Travel is stressful for just about everyone, whether you’re hitting the road for fun or taking to the skies on business. We have a few travel tips that will take the turbulence out of any journey. Read on to get better seats on a plane, more entertainment on the move, nicer food on the road, and more.
Find the Best Seat on Any Plane via SeatGuru
Even for seasoned travelers, long plane trips are a bear. The simple key to toughing one out is to get a good seat. SeatGuru is a free service that provides you with a detailed, color-coded layout of virtually any plane to help you find the seat with the best legroom and most convenient nearby power outlets while avoiding nonreclining seats stuck right next to the john.
Bonus tip: Not that we’re advocating messing with your airline seat (or with other passengers), but if you’re desperate to prevent the person in front from reclining into your precious space, try wedging a water bottle between your open tray and the seat in front of you.
Convert a DVD to a Video File, and Endure a Long Flight
All you want to do is sit back and watch a couple of movies on your 6-hour cross-country flight–but playing a DVD will drain your laptop battery before the second flick’s final car chase even starts. The solution? Copy the movies to your hard drive to play them with less drain on your battery. Download HandBrake, use it to rip the DVD to the hard drive of your other computer, and then transfer that file to your portable for a little cinema on the go. If you have no interest in tweaking the file settings of your DVD rips, give bitRipper a try for simple, one-click rips.
Follow One Bag’s Packing Tips to Lighten Your Travel Bag
As if the long wait at baggage claim weren’t reason enough to reduce your luggage to carry-on only, the extra fees for checking large bags ($25 or so each) have most travelers strategically planning their necessities. If you struggle to achieve single-suitcase bliss, let One Bag give you a hand. This site offers lots of useful packing tips, including suggestions for what to bring, tips on what you should pack it in, and methods for folding, rolling, and arranging your stuff so everything fits.
Find Wi-Fi Hotspots and Stay Connected Everywhere
Cost: $29 (free trial available)
Sometimes getting work (or play) done when you’re away from home hinges entirely on whether you can find a Wi-Fi hotspot. Fortunately you have a lot of options for finding Wi-Fi quickly. First, if you’re sufficiently foresighted to check before you find yourself without a connection, JiWire’s Wi-Fi Finder indexes both free and for-a-fee hotspots all over the globe. If you’re in more of a pinch, turn to your Wi-Fi-equipped smartphone and scout the neighborhood for a promising hotspot.
The best choice, though, may be to let your smartphone make the connection. PdaNet is a $29 app that works with Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm OS, and Windows Mobile handsets to get your laptop online through either a USB or Blue