The Traveler

How to survive the day after a 'Red Eye' flight

Tired. Crabby. Dehydrated. Sluggish. Foggy. All words to describe your grouchier-than-normal self upon completion of everyone's favorite flight - the 'Red Eye'. Red Eye flights, especially from the West to East Coast, are a great way to eek out a few extra vacation hours by combining sleep + travel in one easy step. An ideal situation for the easy airplane sleeper. But for the insomniac flier? Not so much. Having taken a few cross-country late night flights and struggled with sleep-deprivation the day after, I am clearly in the later camp. No matter how hard I try, I cannot sleep on planes. I always emerge feeling like a crabby, irate Golum when provoked about his precious ring. Do not cross me. But when...

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What Book Should You Read Next?

Wherever your plans take you this Summer, I hope you have the opportunity to relax and read. Vacations are always a chance to immerse yourself in a good story, unencumbered by life's daily demands. Travel is an opportune time to dive into a book, especially on those long-haul flights. Take advantage of the respite from everyday distractions and get lost in a book. I have compiled a few of my all-time favorites spanning several genres for every type of book lover. Each is incredibly engaging, entertaining, and the kind of book you stay up well past your bedtime to read "just one more chapter". Take our Pack Simply Quiz to reveal your very own personalized book recommendation for Summer travel....

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I Tried United Airline's Basic Economy:
Here's What Happened

United Airlines rolled out Basic Economy fares this year, a lower-price option to entice budget conscious travelers (check out The Points Guy comparing the new basic fares across the major airlines). While I normally fly Delta or Jet Blue, I jumped at a last-minute Basic Economy fare to travel home for Memorial Day weekend. Basic Economy on United offered a $300 savings on an otherwise $600+ last minute ticket. A significant savings, to be sure, but how would travel via Basic Economy compare to an otherwise normal Economy ticket? Here are my thoughts: PROS: Cheap(er) for last minute - A $300 fare difference between Basic Economy and regular Economy for a trip booked only two days in advance is a substantial savings. Forces...

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How to create a sleep cocoon on an airplane

You know those people - the ones who naturally fall asleep on a flight as soon as they sit down? Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I have struggled for years to sleep when flying, with some small gains made through trial and error. For anyone struggling with similar bouts of insomnia, here are a few tips to use on your next flight. NOISEEarplugs + EarphonesDo not travel without them. Earplugs do wonders to mute crying babies, airplane engines, and general human nonsense. Use your earphones as back-up, and be sure to download a few boring podcasts to help induce sleep. LIGHTFacemask + Scarf + HatCreate your own personal cocoon with a triple layer of travel sleeping mask, scarf, and hat...

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How to Get Through Airport Security Smoothly

Getting through airport security can feel more like an unwanted assault on your personal freedoms rather than a gateway to a fun vacation ahead. The many TSA rules and regulations may be difficult to absorb (especially for infrequent fliers), but we are here to help.  For frequent fliers, the list below will seem obvious. Remember, however, for as much as you fly, there are ten people in front of you who do not. Informing all passengers on what to expect and how best to prepare not only helps them, but helps you. Airport Security Tip #1: Wear Slip-On Shoes You need to be an octopus to juggle your many belongings through security. Don't get tied up (literally) with time-consuming laces and bulky shoes....

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