Tips to Improve Business Travel
by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball & PinballSales.com
I travel a lot, according to some people. It’s been over 140,000 miles in the air for the last few years promoting pinball, mostly.
In that time I’ve picked up some travel tips that seem to work for me. It’s appropriate that I’m writing while I’m on a red eye to Frankfurt.
My friends on social media often get to see where I am, where I’m going and where I’ve been. Sometimes it’s a dizzying pace. Earlier this week, I went to Licensing Expo in Las Vegas for the day. That was a 3 a.m. wakeup and an arrival at 9 a.m. Vegas time, putting me in line to be one of the first into the show. I had meetings all day and flew out at 9:30 p.m. and was back in New Jersey before 6 a.m. the next morning. I went home, slept two hours and I was at my desk by 9.
Superman I’m not and by now, readers know how I feel about sleep, but eight hours a night is starting to sound good.
This flight to Frankfurt I’m on left late –– 8:15 p.m. –– and arrives at 9:30 in the morning. Once I land, I’ll make my way to the Willy Wonka launch party at Freddy’s Pinball Paradise. That ends around 9 tonight, then I have a flight back home to New Jersey in the morning. Sure, it would be nice to enjoy a bit of time in Germany, but I’ve got to get back. After all, tomorrow night the Yankees play the Mets at Yankee Stadium and we’re going!
So as you can see by just this short window of time in my life, I do travel a lot. I decided it might be helpful if I shared some of my travel tips (in no specific order):
When I sit down in my seat on the plane, I immediately change my watch to the time zone of my arrival. If it’s time to eat or sleep, I do what I should do at my destination.
I never book first class. I usually get upgraded. Why waste the money?
I don’t drink much during the flight so I don’t need the bathroom often.
I don’t usually eat the food served. I bring something with me. Exceptions could be international flights in first class.
Once on my birthday, flying back from Hawaii, the flight attendants served me an ice cream sundae and warm chocolate chip cookies.
I always book an aisle seat. If I want to get up I don’t have to climb over anyone.
As chatty as I usually am, on flights I clam up. I don’t converse with the person next to me. The exception, of course, is if the person is my wife or is famous and starts the conversation first, like Steve Forbes.
I avoid exit row seats. They come with too much responsibility and they don’t recline.
Bulkheads are good but your backpack needs to go in the overhead on takeoff and landing.
Always connect to WiFi. It keeps you connected to the world and gives you something to do when awake.
Make sure you sleep on overnight flights.
Tweet the airline CEO when you have a legitimate complaint. It gets a response.
Don’t be a pain in the neck. Smile and bring some chocolates when you board and give them to the flight attendants. You’ll always be surprised.
On turbulent flights, watch the flight attendants. They will be a calming presence.
Flying today can still be fun if you manage your expectations.
Finally, the best part is always coming home.
Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999, PinballSales.com, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011 he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at jack@ jerseyjackpinball.com.