12 Travel Tips from a Touring Magician

I travel a lot for my job. Wherever anyone wants my magic show, colleges, corporate clients, theaters, I go. I’ve performed in 49 out of 50 states (still waiting on Hawaii). I’ve picked up a few things about travel that you can use when you travel. Travel is about being comfortable, saving time, and saving money. I hope you find some of these useful!

  1. Buy yourself Bose in ear noise canceling headphones for plane travel. They have changed my life.
  2. Sign up for the express programs from rental car companies it will save you tons of time. My favorite rental car companies are Budget, National and Dollar. Sign up on their websites before you rent. Now you can skip the rental car counter line and go straight to your car. Saves tons of time!
  3. Never buy rental car insurance or prepay your gas! These are expensive up sells. If you have insurance on your personal car then that covers the rental car. Sometimes the credit card you use to book the car has their own $0 deductible insurance for rental cars, call your credit card company to check. Prepaying gas? I have no clue how to drive the correct amount of miles to make sure I bring the car back with the right amount of gas to make me come out ahead, even with slightly discounted gas. The rental car companies count on our miscalculations to make lots of money off of this convenience.
  4. If you fly even semi often stick with one airline, get the credit card that goes with that airline and watch your points build up. I am a Southwest guy. They have the best frequent flyer program benefits: the companion pass, free wifi, express line access, and free drink coupons. Everyone enjoys no change fees, 2 free checked bags, and the best customer service. The two big ones for me are no change fees and the companion pass. I’m never penalized for changing my flights or canceling. With the companion pass you can delegate 1 person to fly with you for free for a year. That’s right, every ticket you buy with money or points you can add your companion on for FREE! 
  5. If you don’t absolutely need to stay in a particular hotel then you should be using Hotwire and Priceline Express Deals. I usually book my hotels the night before with one of these sites. They offer deeply discounted hotel rooms. The catch is that you don’t know what hotel you’re getting.  But they do give you lots of information like the star level, reviews, what amenities are offered, and a general area of where it’s located. Hotels use these services to book rooms that would otherwise be empty. I can usually find the best deals the night before because hotels get desperate to fill rooms. Like right now, I’m staying in a Double Tree by Hilton a 3.5 star hotel for $65 a night, retail price is $110 a night! 
  6. Be nice! You don’t get anything by being mean or entitled. No one wants to go the extra mile for someone like that. Being nice doesn’t mean being fake, people can smell that coming from a mile away. Really try and be sincere with people. Smile and chat. Pick something besides the weather to talk about. You’ll usually snap this person out of their routine and you’ll make a connection. Even if you don’t need something at that moment, it’s always better to have a friend if you do. If nothing else you probably brightened up someones day, and most likely yours too. When you’re on the road as much as I am, traveling gets very boring and tedious. Connecting with another human being for a minute or two is a breath of fresh air:)
  7. Use a hanger to sleep longer. Do you know that annoying stream of light that sneaks though the curtains in the morning? It always seems to be directed right into your eyes and wakes you up too early. This is an old trick but worth repeating. Go to the closet and get a hanger with pants clips on them. Fold over the curtain and clip it using one of the pant clips. Problem solved. Don’t forget to set your alarm.
  8. Need to wake up at 3 am to catch your flight and you’re going to bed at midnight? Don’t take any chances that you’ll hit the snooze. Turn up the volume on your cell phone and plug it in across the room so you have no choice but to get out of bed to turn it off. I learned this one the hard way by turning off alarms in my sleep and missing flights.
  9. Don’t have time to stop to eat? I’ve found the easiest food to eat while driving is Subway. If you are super hungry and need a footlong sub just ask them to wrap each half separately. Now you don’t have to balance one half of your sandwich on your lap while eating the other half, while trying not to crash. Safety first!
  10. Never buy toothpaste again! Every time you check into a hotel, tell them you forgot your toothpaste. They have free samples behind the desk for you! I just saved you like $8.79 a year. You’re welcome.
  11. Always pack a deck of cards in your bag. You never know when you will be required to do a card trick.
  12. Learn a cool card trick, watch video below.
Posted on October 4, 2016 and filed under Travel.