Posts Tagged ‘Travel tips’

TRAVEL TIP: Christmas in the Sky

June 10, 2019

Flying home from New Orleans last weekend; someone hung a chai spice-scented teabag in the restroom. I’m not saying we all should do this, but we all should do this 😉

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ACTION ITEM: Put the seat back down and wipe off the counter, too.

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TRAVEL TIPS: Slippies

May 1, 2019

I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned this before, but most hotel rooms will leave these cheap, disposable slippers (here’s a 12-pack on Amazon) in your room – I save ‘em and use ‘em when I’m on a long flight and don’t want to wear shoes but absolutely am not stepping into that plane’s bathroom in socks or bare feet.

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ACTION ITEM: Take nice comfortable slippers with you on those long plane trips

TRAVEL TIPS: “How Can This Be A Thing” Part the Infinity

April 27, 2019

International flights sometimes means booking a redeye. Returning from a flight last week from London and, out of the entire aircraft, this person had their window open the entire 11-hour flight keeping at least eight other passengers from sleeping (I always bring a sleep mask but not everyone does).

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ACTION ITEM: Please close the shades when everyone – I mean everyone – is trying to sleep

Alarming

March 20, 2019

Travel tip – unplug the clock in your room. You probably have an alarm on your phone plus the hotel will be thrilled to set a wake up call for you (I do this as a redundant system). These in-room clocks just make the room brighter while you’re trying to sleep plus the previous occupant almost certainly set the alarm for 4:00 am and the housekeeper didn’t reset it.

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ACTION ITEM: Unplug. Now.

Coffee as Social Lubricant and Occupier of Time

March 18, 2019

In more than one of the offices in which I worked I was offered coffee flavored with cardamom called qahwa (hoping I remember this name correctly; the flavors are complex and intense). It was a way for the host to extend a welcome courtesy upon arrival and provide a warm-up to meetings or planned activities. It took me awhile to become accustomed to framing time as an Arab might – schedules are not necessarily fixed and rigid, and business engagements are as much about strengthening relationships as they are about resolving matters at hand. BTW, my local contact Husam Atout gave me a substantial quantity of instant qahwa that I’m happy to share – just reach out to me (quantities are limited!)

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ACTION ITEM: I’ve encountered this critical importance placed on social relationships in places other than the Middle East – in Asia, for example. When you plan business meeting in places like these, be sure to factor in plenty of additional time for social pleasantries; you’ll not only be more successful but you’ll also have a better time.

Bill of Arabia

March 14, 2019

I worked late last year in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) creating a customer use case for client Cisco. It’s probably one of the most challenging and interesting location shoots I’ve ever done and I wanted, in the next few postings, to share a few thoughts it.

As you might imagine, obtaining the correct documentation (passport visa, ATA Carnet) was one of the most complex and time-consuming things I’ve ever done. For my visa, I worked directly with the KSA Embassy in Southern California but, in retrospect, wished I’d worked instead with a broker as the process consumed many hours of effort and follow-up (if you choose to use a broker, I recommend G3 – ask for Mauricio!).

Also, I ended up using a local video crew instead of importing my own gear; the problem was that KSA is not a signatory to international ATA Carnet conventions so I wasn’t certain how the process of importing my own gear into KSA would work out. But in the end, had a great experience with the local crew – at a higher overall project cost but with a huge reduction in complexity.

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ACTION ITEM: If you’re planning travel anywhere in the Middle East, plan as far ahead as possible – and it cannot be too far ahead. My visa is good for the next 5 years

Platinum Status

March 8, 2019

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Got a small upgrade to my airline status this year to Platinum. Choosing an airline as your primary carrier and accruing points can have many benefits that make air travel more tolerable (e.g., better seating, early boarding, first class upgrades and lounge access, etc.), and I highly recommend it. The best part is I can carry up to three cases with me, up to 70 lbs. (about 32kg) each. That’s a huge savings when I have to transport a lot of gear.

ACTION ITEM: If you haven’t already joined a frequent flyer/hotel/car rental club, do it now, even if you don’t consider yourself a frequent traveler. Plus, many clubs aggregate your flyer, hotel, and car rental plans as points multipliers so there you go.

Customary

November 3, 2017

My clients (Kristin Poulton and Jim Barnett, both of QAD, Inc.) patiently waiting at the customs counter at Birmingham Airport (BHX).

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Our gear was left on the tarmac for an hour, then another 30 minutes waiting for an agent to appear. Traveling with gear means being an exporter/importer, with all the preparation and paperwork you can imagine that entails. I’ve done it about a dozen times; Kristin and Jim have both become experts.

 

ACTION ITEM: Do not travel overseas with gear without full documentation, usually in the form of an ATA Carnet.

Sink or Sync

July 17, 2017

Here’s a tip for being part of team traveling for business (which also works exquisitely for family travel): make sure, wherever possible, each person carries the same brand and/or model of electronic device (phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) as other members; that way you all also carry the same chargers and accessories! When a charger or other accessory goes kaput for one member of the team (or family!), they can share another member’s charger without having to make a bothersome side trip to an electronics retailer.

ACTION ITEM: Planning a trip? Share technical requirements before you get to the airport

Tiny Bottles

June 21, 2017

This is one of my must-have travel accessories, tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce (though they’re also available in more convenient packets, I vastly prefer these cute little bottles). Sometimes dining on the road can be less than inspiring and Tabasco adds a needed kick. But when I fly (and assuming I don’t need to climb into a rental car after arrival) I often try to squeeze in an early morning Bloody Mary, turbo-charged by a few shakes of this tiny treasure.

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