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Ask HN: What are some things that I can do to optimize travelling by plane?
6 points by nkkollaw 343 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments
I travel by plane around Europe up to 4 times/month.

I would like to make this as painful as possible.

What are some things that I can do to make travelling easier, and perhaps save some money in the process?




I'm in the US and I'm not sure if you have the kind of security theater in Europe that we are subjected to here, but in the security line I always see people struggling with taking off and putting on their shoes. I always wear sneakers that are easy to slip on and off, it's a small thing but it makes going through security less stressful for me.

Now I personally like the gentle hum of a turbofan engine but I've heard from friends that a good pair of noise cancelling headphones can make traveling much more pleasant if you're bothered by the noise.

Also, due to my frugalness I've always used really inexpensive and thus heavy and poorly made luggage when I travel. Recently my large suitcase broke and I didn't have time to purchase a new one before traveling so a friend was kind enough to lend me their expensive aluminum rolling suitcase. Needless to say I am now saving up for some nicer luggage. Traveling with a well made, sturdy, and most importantly, light suitcase made the whole trip so much easier. I highly recommend investing in some nice luggage.

Hope this was of some help, I'm not sure if these were the kind of tips you were looking for.


Nice. Do you have a link for the awesome aluminum suitcase? I might consider buying it although I now travel with a backpack and it works great as your hands are free.


The specific one I borrowed was from an American company called ZERO Halliburton[1]. They are very pricey and I'm currently looking to buy a used one since they seem to last a really long time. There are other companies selling these types of suitcases as well.

Like you I usually try and travel with only a backpack or large duffel as to keep my hands free but I had to pack too much stuff to make that possible this trip.

[1]http://zerohalliburton.com/


Holy crap!

I can buy 100 tickets with the cost of that luggage...

:-/


> I would like to make this as painful as possible.

Convince your local representative to support even more airport security theatre ;-) Pointless airport security measures are a real pain in the ass.

On a more serious note and more to the point:

- Travel light. If possible only have carry-on luggage. Checked luggage means additional time and hassle.

- Only travel with airlines that provide some sort of digital ticket (preferably as Apple Wallet pass if you have an iOS device). This makes the various check-ins a lot easier. Believe it or not, there are still airlines today that go paper-only (Aer Lingus being a notorious example).

- Although they have privacy implication you might want to apply for an ePassport (if applicable to the destinations you travel to): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPassport_gates . They make immigration check-in somewhat faster, at least until everybody's using them.

- Some time ago at Heathrow Airport I saw a combined scooter / carry-on luggage device: http://www.microkickboard.com/teen-adult-scooters/luggage-sc... Pretty cool and saves you quite some time, particularly at very large terminals such as The Queen's Terminal at Heathrow.


Luckily I only travel within Europe (Italy-Poland and back), so I don't need a passport :-)


I've changed about 20 planes in the last 3 months in EU so got used to doing some things which may help you:

- Use Inbox, Google Now, Google Trips and Google maps with offline areas. Make tickets and hotels insanely easy.

- Automatize changing your MAC address with a script, since some airports offer you timed wifi and then you have to pay for it.

- Boarding pass always on you if you use the physical one.

- Don't get coffee, sodas or beer or champagne. Get water, juice or wine on the plane. That's my personal thing, because carbonated thinks make me bloated and coffee is terrible on planes. I prefer wine and a cup of water.

- Get seats next to the aisle or even better, emergency exit. More space for you.

- If you're not in an extreme hurry, get out last. Let people in your row get out if you want, but no need to squeeze with a bunch of people and cause stress to everyone because some noobs are rushing to be first out.

- Sneakers, basic shirt, sweatpants. Fuck being overdressed, this is about being comfortable and getting through security as fast as possible.

- All the things you won't need on the plane (except your wallet) don't belong in the carry on.

- Get a gym bag (I prefer simple black leather bag) or a light backpack, don't carry those tiny suitcases around.

- Put some food in your bag. Some slow carbs,quality protein and fat to eat on layovers or after you arrive. Removes the need to "find some place with good food fast" or pay a ton for airport food.

- Comfortable earphones and a movie or even better, a physical book for the flight so you don't carry your notebook on the plane.

- Get a card that works everywhere and doesn't make you pay huge fees for currency exchange. I like Revolut,it has low exchange rates and tap to pay.

- A traveler pillow is awesome.

- Keep it 300, like the romans. (calm, cool and collected)


Thanks, this is awesome advice.

> Use Inbox, Google Now, Google Trips and Google maps with offline areas. Make tickets and hotels insanely easy.

I've been using Google Flights to track flights and get good prices. It alerts you when there's a price change so that you can get your ticket for cheap. It's absolutely awesome. I didn't know about Google Trips, I'm downloading it now.

> Sneakers, basic shirt, sweatpants. Fuck being overdressed, this is about being comfortable and getting through security as fast as possible.

My girlfriend won't let me do it, but that's exactly what I said last time. Having to take your belt off with jackets and all is a pain. I also wonder if there are clothes build specifically for travelling (like, with special pockets or things like that).

> Get a gym bag (I prefer simple black leather bag) or a light backpack, don't carry those tiny suitcases around.

Big time. I have a backpack and it works. I only have carry on, no suitcase to board. I'm wondering though what the best backpack would be to travel in Europe, like one that fit exactly the size Ryan Air wants.

> Comfortable earphones and a movie or even better, a physical book for the flight so you don't carry your notebook on the plane.

On my last flight I actually spilled coffee on my laptop. I guess both your advice to not carry a laptop and not buying coffee is good advice ;-)

> A traveler pillow is awesome.

Really? I've considered making the investment, but then the actual flight for me is just 1h30m (the whole thing like getting to the airport etc. 6 hours door to door).


>I also wonder if there are clothes build specifically for travelling (like, with special pockets or things like that).

Special pockets? Uhhh, how much do you like having bodychecks when someone notices a pocket?

Regarding pillows, I usually do layovers and am sleepy when I get to airport so that's why I'm love them, but if you aren't flying for longer time, no need then.

>I'm wondering though what the best backpack would be to travel in Europe, like one that fit exactly the size Ryan Air wants.

I've been thinking of buying a backpack that I saw my friend has, don't know what they're called. It looks like a normal backpack with a flap on top, but the top flap is actually part of it and extends a lot. Also it's stylish so I wouldn't look like I'm backpacking through russia, but perfect for traveling.


I think I'll look for that backpack.


Everything goes into a single backpack. Bring as little as possible, only what you need. Buy your toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deoderant) when you arrive at your destination. If the airline has a mobile app, use that to check in at the earliest possible moment.


what makes air travel painful is all those security processess involved.

You might think in something that could make security procedures easier for instance a kind of id chip for people a kind of bag or container that prevent carrying bomb guns and so on.


Luckily I only travel within Europe (Italy-Poland and back), so the security checks aren't that bad. The rest is, though.


You mean "Painless".


Haha, yes.

Too late to edit the post, but yes.




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