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The secrets of flying like the pros

Boston’s frequent flyers share secrets for smart travel

Globe-trotters from MIT, Gillette, Wayfair, and Zipcar offer their best tips.

(Getty Images)

Joi Ito

Director, MIT Media Lab

2015 air miles: Around 200,000

Pro tips: If you are someone who takes sleeping pills on flights, don’t take the pill until you’re at 30,000 feet. The worst thing ever is to have a flight cancel just when your sleeping pills are kicking in. I’ve seen it many times. Be sure to buy a bottle of water after security and bring it on the plane with you. That way you’re not dependent on service for hydration. And when you’re flying out of Logan Airport, grab Legal Sea Foods takeout and eat it on the plane. My favorites are the Caesar salad with lobster and the lobster roll.

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Meredith Mahoney

Vice president of lifestyle brands, Wayfair

2015 air miles: 25,000

Pro tips: Having a bag that solves the technology problem is essential, especially for business travel. I use an Incase EO Rolling Brief. I’m obsessed with it, and it has changed the way I travel. No joke. I need to be able to get to my cords, my charger, my laptop really easily. I need to be connected until the last moment that I can be, and being able to quickly put that stuff away is great. Also, my little secret going to Logan, especially coming from our offices in Back Bay, is Logan Express. It’s more reliable than cabs. It’s free if you have a valid T pass and $5 if you don’t. You can get from Back Bay to the airport in like 10 minutes.

Kaye Ceille

President, Zipcar

2015 air miles: 100,000

Pro tips: I live and die by my calendar. Every place I go, everyone I’m going to contact, every address I need is in my smartphone. I have all my apps for frequent airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. They house all my data and my frequent traveler information, so everything is automatically populated when I book. And then I manage everything through my Microsoft Outlook calendar. If I’m taking a flight or checking into a hotel, it’s all there. You don’t want to run out of battery, so get a Mophie or something else that can extend the life of yours.

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John Mang

Global vice president, Gillette

2015 air miles: “I’ve never calculated the miles, but I’ve been to India, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, and Italy in the past six months.”

Pro tips: Shoes take up a lot of space. Find a pair that’s versatile. I can wear my dark brown leather Paraboot loafers from Mr. Sid in Newton whether I’m talking to consumers on the street, out to dinner, or on that occasional trip to headquarters. Think through things that go with that one pair of shoes, and look for fabrics that don’t hold wrinkles. I’ve also found traveling with a shave brush and soap in my briefcase works well, especially with all the TSA restrictions on aerosols — that allows me to get a great shave after an overnight flight. The TSA app is a fantastic way to see how long the lines will be when you get to the airport.


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