Travel Like A Pro: Screen Pilot’s Favorite Travel Hacks
- Posted by Arielle Rubenstein
- On June 28, 2018
A passion for travel is one of the qualities that ties all hospitality marketers together.
We live for the chance to explore a new place and work tirelessly to share that love with our clients and their potential guests. For more than a decade, Screen Pilot employees have been traveling the world collecting experiences that provide insights into the guest journey.
Needless to say, we’ve accumulated our fair share of travel hacks to make trips of all types more enjoyable.
We hope this list of our best travel tips will inspire you to travel smarter – and more often.
It can be tempting to pack your biggest suitcase to the brim for even the shortest of trips, but many of us have come to realize that packing lighter allows you more freedom while traveling, and it’s always nice to avoid waiting in baggage claim.
- Try organizing your clothing in Packing Cubes: These suitcase organizers help you fit more clothes into your carry on, so you can avoid paying to check your bag.
- Skip packing a clunky neck pillow. Wear a down vest or jacket that can double as a pillow and provide extra warmth in a chilly airplane cabin.
- Stock up on travel-sized toiletries. If you can’t imagine showering without your favorite conditioner, PPC specialist Samantha Gilbert recommends checking the beauty aisle at your local grocery store for sample-sized toiletries and refillable bottles. Make sure that the bottles are under 3.4 ounces so you can pack them in your carry on.
Enjoy The Journey
Whether you’re packing up the car for a road trip or flying across the pond for a European adventure, there are a few ways to make the journey just as enjoyable as the destination.
- Sign up for TSA Precheck. Many of our team members recommend this time (and sanity) saving service that allows you to skip security lines at many airports.
- Book flights directly with the airline. We’re big fans of using Google Flights to compare prices for certain dates but recommend booking directly with the airline to avoid losing your reservation. Account Executive Valerie Erwin said it best: “Travel is stressful enough, booking direct is a major way to protect your travel plans and eliminate any worry when it comes to securing your bookings.” Pro Tip: This also applies to hotel reservations.
- Invest in noise canceling headphones.
- …and with those headphones – listen to podcasts. An exhilarating murder mystery may be just the thing to make those miles or hours fly by.
Conquer Jet Lag
Screen Piloteers are always on the go, which often means having to adjust to a new time zone, stat. So how do us hospitality professionals overcome jet lag?
- Caffeinate yourself. If you land while it’s morning, it can’t hurt to get your caffeine fix before a day of meetings or sight-seeing. Bonus: Your first coffee shop can double as your first photo-op as well if you follow our Director of Content Marketing Rachel’s advice: “I find the best, most Instagram famous coffee shop and LOAD UP!”
- Keep your eyes open. It can be tempting to take a nap as soon as you check-in to your hotel, even after drinking a cup (or three) of coffee. But if you can stay awake all day, you may find that you adjust to the new time zone faster. Chief Cultural Officer, Becky Dibble, suggests avoiding the temptation to nap by taking a cold shower, drinking water, and trying to stay awake until 9 or 10 pm.
- Social Media Coordinator Lauren Leifeste has a similar jet-leg motto: “No naps, lots of exercises, some coffee, and immediately jump back into your normal routine.”
Do As The Locals Do
When visiting a new place, it’s easy to stick to the typical tourist itinerary, especially in a foreign country. We believe that some of the most memorable vacation memories happen when you least expect it, so how can travelers discover authentic experiences?
- Talk to your driver. Put down the phone for a minute and pick your taxi or rideshare driver’s brain. Becky suggests prompting conversation with these questions:
Where can we get the best coffee?
Where is the best spot to see the sunset?
What are the top three things you would show a friend from out of town?
What is your favorite restaurant?
- Avoid tourist menus. In popular tourist destinations like Rome, Italy, it is common for a restaurant to advertise a “tourist” menu in their storefront. These menus are often accompanied by large pictures of the food and English text. If you’re looking to eat where the locals eat, tourist menus are easy traps to avoid.
- Discover authentic restaurants. Another trick to avoid a subpar meal is to walk a few blocks away from the immediate area surrounding a major tourist attraction. Listen and look for places that seem to be catering to local clientele, and don’t worry if you can’t read the menu — there’s an app for that!
Most importantly while traveling – remember to live in the moment.
The most memorable travel experiences are often totally unplanned, like this memory from Griffin, our Director of Partnerships: “I was lost in Cambodia once, driving a moped offroad, and when I asked this old guy for directions he replied, ‘Wherever you go; that’s where you are, man.’”
That just may be our new travel mantra.
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