35 Things That Make Travel Suck Less

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A little while back, with no particular outcome in mind, I started jotting down some of the little tricks that make my life on the road marginally easier. Two months later, the list is now long enough that I’m actively fighting off the temptation to spin up yet another travel blog. On the one hand, it seems to make more sense than a single blog entry with dozens of suggestions. On the other, we have enough travel blogs.

Anyway, for those of you who don’t travel much some of these may be useful. For my fellow frequent travelers, a lot of these will be obvious, but there may be a few things in here you missed. Either way, I share these in the hope that someone, somewhere, finds at least one of them useful.

Don’t Travel with Me

The most important rule, as my best friend “helpfully” pointed out on Twitter, is that you do not want to travel with me. He’s not the only friend that will ask me which flight I’m on in order to book something – anything – else. Poseidon hates me and everything in my life, so avoid me if at all possible.

Roll Your Clothes

Once upon a time, I thought I invented this technique, because technically I did. The only problem, as YouTube eventually revealed, is that a couple of hundred people invented it before I did. Anyway, if you’re terrible at folding clothes and/or refuse to do so, rolling your clothes will keep them reasonably wrinkle free while making them much easier to pack. Also, it’s much, much faster. If you need this demonstrated, type “roll clothes packing” into YouTube and take your pick.

Don’t Check Bags

Unless you have a very good reason – oversized equipment, you’re moving or you’re bringing home some very nice beers – don’t check bags. To paraphrase Woody Hayes, only three things can happen when you check bags and two of them are bad. So don’t.

MLC

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Which brings me to the first product recommendation. Near as I can determine, I bought my current Patagonia MLC (Maximum Legal Carryon) in 2007. The bag still looks more or less like new, and in the seven years since I bought mine I’ve convinced maybe a dozen other people to get them as well. It’s the perfect size, it’s easy to pack and the backpack straps (or single D strap) are much more versatile than the roller which works perfectly in the airport but nowhere else. The MLC is, pretty easily, the best piece of luggage I’ve ever owned.

Prepare for Security

One of the easiest ways to sort rookie from professional travelers is the security line. The former will frantically begin to take apart their bag, remove their belt and shoes and so on once they hit the line. Professional travelers, however, have been doing that on their walk up. By the time they hit the line, their wallet and phone are stored, their belt and shoes are off, and their laptop is in a tray. Think about the security before you actually get there.

Store Glasses in Your Shoes

For business travel, I usually try to travel without my glasses, which I only wear for driving, or my sunglasses, as I’m sadly almost never outside when at conferences. But every so often I either need them or forget I have them on, and am stuck with them on the road. If you’re the type of person who also travels with a glasses case, you’re all set. I am not, and as a result had to baby my glasses so they didn’t get crushed. Then I started simply storing them in my shoes. Problem solved: the semi-rigid shoe protects the glasses in your bag, and you don’t have to bother with glasses cases.

Invest in Organization Gear

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For hardcore travelers obsessed with weight, you’ll want to pass, but for everyone else I recommend getting some gear to help you organize – the weight notwithstanding. Whether that’s cables, cosmetics, batteries or something else, it’s nice to not have to dig through a rats nest of cables and other items to get something from your bag. Some people prefer stuff sacks or packing cubes, but I personally use a Quirky cord wrap for my Macbook charger and a Skooba cable sleeve for micro-USB cables, FitBit cable, Macbook VGA/DVI dongles, a Mophie battery, flash drive, 3.5mm line-in and so on.

Line-In Adapter

Speaking of line-in cabling, given that pretty much every rental car these days has an Aux line-in plug, there’s no sense in not carrying a 3.5mm cable with you. First of all, they’re cheap: $0.88 at present on Monoprice. Second, if you have to drive any distance, it’s nice to be able to plug in your smartphone to get turn-by-turn nav piped into the regular stereo, as well as being able to listen to whatever music, books, or podcasts you have onboard.

Audiobooks / Podcasts

Which in turn reminds me, store up on audiobooks (Smart Audiobook Player) and podcasts (Pocketcasts). They’re a great way to turn otherwise dead time in the car or airport into something productive or entertaining. I’ve been able cycle through everything from Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe novels to Mike Duncan’s History of Rome podcast while headed somewhere in the car, which is a big win timewise.

