My friend Billy is a hoot. He’s a full blown vegetarian hippie who home-schools his kids and votes… Republican! If he were a super-hero, he’d be “Enig-MAN!” He’d wear a Kilt and smite bad guys with a round of good Stilton cheese in one hand, and his Wiki on a remote handheld in the other… all the while sporting a mellow wine induced buzz and quoting really bad poetry and star-wars trivia. He travels almost as much as I do, but he visits more exotic locations so I’m jealous. At any rate, Billy is never at a loss for words and he’s brilliant. You have to amp up your own energy level before you walk into his cube if you want to keep up. I asked him for a few creative ideas for a
-BYPASS, BYPASS, and BYPASS – your elite status is worth more now than ever. Whether it’s airline status that grants you access to the “reserved seats” on the plane, short security lines and early boarding, or car rental status that lets you walk up to your car and drive out, or hotel status that lets you walk in and get right to your room and the executive lounge – getting around the teeming masses of the ignorant but well intentioned travel debutantes is not to be beat.
– ESCAPE, ESCAPE, ESCAPE – Consider buying that day pass to the airline club lounge at the airport or executive lounge at the hotel to get some quiet. You’ll need it since you’ll need to arrive and check in early anyway with the expected delays from the teeming masses.
– SPIN, SPIN, SPIN – Last minute gifts from the airport are not “from the airport” (yawn – thoughtless). Rather they become adventurous mementos of exotic locations. I bought a cowboy hat from the airport in
– BATTERIES, BATTERIES, BATTERIES – You’ll need extras. For your noise canceling headphones (a must have during holiday travel season), for your portable DVD player, for your laptop, for your IPOD/ZUNE/MP3 player. Extra batteries mean you have quiet or entertainment longer than the grumpy grandma with a kid on her lap next to you. If worse comes to worse and you’re stuck on the tarmac for several hours, you can always turn your screen towards the kid and let him watch your copy of “Knocked Up” while you wait. Once you take off you can be confident that you still have the power available to watch that copy of “The Deer Hunter” you’ve been meaning to get around to.
– TAXI, TAXI, TAXI – Traveling masses don’t like taxis as much as they like rental cars. Use that to your advantage. You know how to hail, pay, and get where you want in a taxi. Many of the travel n00bs have never been in one before (at least with their families in tow).
– UPGRADE, UPGRADE, UPGRADE – remember, most holiday travelers are also bargain shoppers. That means that Airlines, Hotels, Car Rental Firms all would rather upgrade you and free up a lower cost seat, room or car than keep you in that spot and risk that higher end option going empty.