 30 minutes a trip. Tons of recovered time.
Step 2 – Booking: Ideally, book all flights with zero connections. It is better to fly in economy/economy plus and take a direct flight, than sit in business class and be stuck in the airport due to a missed connection. Always book direct. We know… This isn’t possible 100% of the time. In the cases when you’re forced to fly with connections, book the longest leg first and the shortest leg second. This is because there are typically more flights when you’re closer to the location. Flights from NYC to Boston are quite frequent (called the shuttle) so you’re better off flying into Boston then to NYC vs. flying into another city such as Chicago then to NYC. We think this will save you a few hours of time per year since you’re less likely to miss meetings.
Step 3 – Seating & Packing: Best to take the window seat. This is obvious but the aisle is prone to issues. Aisle seats require you to potentially move if other passengers need to get up and walk around. And. The flight crew will bump into you 90% of the time. People are not coordinated and Aisle seats are actually harder to sleep in. Book the window which is the main purpose of staying organized (booking early)…. Now… When it comes to packing you already know our basic rule. Choose an international carry on bag only. This makes you more efficient and you won’t need two different carry on bags for flying.
Step 4 – Time Saving Items in the Airport: Now that your trip is set up you should utilize the Airport for the most advantages. If you’re not part of the club (or the airport doesn’t have a club) you can still take advantage of items found in airports. The main ones are relatively cheap massages that do work (a good habit to have as flexibility goes down with age), shoe shines and places that offer juicing (vegetables). Ideally, you’ll find the exact amount of travel time to minimize down-time in an airport, but keep both of these items in mind if you want to get there ~25 minutes earlier than usual. A basic massage (15-20 minutes) and a juice 5 minutes, will knock out two items you needed anyway – improved flexibility and high quality calories. Notice… If for some reason you’re flying to a place with food options that are lower in quality, the answer is to get to the airport 15 minutes early to grab a healthy juice before getting on the flight!
The next time saving item is a bit more extreme. Since you’ll likely get into one of the higher priority boarding groups, there is no reason to shave before going to the airport. If you’re one of the first passengers on board, you can simply hop into the stall shave and sit down before the flight is fully boarded. This applies to all of your basic morning routines (excluding a shower). Add all of these items up and you should be able to save 15 minutes per trip depending on how you want to organize the day.
Step 5 – Health: Flying is terrible for your health. Do not be fooled by the “glamour” of flying a lot. Anyone who enjoys flying has never really had to fly a lot. The conditions in an airplane are not good as you’re exposed to 1) more bacteria (potential to get sick), 2) cabin pressure which is terrible for blood flow and 3) the dreaded conversation with the person sitting next to you (wish we were kidding, it’s typically terrible). To combat all of these items you need to be prepared for the flight with the basics.
The first thing is compression arm sleeves and compression socks. If you think we are kidding, we are not. The main problem with flying is that you’re sitting down in a pressurized cabin which restricts blood flow. The reason why people feel terrible (even if they sleep the whole time) after a flight is due to this issue. Your body is not meant to sit down in a pressurized cabin for multiple hours in a row. We recommend getting at least two pairs of each (compression socks or leg sleeves) and compression arm sleeves. If for some reason you believe this is too “weird”… simply wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans. No one will notice anyway.
The second thing is also in-line with blood flow (notice a trend?!). We also recommend taking a ginger shot with cayenne pepper or taking a Baby Asprin 30 minutes before the flight. Ginger shots with cayenne improve blood blow and you can even get this at a Jamba Juice for a few bucks. Otherwise pack your bag with a small stash of baby Asprins. Taking a tiny pill a few times a month isn’t going to do anything and many people take them daily to help blood flow.
The next items are common but easily forgotten. You’ll need 1) a face mask for sleeping, 2) ear plugs, 3) a book and 4) a pack of gum. These are all self explanatory but to keep it all in one place, a face mask is to aid sleeping, the ear plugs prevent people from bothering you with small talk and a book is for helping your eyes get tired (no blue lights!). The pack of gum is more of an add on. When you’re on a flight it is much more likely that you breathe out of your mouth due to dehydration/pressure/moisture change, this will cause you wake up feeling worse and gum helps you get back to normal steady state within 5 minutes of landing… And… To cap it all off, feel free to add a pillow if needed. We’ve found it unnecessary (takes up too much space) and doesn’t seem to make sleeping any easier.
Step 6 – Ready for Take Off: Since you’re well prepared you’re now set to either sleep or read. You’ll avoid all of the bad items on a flight (alcohol/carbonated drinks). You’re better off staying hydrated since flights (again) are not good for your health. Drink water or an electrolyte drink before and during flight (grab some coconut water at the airport). It is likely obvious, however, if you plan to sleep you’ll want to position your body at an angle with your head close to the window and your feet facing diagonally (maximizing leg room). Assuming you’re not in a lay-flat seat (majority of shorter flights are not lay-flat) the goal is to maximize the angle.
Step 7 – Bonus Items: Unless you’re balling out of control flying private everywhere, you’ll be in this mixed position of having some business class flights and some economy flights. The main idea here is to go for business class when you can get on lay-flat beds. This is important. The value of sitting in business class is probably 100x higher if the flight has a lay-flat bed vs a standard “lazy boy” chair. If you’re on a long flight that has some options for lay-flat beds and standard business class, go for the lay-flat flight if you’re going to pay for business class in the first place. You’ll wake up feeling a lot better with this set-up.
Personal Finance Announcement
As many of you know we started a Q&A to see if we should create a forum. Our answer has come to a resounding “no” for now. That is because 90% of the questions came around investing, how much people should aim to have and other such items. So? We’re simply going to create a product to address that question. It won’t take us a long time to make (likely 3 months) and we’ll clean up our inbox since 90% of the questions are around this topic (was not covered in Efficiency). Also. If you paid for a question related to personal finance (and we answered) you’ll get the product for free. The outline is below and if there are other topics please let us know and we’ll crank it out over the next ~3 months. Timing was perfect since we’re unloading a website (have bids at a price we’d sell for already!) and will have a month or two of downtime to focus on anything Personal Finance related. The outline is below:
- Where to invest your first $10K after you have already started a business that is profitable?
- How Many Income Streams to have by Age
- How Much Money Should You Have (benchmarks through age 40)
- Overviews of Stocks: where we are personally invested and what we see happening over the next 5-10 years
- Overview of Crypto Currency Investing: what we own and why
- Overview of Real Estate: where we are now investing and what we would do today depending on age
- Overview of Bonds/CDs: how much cash and lower risk we’d have
- Portfolio Overview by Age: how much risk is too much or too little risk
- If you have another topic please leave it in the comments.
On a final note… We also saw a lot of mis-interpretation around Efficiency. We stated several times you’ll need $50K to create a business this assumes you will create the actual product. If your goal is to be an affiliate selling products that someone else creates your cost to starting up is likely around $1K. Our post on starting a Company being the best way to get rich assumes you go the product route.