Ebooks

I held out for as long as I could, but ebooks are simply a better option for the frequent traveler. They’re lighter, easier to read on planes, always with you, and allow you to purchase virtually everything rather than what an airport has on stock. Used to be that physical books at least had the advantage in that you could read them during takeoff and landing, but the FAA finally killed that. I still very much like physical books and have no intention of getting rid of our library at home, but if you travel frequently, you might as well go ebooks now, because you will eventually anyway. In keeping with the recommended strategy of getting your hardware from Apple, your services from Google and your media from Amazon, all of my ebooks are bought through the Kindle store. I don’t, however, carry a separate Kindle device; all of my reading is done on my phone (Moto X) or tablet (Nexus 7).

Multi-port Travel Charger

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Another big no-no for the lightweight travel people, I use and recommend a multi-port travel charger like the Belkin here. Most people these days are traveling with multiple devices – laptop and phone, maybe a tablet or Kindle as well – and the Belkin makes it easier to charge all of these at once, even if you have to split a single outlet with someone at an airport. They’re a bit heavy, but worth it.

Always Be Charging

With or without the Belkin, the cardinal rule for any serious traveler is ABC: Always Be Charging. You never know when you’re going to need a given device, so charging when you have outlets available is absolutely mandatory. It took me only one miserable overnight flight with a dead phone and laptop to learn this lesson; hopefully you won’t need that.

Pack an Extra Battery

Chances are, even if you’re vigilant about charging, you will at some point be in a position where your device is nearly dead and there are no available means to recharge it. In such circumstances, it’s nice to have a backup option. I’ve traveled with a Mophie external battery pack for a few years now, but if I was buying today I’d get something like this one from Monoprice. You never know when you’re going to need extra juice.

Pack Extra Cables

Whether you’re an Android or iPhone person, pack extra cables. The lifespan on them isn’t great, and eventually you’re going to need to charge your device and find yourself with a dead cable. An extra cable is a lifesaver in this case, and again Monoprice has them both for reasonable prices.

Pack Extra Headphones

In a legitimate disaster scenario – you left your primary noise-canceling headphones (we’ll get to these next) at home – make sure you’re not stuck with the horrific ones airlines hand out, or worse none at all. Keep a cheap extra set in your bag; the set that came with my original Moto X lives in my bag for just such an emergency.

Invest in Noise-Canceling Headphones

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I resisted these for years, a) because they’re expensive and b) because the recommended models tended to be bulky over-the-ear types (e.g. Bose QC-15s) which can get hot and suck if you wear a hat. This was dumb. If you travel a lot, I recommend you go out right now and get the Bose 20‘s. You have no idea how loud flights actually are until you wear a set of these. The noise-canceling is absurd, they charge over micro-USB and they’re comfortable in-ear headphones. Seriously, they’re magic. Unless you’re an audiophile, in which case you’re on your own and may God have mercy on your soul.

Global Entry / Pre

Another thing I waited far, far too long to do was to get registered for Global Entry / Pre. If you travel internationally at all, spend the extra $15 to get Global Entry, and if you don’t just get Pre. It’s like traveling back in time before we became so scared of our own shadows that we thought it would be ok to virtually strip-search everyone before they fly. One pro-tip with scheduling Global Entry interviews: if your local interview location is booked way out, check places you fly regularly. Logan was a four month delay, but JFK was four weeks. But seriously, I can’t stress this enough: if you travel frequently, Pre is a life changer. Even more so if you consistently opt out of the porno-scanners for the sake of principle.

Get There Early

Pre access may get you through airport security lines more quickly, but don’t count on it. People laugh at how early I insist on getting to the airport – 90 minutes minimum for a domestic flight, ideally two hours – but I’m never stressed when things inevitably go wrong. And every so often, I’m able to catch a delayed earlier flight. There’s a school of thought that says that if you don’t miss at least a flight a year you’re getting there too early, but let’s be honest: are you really going to use that extra half hour or hour all that well? In my case, another few minutes kicking around at home are not worth the stress and hassle, so as Kottke says, to survive airplane travel, I get there early.

Be Nice to Service-people

You should be nice to people all the time, of course. But worst case, be nice to service people – whether they’re airline counter reps, your server/bartenders on the road or the people cleaning your hotel room. First, they have hard, often thankless jobs where customers are prone to taking out their frustrations on them. Don’t be that person. Second, they may or may not be able to help you when things go wrong, but they’re more likely to try if you’re calm and patient with them. And they can almost certainly make your situation worse if they choose to. I won’t name the airline, but when flying out of Chicago years ago a rep confessed that she had intentionally misdirected the bags of a customer who absolutely blew up at her without provocation. I approved of it then, and I do now. Don’t be an asshole.

