Keep Hotel Shades Closed

April 2, 2013

Innovative Use of Chip ClipToday’s Tuesday Travel Tip

Have you ever stayed in a hotel room and could not get the shades to stay closed? When the sun rises, the light blasting into your room wakes you up?

Well, here is my simple yet handy solution: use a chip clip.

Bring one of these with you on your next trip and you can keep your shades tightly closed so that your room stays pitch black all day long.

P.S. I used the “Path on” iPhone app to write the text on the image. It is a very cool app that let’s your draw text on a photo in any shape you want.

If you found this article useful or interesting, please press the "Like" button and post a Facebook comment below.

Tuesday Travel Tip

February 26, 2013

I travel a lot. And I travel with a lot of technology. In front of me now is my MacBook Pro, my iPad and my iPhone.

But when I am in hotels, they often charge for each internet connection. So I have to choose. Do I want to connect my computer, my tablet or my phone?

Well fortunately, there is an easy way to share a connection with all of your devices.

If you are using a MacBook, go to System Preferences > Sharing

You will see something like this…

To share your internet connection, just click the internet sharing box. Then you must select something in the “To computers using” area. Since I typically connect via wifi, sharing my computer’s wifi is not an option. So I share via bluetooth. Then all I do is turn on the bluetooth on my iPad and voila, I have internet everywhere.

If your Mac is connected to the internet via an ethernet cable, you have the option of sharing your connection via wifi.  This is extremely useful on international travel when wifi is sometimes more difficult to get or is more expensive. In fact, in some overseas hotels, the only option is to connect via ethernet cable. If I only brought my iPad, I would be without data. But if I have my Mac, I can have a connection on both devices, as well as my iPhone to save on data roaming charge.

Let me know if you have any questions.

If you found this article useful or interesting, please press the "Like" button and post a Facebook comment below.

My Travel Tips

April 10, 2012

Over the years, I have traveled over 1 million miles to nearly 50 countries.  Given that I fly so frequently, I am often asked for my suggestions for traveling more comfortably, efficiently, and cheaply.  Here is a VERY short list:

  • Subscribe to TripIt Pro - TripIt is an awesome website/app that makes life easier for all travelers.  When you book a flight, hotel or car, you simply forward your confirmation email to TripIt and it populates your travel plans in one place.  The pro version monitors flights and tells you of delays (typically before you hear from the airline).  And it notifies you when prices drop.  I have saved hundreds of dollars just on this one feature. In fact, I just saved another $150 today.
  • Travel with an iPad – Although this is a minor tip, if you bring your iPad instead of a computer, you save time in the security line.  You don’t need to remove iPads from your briefcase (except in some countries outside of the United States).  I use Carbonite to back up all of my files from my computer in the cloud, so I can access them on my iPad anywhere/any time.
  • Use – If you fly often and have not used SeatGuru, you are missing out.  This website has the configuration of every aircraft on every airline.  It tells you which are the best seats and which ones to avoid.  If you augment this with my strategy for always getting a good seat on a plane, you will be more comfortable.
  • Buy Premium Seating – First class seats are typically overpriced, especially for shorter trips when you  can suck it up and be uncomfortable for a couple of hours.  But getting extra legroom AND getting priority access through security lines and boarding is worth the money for any flight.  Several airlines offer this.  United has Economy Plus with Premier Access.  JetBlue has Even More Space seating which also gets you through a special line at security and early boarding.
  • Use Hotwire and Priceline – I have been using these sites for ages and can get incredible deals on hotels.  A few years back (2006) I wrote an article on how to use these sites most effectively to get the best rate.  Things have not changed much since then, although there are sites where people share their deals with others helping you find the best rates.
  • Take Advantage of Credit Card Offerings – Most people are not aware of the deals you can get with your credit card.  Some offer car rental insurance (I pay extra to use AMEX’s $25 flat fee for complete coverage).  Other offer freebies like Global Entry (speed through US Customs), airline companion tickets, or airline lounge access (e.g., Priority Pass).  And don’t forget to use your AAA card for discounts (Hilton offers great rates with the card).

There are SO many more ways to travel comfortably, efficiently, and cheaply.  What other suggestions do you have?

If you found this article useful or interesting, please press the "Like" button and post a Facebook comment below.