AMEXPlatino86 wrote:Really any type of advice is fine. Any from customs and global travel to tips on how not to be nervous and actually enjoy a vacation. The latter is hard to do because I'm a proud workaholic.
I'll just give a recap of what I usually do. To each their own, so adjust as you please.
I always book on Orbitz, you get Orbuck rewards to use towards hotels, and the tickets are as cheap as Kayak and whatnot.
I pack light and only ever travel with carry ons, even on international, although it is a little trickier.
Check out taxi services or public transport to save money on airport parking. If you live far from the airport, check out parking lots near the airport instead. Personally, I just ride my motorcycle to the airport and scoot between the gate and the wall when nobody's looking.
Always do online check-in for your flight. You'll get your boarding pass up to 24 hours before your flight, that way you don't have to get to the airport extremely early and wait in line to get it. You can print it out, but I prefer to just have it on my phone. Less stuff to carry around. I also don't travel domestic with my passport as it isn't necessary, my driver's license is plenty.
Since I only travel with carry ons, I try to get a seat as close as possible to the front of the plane. This means that if the overhead bins near my seat are full, I can just go a couple rows back and stash my stuff there. It also helps if I have a layover, I can get off the plane quicker and get where I need to be (I usually opt for very short layovers).
I never drink any soda before or during a flight, that's just asking for an upset stomach.
I pop my shoes off during the flight, the air pressure difference makes my hands and feet swell a little bit. Taking my shoes off is surprisingly comfortable.
If you're going on a long flight, I HIGHLY recommend a good pair of noise cancelling headphones. Know that loud droning sound? Its reduced to a faint background noise with quality headphones. I'm not talking about Bose, either, I mean real quality like Audio Technica, Sennheiser, etc.
I use an old school safety razor and bring it everywhere with me when I travel. Although you can't bring the blades with you, the razor is no issue. Make sure to know what you can and can't bring on the plane and make it easily accessible so TSA doesn't have to rummage through your stuff when you go through security. An agent in my town actually recognized who I was when he saw my razor and struck up conversation.
That's all I can think of for now. If there's anything specific you're curious about, feel free to ask.
Edit: I see you have an AmEx Platinum. Feel free to get to the airport early and enjoy the lounge! I'm seriously considering it for that reason.