Use TripIt

True, TripIt has been updated essentially zero times since they were acquired, and granted, Google Now is getting better and better at parsing travel details, but until it’s perfect, just use TripIt. If you allow it to scan your inbox(es), you’ll never have to lift a finger. All of your travel plans will be indexed and housed in one central location, so the next time the hotel can’t find your reservation you won’t have to dig through email search to produce the confirmation number.

Use Priceline

If you’re working for a big company that has negotiated rates with larger hotel chains, you can skip this one. For everyone else, it’s worth remembering Priceline’s “Name Your Price” feature when it comes to booking hotels (and possibly flights, though my schedule is never flexible enough for that). I pretty regularly save at least 40% or better off listed rates, and have approached the 60% figure they cite multiple times. There are a few catches: 1) you don’t accumulate any hotel rewards points (unless you’re nice to the receptionist and they sneak you in) for Priceline stays, 2) you don’t get to pick the actual hotel and 3) there are no refunds or cancellations. But you can save enough that it is frequently worth it. To use Priceline effectively, first check the inventory: if there are very few rooms available, don’t bother. You won’t save much. If inventory is high, however, check out biddingtraveler.com for reasonable bids for your area. Then select the highest hotel quality and narrowest geographic area you can, because if you get rejected you’ll have to expand out from there.

Collect Points

Situations like Priceline aside, accumulate points everywhere you possibly can. Make sure wherever you’re staying, flying or renting, you’re getting points for the stay. Ideally, you’re able to prioritize one carrier to maximize your points – I more or less exclusively fly JetBlue, for example, because they’re the only domestic carrier with enough leg room for someone over 6′ in coach. But even if schedule or corporate travel policies force you to diversify your spending, you may as well accumulate points while you’re doing it. If you travel enough, they do add up, even if some of the perks are modest.

Keep Track of Your Points

Odds are if you travel a lot you’re going to have more loyalty program information than you can remember, let alone track effectively. Centralizing this information in a single tracking service – I use AwardWallet, in spite of the fact that their Android app is terrible – can make your life a lot easier. Some people I know store all of their numbers in a text file in Dropbox or similar, but having AwardWallet actively track the status of your multiple accounts is useful.

Try Booking Directly

Many of us are used to booking travel through third party aggregators like Expedia, Hotels.com, Kayak and the like. But in many cases it’s worth booking your flights, hotel, and so on directly through the vendor. First because – third party aggregator prices aside – the cost may be lower. Second, many of the vendors may only reward you with points if you book directly with them. And third, they may issue you additional point bonuses for doing so. To be fair, third parties can have their own rewards program: Hotels.com gives you a free night every tenth purchase, for example (although it’s now an average of the ten night stay prices instead of a $400 night – used to be quite the loophole). But if you’re going to be traveling a lot, it’s usually worth trying to accumulate points in one place to get the higher level of service that returns.

Get on the Phone, Not in Line

Many of us today have deprecated the voice capabilities of our phone, preferring to deal with things either electronically or in person. But when you’re traveling, you’ll save yourself time and wear and tear by picking up the phone. When flights are canceled, for example, unless it’s a massive systemic issue, you’re more likely to get someone on the phone to fix things before the gate agents are able to negotiate the complicated needs of the dozens or hundreds of people in front of you in line.

Going to be Late? Call Ahead

If you’ve traveled with any frequency, you’ve probably encountered the situation where your flight is delayed and gets in very late, and by the time you show up at the hotel just ready to crawl into bed and go to sleep you discover that they’ve given your room away. You can prevent this sometimes, if not every time, by calling the hotel and letting them know that you’ll be late, but are still on the way. They’ll usually ask what time you might make it in, note that on your reservation and hold it for you until then. If they disappear into the back room for ten minutes, however, when you try and check in, you’re probably screwed. Be prepared to head somewhere else, though protocol is that they arrange your new accommodations for you.

Have Duplicate Toiletries

When I first started traveling, I simply packed my everyday razor, toothbrush and so on into a dop kit anytime I traveled. Not surprisingly, this inevitably leads to waking up somewhere without something you need. And while hotels are pretty good about having things on hand for just such an occurrence, the first time you shave with a terrible hotel supplied razor will probably be your last. Instead, I keep a fully stocked dop kit permanently in my MLC travel bag. That way, I don’t have to remember to pack anything – it’s already packed.

