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Sep
21

Man, I wish I could do that!

four-hour-work-week

four-hour-work-week

Ever heard of Tim Ferriss? Well, I hadn’t either. He’s the guy who writes best-selling books like “The 4-Hour Workweek” and “The 4-Hour Chef.” His whole reason for being is to basically see how fast and how efficiently he can complete a task.

He set out to see how fast he could make it from his house to the boarding gate at San Francisco Airport.

And boy was he fast. Using Uber, a cashless car service, and Clearcard, a fast-pass for airport security, he made it from home to gate in 20 minutes. To put this into context, the average weight time is 33 minutes on the security line alone.

uber

uber

“I had lunch and polished off two conference calls before my friend even got his shoes back on,” Mr. Ferriss said.

Getting frequent-flying entrepreneur travel right is an art form. They have perfected the art of traveling comfortably, without anxiety, wasted time or wasted money.

Here’s some of what they’ve mastered:

Designing Your Trip

trip it

trip it

Ever heard of TripIt? It’s a web site and free app that allows users simply to forward all you flight email confirmations toplans@tripit.com and everything is instantly organized into a digital itinerary that can be synced with calendars and shared with friends and family. The itinerary, organized chronologically from flight to hotel and everything in between, includes all the essentials: addresses, reservation numbers, weather forecasts (notes can be added, too). When your flight lands, pull up your itinerary on your smartphone and tap “directions,” and maps, along with step-by-step instructions on how to get from A to B, will appear. No need to test your phone battery and your patience with GPS. Sound incredible? It is.

Another handy, free app endorsed by some of the travel experts is Room. This stores your room information just in case you forget—some people travel so much they actually forget their room numbers.

google

google

When traveling internationally, Krista Canfield, make sure to keep Google Translate handy. There’s also a free app that translates words and phrases between more than 60 languages.

Did your flight get canceled? Well, the only thing worse than being stuck in an airport without a flight is being simultaneously stuck in a phone maze unable to reach a customer service representative.  GetHuman.com is a Web site and free app that tells you the swiftest way to reach a live operator (for example: dial the 800 number, then press 1 and then 4).

world nomads

world nomads

Safeguard yourself and your possessions with insurance from WorldNomads, which is more comprehensive than many other policies. It covers an array of sports and adventure activities, lost bags, health care, even necessities like food if your flight is delayed. You can get a quote on the Web site — for instance, a weeklong policy covering two people (under age 67) traveling anywhere in the world for a week beginning July 10 was $98. When his camera was stolen, Mr. Hutchins said “all I had to do was get a police report and send them the receipt, and they paid us back.”

Packing

victorinox

victorinox

Victorinox backpacks are great because they are durable and can be used for hiking yet also have wheels.

Keep an extra set of phone and computer chargers packed and ready to go in your carry-on.

Should you need to bring a computer, Mr. Hutchins suggests buying a lower-endnetbook (about $250) specifically for travel so you don’t fret about it being damaged or stolen.

To charge your devices in foreign countries, pack an extension cord with room for three plugs, which means he has to bring only one converter for all of his gadgets. To charge devices on the go, Mr. Ferriss opts for the PowerGen (about $35 on Amazon) because it’s small and can feed both his iPhone and his camera.

Hacking the Airport

Face it: It’s hard to arrive at the airport at some perfect, magical hour when you can just waltz onto the plane without waiting at the gate. Go early.

Hit an airport lounge replete with unlimited coffee, snacks and Wi-Fi.

uber

uber

To get to the airport without cracking open a wallet,  go for Uber, a text-for-a-ride, cashless (and no-tips!) car service that has flat rates (to and from airports and between cities) as well as rates by the mile and by the minute (when traveling at or below 11 m.p.h.). To use it, sign up on Uber.com and when you want a lift, text your address and city  to UBR-CAB and you’ll receive a reply with an approximate arrival time. You’ll get another text when the car is there. After the ride, the credit card you have on file will be charged and a receipt will be sent to you via e-mail. No more idling curbside at the airport waiting for change or a credit card receipt. In San Francisco, the base fare for the cheapest car is $5, plus $3.25 for each mile within the city. (The minimum fare is $10.) Mr. Fernandez said that when his plane lands he messages Uber with his terminal number. They’ll be waiting for you by the time you get off the plane.

Clear Card back

Clear Card back

At the security line, programs like Global Entry expedite the screening process. Another option is to register for a Clearcard ($179 a year), which uses biometrics (fingerprint and eye scanning) to whisk you through designated fast lanes at a handful of international airports.

Or go old school and  as you approach the X-ray belt, put your shoes in the first bin, your laptop and liquids in the second bin, and your carry-on bag in the last bin. This way, when you’re waiting for them on the other side of the metal detector, you’ll be able to put your shoes back on first, then grab your laptop and liquids and, finally, return them to your bag.

Staying Healthy

pumped

pumped

Mr. Ferris is a big fan of Quantum Super Lysine+ supplements (about $8 for 90 tablets) a day before his vacation and at the end to boost his immune system (if the trip is less than three days he takes the tablets the entire time). He also uses a Neti bottle (about $15) to clean his sinuses, and sleeps with an eye mask and earplugs.

And other issues….

parking-tickets up the yahoo

parking-tickets up the yahoo

Park It: Sometimes it’s cheaper to pay for a parking ticket (or two) than airport parking — at least on Mr. Ferriss’s street.  A monthlong trip cost him $115 in parking tickets compared with $540 for airport parking.

Stake Out Your House: When he’s on the road Mr. Ferriss uses iControl software, which allows him to receive e-mails with video clips from infrared cameras in his house and to receive text alerts on his phone about who’s going in and out of his home.

Lighten Up: Mr. Ferriss, who sometimes travels to places where safety might be a concern, brings along a Fenix or SureFire flashlight, which he says are so bright they can double as weapons. “They can be used for self-defense, to temporarily blind an assailant,” he said. “Like an optical pepper spray.”

Wow, i’m tired already. Next blog? Is traveling a young man’s game?

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