4 Essential Travel Secrets every Jet Setter wants you to Know Before Your Next Trip

In the last 45 days, you may have spotted me in Brussels, Geneva, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Berlin, and Monaco. As the French would say: Rester, c’est exister, mais voyager, c’est vivre – To be, is to exist, but to travel is to live.

Coming from a professional nomad, I have encountered enough travel stories and blunders on the road to fill your champagne dinners with entertaining conversation. As the upcoming vacation season remains in full swing, it would only be fair to dedicate this article to you, the jet setters exploring the world.

Regardless of your next destination, if getting there involves a flight and you don’t happen to have a private jet at your disposal, the bliss of embarking on a new adventure can often be overshadowed by the stress of the ride there. If it’s truly about the journey and not just the destination, then it’s time to make the trek as hassle-free as possible.

Here, I have rounded up four unfailing tips and tricks to make your next vacation seamless from start to finish.

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Travel fast – and in style

Walking through Brussels airport, in a hurry to my gate for my flight to sunny Tel Aviv, the sight of a man bypassing every other traveler caught my eye. He was smiling ear to ear on his scooter. Following the man, I realize that his scooter wasn’t in fact a vehicle, it was an OLAF business suitcase which he transformed into a carry-on suitcase within seconds. Naturally, I approach the man and ask for the details of this magnificent bag.

He explained that he travels frequently, and in airports such as Vienna, Paris, and Berlin the destination to his gate is enormous, thus he chose to forgo the endless amount of steps for his suitcase scooter, and found OLAF business to be his obvious choice given its suitable airline size and lightweight. Besides, he will never miss another flight again.

See what your plane looks like before you even board

Next time you travel, don’t blindly pick your seat. If you’re commuting on a long flight, comfort is key. Before booking your next flight, type the airline and flight number you are interested in into SeatGuru.

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The free and easy website provides seat maps showing the exact layout of your plane, customer reviews of exact seats, photos, and user comments to help you select your seat wisely. For your next flight, know your proximity to the lavatory, which seat has extra legroom, where to find power jacks, and if a particular row doesn’t recline.

Get into the airport lounge, even with an economy ticket

Priority Pass (starting at $99 a year) gives you access to more than 850 airport lounges in over 400 cities worldwide. Regardless of your airline or ticket, the membership grants you access to some of the most luxurious airport experiences, including free Wi-Fi, food, beverages, and, in some cases, spa treatments. Traveling with guests? Family, friends, and colleagues are all welcome to join you. If not, most airport lounges sell day passes to access them, if you ever find yourself with a lengthy layover.

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Pick one airline and stick to it

This strategy will allow you to build up not only bonus miles for future flights but also the valuable qualifying miles required to reach elite status at your preferred airline. For example, under Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty program those who fly at least 25,000 “Medallion Qualifying Miles” (which are based on distance flown and fare class) and spend a minimum of $3,000 on flights taken annually on Delta or its partner airlines are eligible for Delta’s first level of elite status: Silver. El Al, my personal favorite, offers the same membership program. Simply consider complimentary upgrades to first class, a free checked bag, priority check-in and boarding, and call priority when contacting customer service by phone.

All is left to say is, the world is officially at your feet.

So avoid the “X-File” travel horrors and take a well prepared and deserved trip, solo – or with your loved ones.

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