Notwithstanding some minor variation in leg room, snacks and the attractiveness of their flight attendants, most airplane flights are the same.
They’re awful. Nothing less than opening a Russian nesting doll of pressurized miseries.
All the more reason, then, for The Gentleman’s Handbook, Volume II: How to Travel Like a Man, made in partnership with Lexus.
- How to Pack a Suit So It Doesn’t Get Wrinkled
- The Art of the Airport Pickup
- How to Choose a Miles Card
- The Quickest Route Through the Airport, Period
And much more, including our guide to making cocktails at 30,000 feet.
Because you’re going to be sitting there awhile. Might as well get comfortable.
We’ll see you out there,
Because checking bags — and thus paying baggage fees — is for suckers.
1. The Weekender - Everlane
Comfortable, practical, handsome. Hard to find a better value for the price. | $165
2. The Roller - Ghurka
Rollies tend to be like scooters: efficient but emasculating. Unless you get the overhead-friendly (and very manly) Pontoon, from Ghurka. | $1295
3. The Duffel - Kaehler 1920
Only looks better with age. TSA-compliant. Sexy. | $695
4. The Suitcase - Hard Graft
Exterior: handsome veg-tanned leather. Interior: cozy wool lining. | $1185
For when hanging bags and wrinkles are not an option.
1. Hold jacket — lapels facing you — at arms-length. Place hands inside shoulders.
2. Fold the right shoulder into itself (i.e., make the convex shoulder pad concave).
3. Fold the suit lengthwise, bringing the left shoulder into the now-concave right shoulder. The lining should now be on the outside.
4. Lay the suit flat, shoulders facing you. Place a rolled up T-shirt between the shoulders.
5. Roll the suit, like a rug, over the T-shirt. Place rolled-up jacket in bag.
6. Roll up your pants, too.
All credit due to John Chow, traveler extraordinaire. View his video.
Because books are heavy, babies are loud and The Big Bang Theory sucks.
1. Bose QC15 Headphones
Still the best noise-canceling headphones for the money, now available in nearly endless color combinations. | $300
3. Lenovo IdeaPad U310
Super-light, touch-screen, perfect for cramped spaces. | $550-750
4. ZAGGkeys Folio Black
Ever get work done on an iPad? Neither have we. This Bluetooth keyboard/case will fix that. | $100
For hotel rewards: Starwood American Express Card, the road warrior’s best friend.
If you fly United: Chase Sapphire — 40k sign-up bonus, 2x points on dining and travel (including taxis); points transfer to United.
If you fly American Airlines: Citi AAdvantage World Mastercard, with a 30k sign-up bonus.
If you need fancy amenities: American Express Platinum. Free TSA-Pre, access to AmEx’s new Centurion lounges, excellent concierge service. The $450 fee pays for itself.
Oh, and avoid Delta. They don’t call ‘em SkyPesos for nothing.
Stick to flying one airline.
Then fly a lot. 50k miles per year or more.
Get preferred status.
Arrive early. Check in early. Dress nicely.
Get to know your gate agents. Get to know your attendants.
Flight overbooked? Offer to be bumped. Family needs to sit together? Offer to move.
Partner flight made you late? Let them know.
When all else fails, just ask nicely.
Because slow and steady doesn’t win a damn thing.
1. Take an Uber to the airport.
2. Check in through your airline’s app on the way.
3. Don’t check any bags.
4. Apply for TSA Pre-check to use preferred line, keep your shoes on and leave your laptop in your bag.
5. Use GateGuru to navigate the airport, manage your itinerary and find Starbucks.
6. Have preferred status on your airline of choice; skip the boarding line.
Welcome to the two-minute drill of courtship.
Make eye contact — and smile. No reciprocation? This one probably ain’t in the cards.
Initiate conversation. “What are you reading? I’ve been meaning to pick that up.” Works in nine out of ten Champions Sports Bars.
Seek Assistance. Ask the gate agent to seat you near her. Gate agenting is not a high-octane profession, and you’d be surprised how often they’ll hook you up just to break up the monotony of their day.
Imbibe. Once on-board, suggest having a drink together. As though you’re a team. Because you’re in this airborne jalopy together.
Check yourself. Contrary to what Dave in sales has told you, the Mile High Club is largely a myth. Aim for her phone number, not her pants.
Prepare thy shit before boarding. Don’t bottleneck the aisle, dude.
Thou shalt not recline thy seat. Unless the passenger in front of you does. Then: free-for-all.
Honour thy neighbor’s space. Don’t cross the armrest. Middle-seat gets first dibs on both.
Thou shalt shut thy kids up. For strategies, turn the page.
Thou shalt not unsheath thy stinky feet. Seriously. Keep your shoes on.
Thou shalt not wake thy sleeping neighbor. Unless he drools on your shoulder.
Thou shalt not break wind. If you must, visit the lavatory.
A cramped aluminum can at 30,000 feet in the air is no place for progressive parenting techniques.
Let them cry it out? No. Let them wander the aisle? No. Let them kick seat-backs? Hell no.
For everyone’s sanity — yours included — load up the iPad with Dora the Whoever, bring a backup battery and stock plenty of unhealthy snacks.
