Travel tips

Ziploc bags


Along with the black garbage bags I wrote about previously, I packed Ziploc bags that were useful for a number of things. I have found two sizes worked well, the sandwich and gallon sized bags.

The sandwich bags are good to keep coins, littlesouvenirs, snacks, food leftovers, and cords packed nicely. While packing, I wrapped cords up and put them in separate bags with their power adapters. When you’re in a hurry while travelling, just pull out the desired bag and leave everything else undisturbed. No tangled mess of cords to untangle.

I keep a bag of quarters and pennies with me for the times when I come across a penny smashing machine. No loose change bouncing around the bottom of my backpack. A small bag keeps them together.


Window seat


The window seat at times can be like the front seat of a car when you’re a kid. There is a fight over who says “shotgun” first, or an agreement where one gets the front seat on the odd days of the month, the other the even days of the month. It’s not surprising, as it can offer the best view of the clouds and the ground.


The armrest


Among the thirty flights I took on the All You Can Jet pass in September and October, I had the opportunity to sit in the middle seat a few times. Should I say the unfortunate opportunity? And there was usually a battle over the armrest.

Often times both seatmates will take up the middle armrests, leaving the middle seat with none. Further exacerbating the issue, elbows cross the boundary into the middle seat’s space. This leads to prodding, poking, rubbing, bumping, pushing, or a number of other irritating acts that are usually unintentional and the offender unaware. In response to these actions, the middle seat is left to resort to pushing back or giving up.  The ownership of the armrests is shown in the figure below.


Carry-on bags


Before the All You Can Jet month, I was a newbie and pretty awful at packing for vacations.  Often I would have a backpack, a large checked suitcase, and occasionally a carry-on suitcase for those trips with lots of souvenirs coming home.  How else was I going to bring home all the beads and stuffed toys I caught at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Three days in advance


Three days can feel like a long time.  Or it can feel too short.  The All You Can Jet pass from JetBlue had some gotchas when planning flights three days in advance.  The terms of the pass stated you could cancel and book flights up to three days in advance with no penalty.  It gave a lot of freedom and could make for some crazy travel plans.  Any cancellations within three days often meant bad news.

Once you passed the three day mark, you faced either a cancellation fee of $50, or worse, being stranded for at least three days.  The cancellation fee wasn’t a surprise, and is actually more generous than fees other airlines charge.  It still stings in the wallet when you have to cancel unexpectedly.



I discovered a few cities that have very convenient transportation that is cheap or even better, free.

In downtown Denver, there is a free shuttle that travels up and down 16th street. Hop on and off whenever you feel like it. Shuttles come every few minutes, making it very convenient to spend all day exploring.


An unintentionally healthy diet


While travelling on the road for a month can be a challenge to one’s diet, I found the opposite happened. Frequently travellers turn to fast food restaurants and a quick hamburger between tourist attractions. That is often the only food source alongside an interstate, except for the gas station with hot dogs and Slim Jims. Not the healthiest for 30 days straight.




Travelling for thirty days constantly on the go takes a lot of energy.  For some, pushing through the first week or two of non-stop travel might not be hard, but I can promise that a lack of sleep will catch up with you no matter who you are.

I found quick catnaps at all different times of the day to be helpful in rejuvenating my energy level for the remainder of the day.  The day after a redeye flight often saw a catnap, either in the car or in a hotel room.



Finding the right balance between having enough clean clothes to avoid frequent trips to the laundromat and lugging around a big suitcase for the whole month was an interesting game. It took a little practice but I ended up with two washing machine loads and one small load in the hotel sink for the whole month

Packing pants that can be worn several times with several different shirts helps limit the amount of clothing needed for a month of travel. In my case, blue jeans were generic enough for my travels.