Fifteen years ago we used to use Internet Cafes to get on the net.
Now they seem to have disappeared.
For the last 7 or 8 years everyone has been looking for Free WiFi. . . . . but for how much longer?
Using free wifi can mean a risk of; data theft, malware attacks, and malicious hotspots .
Often free WiFi that doesn’t require you to enter a username and password to use the network means its easy for criminals to be monitoring your internet activity.
Another risk of free public WiFi networks is a lack of encryption, which increases the risk of sensitive data being stolen.
These days in Australia I get 18 Giga Bytes of data plus unlimited phone calls for $25 a month.
Travelling overseas to a single country my travellers hack is to buy a local Sim Card.
In the USA you can get Data only cards for around AU$6/GB, some countries much less.
If you are travelling to several countries then look for a Travellers Sim Card, a little more expensive than a single county card but still pretty reasonable.
Some frequent flyers take additional flights to make sure they maintain their frequent flyer status. . . . . . these are often referred to as ‘Status Runs’.
What’s the Point?
There are several benefits of a high status, particularly gold or above.
- Free lounge access, for you, and a 2nd traveller.
- Additional points from flights (up to 75%).
- Better access to reward seats, especially for business class.
- Better chance of free upgrades.
- Several other ‘nice to have’ benefits such as priority boarding
When I used to travel 2-3 times a month as a gold frequent flyer I would estimate those benefits were worth $1,000 – $2,000 a year to me.
Types of Status Runs
Additional Trips: Taking a trip with the main purpose of collecting additional status points.
Extending Trips: This involves planning your flights to get additional points. For example rather than flying Melbourne to Cairns direct If you choose to fly via Sydney and Brisbane you could get up to 50% more points.
Is it Worth It
It really depends on how much the benefits are worth to you.
When you fly often you aren’t keen to fly if you don’t need to. . . . but if I was just a couple of flights away from gold status it might be worth a ‘Status Run’.
Flying long haul I used to change my watch to the destination time when I got on the plane, which does help with jet lag.
These days I take a different approach.
Use the World Clock Function
At least a day before I travel I make sure that the time for my destination is in on my world clock page.
I can then start planning my sleep patterns based on the destination time.
If the best fit is to sleep on the early part of the journey I will aim to be as tired as possible when I get on the plane.
If its best to sleep until just before I arrive I will aim to be wide awake when I start the journey.
This doesn’t get rid of jetlag . . . . but does help.
Transit Airport Time Are Important
An additional ‘Travel Hack’ is to include any transit airport time zones on your world clock page.
After travelling for 12 or more hours its easy to get confused about the time at your transit airport.
You don’t want to miss your connecting flight by making a mistake about the time!
So what are some of the etiquette rules for economy travel?
As far as I am concerned the person in the center seat always gets priority for both armrests.
Window seat has the advantage of being able to lean on the side of the plane which gives them more room and they have full use of one arm rest.
Aisle seat has a bit more room on the Aisle side and its easier for them to get up and move around, they also have full use of one arm rest.
For a more direct explanation see what Jim Jefferies has to say.
Keep your hair on your side of the headrest, not over the back.
I don’t have any problem if people take their shoes off as long as they keep them on the floor.
I won’t be happy if you then put them on the seat next to me or push them through to the seat in front of you.
Travel Hack – Put your shoes back on if you go to the toilet, that wet patch on the floor isn’t water.
No one likes airport security, but if it makes travel safer I’m happy to put up with some inconvenience.
Here are my travel hacks to make security as easy as possible.
- Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t stress:
- Wear a jacket or waistcoat with enough zipped pockets for, coins, mobile phones and anything else metal then you can just put the jacket in the tray for X-ray;
- If they have body scanners, rather than a metal detector you will also need to put you wallet in your jacket pocket as well;
- If you wear a belt get one with a plastic buckle;
- Slip on shoes, or elastic sided footwear (in USA only);
- Have liquids in a zip lock bag in an external pocket of your carry on;
- Have your lap top/tablet in a easily accessed place;
- Put your hat in the tray (many hats have steel stiffeners)
If you are travelling a lot around the USA it is worth getting TSA pre-clearance.