Keep a Bottle of Painkillers on Hand

For years now I’ve traveled with a worn small bottle of Advil in my briefcase that I keep fully stocked with Advil Liquigels. Whether it’s a sore head from a late night, a tweaked back from a long flight, you never want to wake up and be without a generic painkiller. Importantly, I leave this in my briefcase rather than my dop kit, because the former is with me far more than the latter.

Have a Routine

For everything: when you leave, what you do when you get there, where you store common items (phone, wallet), what you do when you get home, how you pack. Routine is everything, because the more you can navigate the logistics on autopilot the less you’re wasting time thinking about things you don’t have to.

Data Plans

Some people wonder how you justify the purchase of a cellular data plan for a second device (e.g. tablet), but the math is actually pretty simple. If you travel for a mere four or five nights a month, you’re looking at something close to $60 – $75 in hotel wireless fees. For $70, you can 11 GB of bandwidth from T-Mobile with no overage fees, and it will also be less saturated than the hotel network. Pair this with a tablet like the Nexus 7 which permits free tethering, and all of a sudden you have a hotspot for your laptop when you need to get something done.

SIM Cards

If you’re traveling overseas and need data, your best bet is to look around at the airport when you land. Most will have pre-paid SIMs available to give you prepaid data access; at Heathrow, for example, you can buy a 3 network SIM for £20 that will give you all the data you could use for a week or two.

Shipping Clothes

Occasionally on extended trips you may find yourself with clothing you no longer need. In such cases, I simply drop the now redundant clothing in a box at Fedex or UPS and ship it home. No sense toting around weight you don’t need to. I know some people who actually mail clothing directly to the hotels they’re staying at, but my track record with having things shipped to hotels is not great so I do this only if absolutely necessary (i.e. I’ve forgotten something).

Always Take Water When it’s Offered

Whenever you’re traveling, whether it’s a plane, an Uber, a train or even some buses, you’ll be offered water. Always take it, both because it’s good to hydrate and because you don’t know when you’ll need it later and not have access to it. Just remember to check your bag for water bottles before it goes through airport security, because they’ll have to rescan your bag if you forget one in there.

Take a Picture of Where You Parked

My worst lost car parking disasters came when I lived in Denver. I’d touch down at DIA late at night, it would have just started snowing and I’d wander up and down sprawling parking lots coatless, randomly hitting the panic button on my key to try and figure out where I’d parked. I’ve fallen out of the habit that fixed this, largely because if I lose my car in Portland it’s not nearly as hard to find it as I always park on the same level, but when I was in Denver I learned to take a picture of my spot after parking. I know some people who do this with their hotel rooms as well, because it’s easy for those to blur together. Anyway, it’s much easier to look up your location on a picture than it is to find your car in the snow, trust me.

How to Get to Sleep

This last one’s a bit weird, but bear with me. For a long time, I used to have trouble getting to sleep while on the road, whether it was from the stress of travel, the next day’s schedule or whatever. Then I stumbled on a solution, which will admittedly only work if you’re the only one in the room. Make sure you have a movie or TV show you know very well on your laptop – as in know it by heart (in my case it’s the Simpsons) – and play that at a volume just loud enough to hear with the screen dimmed or off. This will trick your brain into following the dialogue, thereby distracting it from getting spun up on other tasks, but since you already know it well you’ll tune out and switch off. I almost never remember listening to more than a few minutes of an episode before I fall asleep.

Got a travel tip of your own? Leave it in the comments.

My Trip to Europe in Pictures

When I left Maine two weeks ago today, my primary concern was being able to find my car in the lot. A lot has happened since I’ve been gone. The Super Bowl has been won and lost (sorry, Denver friends). Real Portland got a foot of snow dropped on it. And Allagash, Oxbow and Smuttynose squared off for some craft brewer on craft brewer violence in the form of a pond hockey tournament.

I’ve been busy as well. I attended three conferences, gave one talk, toured canals and breweries, and played Hearts in four countries. The first half of the trip was work-related. IBM Connect in Orlando, then our own Monki Gras conference in London where I was joined by Kate. From there, we hopped the train down to Brussels where we met up with the usual suspects at FOSDEM.

Post-FOSDEM, it was on to vacation. Friends from Maine and Boston met us in Brussels for a week of sights, scenery and, of course, beer. For those interested, a few pictures.

