Maybe you’ve got a cache of vacation days stockpiled or you’re just itching to take advantage of Summer Fridays and get an ice cold beer in your hand and some sand between your toes. Either way, it’s time to plan a proper summer getaway. Summer travel can be about as nightmarish as it comes and require a solid 30-minute airport bar cram session to get mentally prepared but don’t sweat it, we’ve got you.
We’re going to help you alleviate some of that headache with a solid set of guidelines that are going to help you minimize stress and expense and maximize fun. And not to sound like your high school sports coach but these days, relatively painless, (almost) stress-free travel really comes down to proper preparation. So with that, let’s get you prepared shall we?
Book Like A Pro
Hot take alert: airfare pricing is completely unpredictable and there’s no exact science to it. So, that can make buying a well-priced plane ticket as difficult as hitting a target with a chainsaw while doing a handstand in the back of a pickup truck driving 100 mph backward on a suspension bridge. Ok, right, so maybe that’s obvious at this point. Thankfully, there are some cool folks out there who are doing the heavy lifting for you. Our go-to, Dollar Flight Club, emails you deals on significantly discounted flights (an average of $500+ savings per round trip flight!) to a ton of cool destinations like Greece, Thailand, Europe, The Carribean, and more. The service is free and only takes an email or text sign up. All you have to do is kick back and wait for that sweet deal to come through and then pull the trigger. Easier than ordering a bloody mary at the airport gate bar, right?
Pack Like A Champ
No matter where you’re headed or for how long, packing the proper bag is going to keep your style on point and your vibe stress-free. We've laid out a simple, easy-to-follow packing plan and it can easily be doubled for longer trips. TL,DR, the key is versatile items that can work in a variety of scenarios. Easy mixing and matching equals style and flexibility plus a lighter bag. Follow this checklist and you’re gonna be locked in for a perfect (and stylish) weekend or week-long trip.
Actually Look Fly While You Fly
These days, you’re bound to see some pretty horrendous “style” at the airport. For some reason, people seem to have forgotten that even though they want comfort when they have to sit in a confined space for long periods of time, that shouldn't give them license to dress like they just rolled out of bed at 2 pm after a 48 hour Jack Daniels bender. So, unless that is the exact case (if so and you're getting on a flight, good for you), you're better than that. Look, we’re not one of those unrealistic outfits that are endorsing the ridiculous and impractical notion that men should “dress up to fly like the good old days”, but, that doesn't mean your TMNT pajama pants, Ugg boots, and an 8-year-old Yankees World Series t-shirt are appropriate either. In addition to creating sweet VR experiences, meat made of plants, and scary-as-hell robots, technology is helping us stay stylish woke while we get more and more comfortable with a range of technical fabrics that are cool, comfortable, and perfect for travel. From chinos and denim to technical wool suits, stretch fabrics were made to travel and will keep you comfortable (and relatively wrinkle-free) whether you're sprinting to the gate or cramming in a window seat. So while we're not opposed to a stylish pair of joggers with the right finishing touches (a button-up or sweater instead of a t-shirt) consider what stretch fabrics can do to elevate both your style and comfort when you're in the skies. And, for the record, yes, slip-on shoes are still the move.
Airport Waiting Is For Suckers
TSA PreCheck is the single greatest thing to happen to travel in the last 10 years. While it’s not as big of a secret anymore it can still cut your security wait times by up to 75%, not to mention no stripping down and unpacking your bag. Even if you’re not a regular international traveler, being stuck in a long ass customs line just once or twice a year when you return to the U.S. can still be a huge drag. Global Entry, a program for “low-risk” travelers, gets you through the line faster. Along with a $100 fee (valid for 5 years), it requires online paperwork, a background check (done by TSA) and an in-person interview for approval. It can benefit you in domestic travel too since Global Entry makes you automatically eligible for TSA PreCheck. You can also apply for TSA PreCheck ($85) separately of course, and after a few minutes of filling out online paperwork and a small fee, you will have instantly upgraded your travel experience immensely by taking out one of the biggest time wasters and stressors.
Pack Booze In Your Carry-On
As they say, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, and who wants to pay $9 for a tiny plastic bottle of Jack Daniels? The good news: as long as you comply with TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids in carry-on luggage, you can bring alcohol – up to 140 proof – on your flight. That is, it must be in a three-ounce bottle in your one-quart Ziploc bag. There’s no limit on how many bottles you can bring as part of your carry-on, as long as all your liquids fit in that single quart bag. It also has to be in its unopened original packaging so now you have an excuse to buy those mini bottles at your local liquor store. Couple that with an in-flight cocktail kit and you’ll be dialed in for a proper But, be forewarned though, technically you can only consume alcohol on an aircraft that a flight attendant serves you. Buuuuut, if you play it lowkey and act like you’ve been there before, you can probably get away with it.