Travel hacks from the speaker’s trail
The last few years have put me on a lot of planes. After spending 10 years toing and froing from Ethiopia and then a torturous stint in Cambodia, I was well accustomed to rough travel. The longest I went without a shower was ten days in the boondocks of rural East Africa. Fast forward to today and I am on the speaker’s trail, giving keynotes to corporate audiences on doing business differently, courage, killer communication and maverick thinking.
The speaker’s trail is the opposite of rough travel. It’s all snazzy hotels and limo transfers. After rats on the roof, bucket flush toilets and dirty sheets in Africa and Asia, I’ll never say no to a five-star hotel and a chocky on my pillow.
Here are my top five travel hacks from the hard-earned road. Enjoy and share. Bon voyage!
1. Only travel with hand luggage.
If I can do three weeks in Africa with hand luggage alone, you can do a weekend on the Gold Coast. If your toiletries bag is bigger than your head, you have a problem. Travellers always pack too many shoes. Only pack the shoes you fly in and a pair of flip-flops. Every item in your hand luggage should audition to be there. Be brutal but always chuck in a sarong. This can serve as a wrap, a scarf, a bag, a towel, a picnic rug. So many useful things in one small item.
2. Get yourself to the airport using Carhood.
This genius service lets you drive your car to a location close to the airport (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane at this stage), where you lob the keys to a friendly valet. Valet drops you at departures and then rents out your car while you are travelling. You receive a percentage of the rental income and they wash your car, even if no one hires it. Then they collect you at arrivals when you fly home. This is cheaper than parking at the airport and your car comes out sparkling with a full tank of petrol. They even take cars like mine which have a ding in the front bumper from that time a neighbour’s car kissed the front of mine. Use this referral link for a $15 credit for you and a kickback for me to fund that ding fix: CLICK HERE.
3. Fly business class on the cheap.
If you work for an SME with more than $1M in turnover then you should register with iFLYflat who will advise you on how to maximise the right credit card loyalty points to “pay” for business class at half the price, everywhere you go. True story. Follow Steve Hui on Linkedin and never sniff the air in cattle class again.
4. Use the time in the air to do deep work.
Most flights still don’t offer WiFi so make the most of the silence and read or use the time to smash out emails which will send when you land or hit WiFi. Invest in a little fold-out keyboard that talks to your phone so you don’t need to cart a laptop everywhere you go. I do some of my best writing in the air. I’m writing this article on a flight to Manila.
5. Have fun.
Transit days can be a bore, so make the most of the weirdness of it all. My mate Bernard Salt is a demographer and he reviews fruit platters on his travels, posting them to his social media profiles with witty commentary. He spends a lot of time on the road giving 150 speeches a year. Once Bernard and I did a national speaking tour together and we studied the size of chicken schnitzels relative to the local population. We concluded that the smaller the population, the bigger the schnitzel. Shepparton took out first prize. Their schnitzels are bigger than your toiletries bag. MC Toby Travanner posts pics of his legroom on planes to his Instagram account. Do what you have to do to have FUN.
This was my pillow in a hotel in Manila. I will never tire of clean white sheets.
Lucy Bloom has been a professional keynote speaker since 2004. For more info on her speech topics and availability go to thelucybloom.com or try most social platforms with this handle @thelucybloom