Photo by Jeff Clark for Apolis
By Shea Parton
As I said goodbye to the daily rewards and challenges of Kathmandu, I was reminded of my father’s words, “Real education comes from seeing the world.” I have been lucky enough to travel regularly from a young age but this has left me wishing sometimes that the TSA instituted some sort of travel competition which resulted in a trophy. My application would include over 560,000 frequent flyer miles and my own ‘Travel Manual: The Rules For Comfort, Courtesy and Transit.’
Top three rules for COMFORT: (1) Find the airplane bathroom before finding your seat, return to your area as one of the last to sit, discreetly upgrading to any nearby seat with an open row or extra neighbor seat (2) Survival Drink: Emergen-C with Airborne. A family staple since the days of alll night paper writing in college and usually implemented after waking up to the misty cough of a nearby passenger near the beginning of an 18 hour flight. (3) Flying more than 5 hours? Work late the night before and pack a neck pillow, eye mask, and headphones. Also, keep up with personal hygiene. It can make all the difference.
The essential rule of COURTESY: Presentation. Airport associates make up their mind before words are exchanged. Dressing well makes upgrades easier, a fire exit seat more probable, fast access through security, and the odds are better for the ambitious request of a business class meal when sitting in economy.
Top three rules for TRANSIT: (1) Check bagagge with excess weight at the curbside check in as they're often more lenient with fees. (2) Showing up late has obvious risks but underestimated benefits, alert flight attendants and you can usually bypass all lines. Raan’s first choice for traveling, definitely not my style. (3) Always have cash on hand and never exchange more than $50 USD at the airport currency exchange – wait till a nearby bank. All airports are comparable to sports stadium prices and equally entertaining.