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Some of you may know that my RedMonk partner-in-crime James is now moonlighting as an event space owner. As the founder of the Village Hall in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London, he’s hosted everything from user groups to big co events. This trip was my first visit to the venue, and it’s perfect.

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The Monki Gras, the London counterpart to our Monktoberfest, was off the hook as per usual. The speakers were incredible, the food – from Korean to Japanese to Venezuelan – was as impressive as advertised, and the beer list will be enormously difficult for us to compete with come October. Hats off to James for another bad ass conference.

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After arriving in Brussels late Friday night, I met up with old friends Bear and Joe for a kebab dinner and beers at one of my favorite bars in the world, Au Bon Vieux Temps. About which, coincidentally, the word appears to have gotten out. Where we once had the place to ourselves during FOSDEM, as it’s primarily a Brussels’ regulars bar, it was packed all weekend.

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Saturday morning I got up, fought (as I do every year) with the Belgian public transit system’s kiosks and headed down to FOSDEM. The Java Devroom was kind enough to have me as a speaker once more (slides), and it was great to see the turnout.

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One of the other highlights of FOSDEM for me was Chris’ session on Open Source Compliance at Twitter. The line for that started forming up a full forty minutes ahead of the talk.

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Sunday night, with an early morning train to Amsterdam ahead of us, we took it easy: Cantillon and cards.

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With some imported Heady Toppers thrown in.

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Never having been to Amsterdam prior, I didn’t know what to expect. As it turns out, however, Amsterdam is a beautiful city. With Venice-like canals bisecting the town, it has an entirely unique feel. Unlike Brussels or even Paris at times, you never feel like you’re anywhere besides Amsterdam.

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While it’s a little long and the canned audio commentary is comically bad, the canal tour was an excellent way of seeing huge potions of the city efficiently.

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To wrap up our day, we hit the Arendsnest – the Dutch beer bar recommended to us by our friend Ryan Travers of Of Love and Regret fame. No surprise given the source, it was excellent. While the Dutch aren’t known for their beers in the way that Belgium is, between venues like Bierbrouwerij Emelisse, De Koningshoeven and Brouwerij De Molen, they can more than hold their own. The service, in addition, was excellent. The Eagle’s Nest is highly recommended if you’re ever in Amsterdam.

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Tuesday was mostly rest and recovery, but we managed to sneak in a trip to the Cantillon Brewery. One of the world’s most highly regarded – and hard to get, at least in the US – producers of sour beers, their brewery has essentially remained unchanged for better than a century. No artificial heat or cooling, everything is still done the old way at Cantillon.

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One of the primary brewery components at Cantillon is their koelschip, which has been anglicized in the US as coolship. It’s basically a large flat copper sheet which allows for efficient cooling and open fermentation. This is of particular interest to us here in Maine as our own Allagash was the first US brewery to reintroduce the technology, although Crooked Stave, Russian River and others have followed their lead.

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Speaking of Allagash, it was nice to run into a few barrels from our hometown brewery at Cantillon.

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The Cantillon tour is also notable for its lack of supervision. After a five minute orientation, you are turned loose to tour the actual brewery on your own. Unlike tours here in the US, virtually nothing is off limits or sectioned off. They trust you not to steal bottles right in front of you, even ones which look old enough to be exceptionally valuable, which is not exactly common these days. Anyway, if you can make it to Brussels, recommend a trip to the brewery.

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That night, as every other night, Hearts was played. This was more or less what I was dealing with the entire trip.

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The next morning we were off to Paris. Our first stop on arrival was Musée de Cluny, the National Museum of the Middle Ages. Housing tapestries, stained glass, manuscripts and sculptures from the age, it’s impressive. Even more so is that, having been founded on the site of 1st Century Roman baths, the site has seen continuous usage for over two thousand years.

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Next stop was Notre Dame, which remains the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen that was built by human hands. Pictures can’t do it justice, it’s that impressive. On the way, we wandered into Polly Maggoo, a tapas restaurant run by a Romanian transplant, with no real expectations. The servers were over-the-top friendly, they let one of us charge a phone and even threw in free appetizers and a free round. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by.

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From Notre Dame, we stopped in to Saint Chappelle, which is less dramatic than its larger cousin but much more intimate.

