Three Top Tips for Terrific Times in Travel


Three Top Tips for Terrific Times in Travel

I travel a lot, sometimes spending more time in the air than on the ground, and more days away from home than at home. When people learn how much I travel, they often ask for travel tips, expecting to hear about my “what to bring” lists, “how to get the best seat” ideas, or “how to navigate the airport” stories. But my top tips have less to do with getting ahead, and more to do with getting along. After all, it’s the people you meet and the experiences you have that make a journey tough and trying, or terrific. Try these on your next trip and see.

1.     Be the passenger the cabin crew likes.

We’ve all encountered cabin crew who think their job is to be a disciplinarian schoolmaster, or those so impolite that you wonder who kicked them in the backside on their way to work. Traveling with these guys and gals can take a toll, especially when other passengers start to grumble.

You can change this, if not for everyone on the flight, at least for your own experience and enjoyment. Simply climb on board with the intention to make your cabin crew smile. Look at their nametags right away. Say “Good morning” while using their name, and mean it. Say “Thanks for flying today” before the flight even takes off. A moment of eye contact, a warm smile, and few nice words will make you stand out from every other weary or bleary passenger on the flight. You may not get free champagne, but you won’t get a scolding or the hairy-eyeball, either.

Being the passenger your cabin crew likes doesn’t take much, but it does make a difference. I carry small “Keep It Up” cards and hands them out to every service provider I meet at curbside, check-in, security, gate, and onboard the plane. You can get and send a free digital version at

2.     Keep a lookout for what’s new and different

Airports are full of high-value customers who live life at high-speed. So it makes sense that companies use airports to launch their latest ideas and innovations. The next time you travel, keep your eyes peeled for what’s new, what’s different, what’s entertaining. Be on the lookout for something you haven’t seen before.

In London I found a mobile “hot dog” cart selling laptop computers. In Abu Dhabi there’s a vending machine that sells gold bars. In Los Angeles I enjoyed a bowl of quinoa pepper-style soup that tasted totally home-cooked. In New York I saw a candy vendor selling peanut butter buckets. I remember when the biggest size in the candy store was cups!

What new thing will you discover on your next trip? Keep your eyes open for fresh products, new services, hot advertising, cool decorations, and more. Take a photo of whatever surprises you and share it with friends. Finding something new is a like discovering a prize. Looking for it makes your journey an adventure.

3.     Turn travel anger into travel appreciation

The final tip is about traveling with an attitude of gratitude, and a willingness to find the bright side in every dark moment. Travel offers plenty of inconveniences including delays, crowds, and crying babies. When these occur to you – and they will – catch them with a “There you are!” attitude, as if you have been looking for them all day.

Remember, each inconvenience could actually be a blessing in disguise. The airport delay keeps you out of an otherwise unsafe situation. Big crowds mean people and traffic are moving. A crying baby is better than someone who gets sick in your lap.

Your decision makes a difference.

Let’s face it: traveling means you will encounter your fair share of surly service providers, pent-up passengers, and irritating inconveniences. You can’t change everything in life, but you can change the way your encounter and respond to what happens along the way. And making that conscious choice changes everything.