You can be progressive again post-pilgrimage.
For all their hospitality bells and whistles and triple-ply TP, luxury hotels will always remind you that you are temporary. Ephemeral. A tourist.
So go ahead and book that oceanfront bungalow in Venice Beach. Or the six-bedroom villa in Rio. Or the pied-à-terre on Paris’s Right Bank. All come with perks like 24-hour concierges, five-star linens and iPhones loaded with local recommendations.
Because the ultimate luxury is living like a local. A really pampered local.
Coffee Old Fashioned, by Jason Bran
1 50 ml bottle of bourbon or rum 2 packets sugar 1 coffee stirrer 1 splash hot coffee 1 cup ice 1 bottle water 1 orange skin* Equal parts Angostura and orange bitters**
* Available in terminal (eat the orange, save the skin)
** You’ll need to bring — use a dropper bottle
Drink coffee down to a tasting portion, add sugar and stir. Add one cup ice and few drops bitters; stir again. Pour coffee syrup into fresh cup sans ice. Add your booze, a splash of water and fresh ice. Stir. Garnish with orange twist.
Thanks for reading, friend. Volume I, on office etiquette, is thitherward.
Casual office? Formal office? Doesn’t matter — put in the effort to look good regardless.
Blazer? Throw in a pocket square. Tie? Use an unexpected fabric. Socks? Pop of color. Just don’t let anyone catch you saying “pop of color.“
Remember, too, that bosses set the tone. The better you look, the better they look. And the better they look, the better you look. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
The office: it’s shared space. Smells linger.
Microwaving fish: not cool. Buying lunch for employees: always cool.
Sound carries. Don’t slurp.
Clean up. No stains on desk. No crumbs on chair.
And don’t eat at your desk every day. The number of lunches taken in front of your computer is directly proportional to your dolefulness.
Meeting requests. Never-ending cc chains. Requests from your boss. Missives from a kindly gentleman in Nigeria.
Odds are your inbox, like an e-sword of Damocles, hangs over you — a source of constant anxiety.
Here’s our guide to filtering out the crap.
First, actually listen. And only listen. No surfing. No texting. No just-one-more-thinging. No thinking about what you’re going to say.
Then repeat back what you heard. Sounds silly; actually works. Affirms that you’re listening.
And then ask questions. Get more info. Explore the other person’s feelings about the subject. Sounds hokey, but actually makes the speaker feel better.
Don’t: Use the word “No.”
Instead: “I would love to help you with this, Employee X. Unfortunately, I’m on a deadline at the moment. When’s a good time to chat about it later?”
In one fell swoop, you’ve affirmed Employee X’s fragile self-esteem, rescheduled the topic for a time that’s convenient for you, and maintained your priorities. If the employee didn’t really need your help, or can find it elsewhere, you’ve prevented yourself more work. That’s what interruptions are, after all: more work.
Work romances. They happen. But they’re rarely a good idea. Or to use the popular parlance: “Don’t shit where you eat.”
But if you must, it’s incumbent upon you to ensure the affair doesn’t affect your career or hers.
If the relationship flourishes, beware: one of you is going to end up looking for another job.
P.S. Don’t touch the interns.
The fist bump. The bro fist. Bones. Respect.
Some say it started in the ’70s with Baltimore Bullets guard Fred Carter. Some say it began with the Wonder Twins cartoon (Ed. note: we assure you, it did not).
And ever since, embarrassment has reigned: one man will go in for the high-five, and his buddy will go for the bump.
We decree a simple rule: fist always wins. The open-handed party must surrender and close his own fist. Because in the moment, it’s easier to close an open fist than vice versa. Case (and fist) closed.
Celebratory bump: activate.
Consider the recipient’s life.
Listen. People talk about what they like.
A gift for a man’s family is a gift given twice.
Spend more on small, high-quality items.
No greeting cards.
No gift shops.
Nobody needs another scented candle.
Everybody needs flavored popcorn.
“Three sheets to the wind.” Every man’s had an occasion for this one.
The “sheet” in this particular colloquialism refers to a nautical rope used to control the trim of a sail.
If several sheets are loose, or “to the wind,” the sails flap and cause the ship to lurch about drunkenly.
As far back as the early 1800s, salty seafaring chaps used a sliding scale of drunkenness: one sheet, or “a sheet in the wind’s eye,” meant tipsy.
Four sheets: you’re unconscious.
Toasts are the celebratory equivalent of a parachute.
In the windy silence after a clinked glass, you better not be without.
Luckily, you need only remember a simple formula: object of toast + fond wish on its behalf.
In recent times, we’ve heard none better than from the aspirational lips of David “Kappo” Kaplan:
“To our sons: may they have rich fathers and hot mothers.”
- Editor's Note
- On Luggage
- On Suits
- On Tech
- On Points
- On First Class
- On Airports
- On Flirting
- On Behavior
- On Kids
- On Hotels
- On Drinking
- Dressing for Work
- On Work Lunch
- On Email
- On Listening
- On Saying No
- On Dating
- On Fist Bumps
- On Gifting
- On Speaking
- On Toasts