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Last major stop for the day was the Tour Eiffel. The one thing I will say about this is under no circumstances should you go to the summit in 30+ MPH winds. At least if you have any fear whatsoever of heights, which I wouldn’t have said previously that I did. When you’re at the top of a 125 year old, thousand foot high metal frame that is actively and perceptibly swaying it’s not all that enjoyable. Apart from that, however, it’s worth it: the views are spectacular.

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Our last two days, Thursday and Friday, were spent in leisurely fashion. We spent some time shopping for chocolates and other items on behalf of friends and family back home, we introduced our friends to Brussels’ staples like the Delirium Cafe and La Mort Subite, and most importantly we engineered our checked luggage in order to protect the many bottles we all brought back. An effort, I’m happy to say, which was successful: there were precisely zero casualties.

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been for two weeks. And, for the record, no, I did not remember where my car was.

On Beer Hotels

The Golden Hour at Copyhold Hollow Bed and Breakfast, Sussex

If you’re looking for opportunities to innovate within the service industry, Stone’s proposed beer hotel is one look at the shape of things to come. Consider the state of bed and breakfast-type venues today. In the Northeast, at least, there is little differentiating one from another apart from location. The amenities, facilities or service may in fact be highly differentiated, but that’s challenging to market with any reliability: everyone, after all, claims that they have the best service. Which is why so many bed and breakfasts or inns turn to third party accreditation, from AAA to Yelp.

What if, however, local inns or bed and breakfasts embraced the exploding culture around craft beer, much as venues in Napa Valley attach themselves to local wine country traffic? While the gimmicky tap-in-every-room Stone’s proposing would be prohibitively expensive not to mention a management nightmare for most establishments, well curated bottle and draft lists would be more than enough to attract a discerning (and likely higher margin) craft beer clientele. And if you managed to build the kind of relationships with local brewers that secured exclusive releases (in return for a commission on sales or cost offsets), you’d immediately become a capital D destination, much as the Toronado attracts people every year looking for Cable Car.

The thing is, apart from the standard difficulties of running a bed and breakfast (which is, I’m sure, enormously challenging), this wouldn’t be that hard to do. Kate and I often joke that our taplist at home is better than majority of the beer bars in the area, and the Allagash Bourbon Black and Dogfish 120 Minute we have on tap at the moment were sourced via normal retail channels – no special industry or wholesale connections necessary – and I doubt there’s a bar within a few hundred miles that has both available.

Take a look at the keg list from our friends at Bier Cellar. If you were alternating just easy-to-get kegs – as a B&B – of Allagash Curieux, Founders Dirty Bastard, Gulden Draak, Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura, Saison Dupont, North Coast Old Rasputin, Unibroue Maudite and maybe a Stone Ruination as a nod to the IPA crowd, don’t you think you’d get the beer world’s attention? How many bars range that wide, let alone B&B’s or inns?

If the venue already has a liquor license and small lounge or bar area, embracing the craft beer culture would be as simple as swapping out average draft lines such as Blue Moon and Stella for beers like Allagash and Oxbow, building up an inventory of higher end bottles and picking up some appropriate glassware. And while the costs for Allagash are higher than Blue Moon, your realizable margin from the product is that much higher as well. Hell, you might even be able to Kickstart a conversion: if it was in the area, or done by someone I knew, I’d certainly contribute.

What if would-be visitors don’t care for beer? Well, you’re no worse off than before, competing with everyone else on amenities, service and so on. As for the beer crowd, you’d be optimizing yourself for an audience willing to drop $1,000 on a hard-but-not-impossible to get Belgian rarity or wait in line for hours to get tickets to special releases like Dark Lord. Seems like there are worse markets to court as an innkeeper.

Personally, I have neither the personality to play innkeeper nor the time to do so, what with my day job. But there’s an economic opportunity here, and I’d love to see someone with the time and interest take up the challenge. And not just because I want to give them my money yesterday.

Does Airport Security Really Make Us Safer? | Culture | Vanity Fair

“It’s infuriating,” he said, waving my fraudulent boarding pass to indicate the mass of waiting passengers, the humming X-ray machines, the piles of unloaded computers and cell phones on the conveyor belts, the uniformed T.S.A. officers instructing people to remove their shoes and take loose change from their pockets. “We’re spending billions upon billions of dollars doing this—and it is almost entirely pointless. Not only is it not done right, but even if it was done right it would be the wrong thing to do.”

via Does Airport Security Really Make Us Safer? | Culture | Vanity Fair.

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