New road warrior looking for the tricks of the trade.
February 6, 2009 1:24 AM   Subscribe

New road warrior here! Looking for sites, blogs, toys etc that all you other road warriors use to help ease myself into this lifestyle.

With my new position, I will be traveling around two weeks per month flying mostly. All international flights, so not many short runs. I know the usual jazz, drinks lots of water, get up and exercise every hour or two, etc etc. What I'm looking for are the tricks, the websites, the toys that make it easier.

Thanks to all who can offer any help!
posted by wile e to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Onebag.

The iMainGo, for which I sometimes feel like I'm an unpaid sales representative on Metafilter. An iPod amplifier with genuinely extraordinary, room-filling sound, considering its tiny size and OK price. Alarm function. Listen to podcasts in the shower. Your question implies that this lifestyle is all about being healthy on planes, but for me it's as much about turning your stopping-points (ie hotels etc) into relaxing, re-energizing spaces.


Previous thread. And another.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 1:40 AM on February 6, 2009

An Eee (or other netbook). I have the 901, but I might get the 1000 were I you.

For me it's a laptop, a web browser, an e-book reader, and, hooked up to my ipod, a music player with surprisingly good speakers for its size. I'd get the 1000 simply to have a bigger hard drive so as to not have to connect the ipod. At less than 3 pounds (or slightly more for the 1000) and the size of two paperback books next to each other and 4 hours battery life (maybe less for a 1000?), it's extremely portable.

Currently, I'm reading an ebook, browsing the web, and playing music. It's small enough that I rest it on my chest while laying in bed or reclining in a chair. I'd pretty strongly recommend a linux version with Ubuntu rather than the stock Xandros, unless you have a need for MS-Windows. Note that it's not for modern games, but it kicks ass as an e-book reader.
posted by orthogonality at 3:43 AM on February 6, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, game warden. That Onebag looks great, can't wait to go through that.

And I should've mentioned that I've seen those previous threads already, but those were more for coping with it and specific needs. I am moreso looking for sites, blogs, gadgets and just general great ideas that others have found. The lifehacker and metafilter of traveling, perhaps with a little uncrate and gizmodo mixed in.
posted by wile e at 3:50 AM on February 6, 2009

Best answer: Try flyertalk forums - the best forums on traveling, luggage, ff miles...etc.
posted by oqrothsc at 4:16 AM on February 6, 2009

Best answer: Pick up a pair of Shure E4C's or something similar. They are hands down the best thing you can do for your flying experience (I've flown probably 150K miles in the last year, not even sure really).

Always treat the cabin crew as though they are angels. Much higher chance that they'll treat you as if they actually are. Sympathizing / joking with them about the asshole passenger that you inevitably get on any flight will earn big bonus points.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:37 AM on February 6, 2009

SeatGuru is handy for picking out nice roomy exit row seats and avoiding crummy ones that are right next to the lavatory or don't recline.
posted by magicbus at 5:03 AM on February 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

The biggest change for me (this year) was
You forward your confirmation letters (hotels, planes, rental cars) and it auto generates an itinerary. If you have an iphone, it's got an even better interface. If not, it has an attractive print of relevant travel info.
posted by filmgeek at 5:07 AM on February 6, 2009

Seconding the eee recommendation, but I'd say stick with the 901. It's perfect for a plane, even if the guy in front of you reclines all the way. Get a 64gb flash drive and fill it up with tv shows and movies you want to see. My husband and I went through two international flights and a vacation in Belgium watching Torchwood episodes during downtimes. I get about 5-6 hours of battery life on it. And it fits in my purse.

I'd also recommend an ipod shuffle. It's not such a big deal if gets lost.

Also: those neck cushion things you can get at airports? They work great it you turn them around the other way and support your chin on them instead of your neck.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:12 AM on February 6, 2009

Best answer: nthing flyertalk - most important site.

I use ExpertFlyer to hack which flights I select for upgrades; it allows me to get detailed availability for given fare classes. tells me what the fares look like, and allows me to do some awareness of differing options & prices for given cities.

In flight, you need a pair of noise cancelling headphones. I've used both in-ear and on-ear varieties. I really like the expensive Sonys with the active noise cancellation, but I own a few pairs of Shures, and they're great too.

The best advice I can give you is to pack as light as possible. I continually cut things out of my travel load; these days my load for up to two weeks is very, very light. Spend some money picking good luggage and carry it on, don't bother checking stuff. At one point, you'll end up thanking yourself.

Pick a program (hotel, and air, and car) and stick with it. Do this with some eye towards your most likely travel destinations. Don't try to get status in more than one program; you'll find the benefits status ends up conferring very important.

I am a big fan of the Kindle, becuse carrying 40lbs of books and bulky newspapers is not fun. Wait until next week, a new one's supposed to be coming out.
posted by arimathea at 5:13 AM on February 6, 2009

Last 4769 mile innovation : approaches to in-plane productivity [via Lifehacker], although it seems to be down right now.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:27 AM on February 6, 2009

High end noise canceling headphones are an absolute must for the air travel. Even if you're not listening to anything keep them on, as they cut out the constant low rumble of the engines and the vibration of the plane.

They will make a *huge* difference in how you feel at the end of a long plane trip.

(when I say "high end" I'm talking about these or something similar. Pricey, but oh so worth it...)
posted by tkolar at 9:04 AM on February 6, 2009

If you are traveling to the same location you may want to leave a basic kit of necessities there so you don't have to bring those things with you all the time. If you plan it right you could even leave a clean spare suit or two at a dry cleaners there. Try to limit carrying things in checked luggage.
posted by JJ86 at 9:26 AM on February 6, 2009

The one thing I was so happy I brought on my last trip was extra batteries, two for my Blackberry and two for my laptop.

Especially the phone batteries: they're tiny, I got them off ebay for like $8 each, and nothing is worse than landing in a new place, needing to make some calls or check email from the airport, and finding your phone near death.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:42 AM on February 6, 2009

Also for international travel, Radio shack sells a rather nice set of travel plug adapters that will fit anywhere in the world pretty much. Don't listen to anyone who tells you need some big expensive voltage converter- pretty much every modern piece of electronics is rated 100-240v and will thus work anywhere (although I always check the labels to make sure anyway)
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:45 AM on February 6, 2009

Best answer: Try Melatonin for fighting jet lag. It's a very mild little pill that consists of a natural sleep hormone to reset your sleep cycle. You can take it when it's night time at the destination, and it will make you drowsy for about eight hours and then allow you easily to shake it off when you need to be up and about again. I fly between London and the US a fair amount, and I swear by the stuff. Of course, YMMV.
posted by yoz420 at 12:49 AM on February 7, 2009

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