Randy Petersen founded FlyerTalk, the Web's largest frequent-flier community, in 1995 and sold it in 2007. He now runs MilePoint and BoardingArea--two more sites focusing on the ins and outs of air travel. His advice comes from hard experience, so hear him out.
As told to Greg Lindsay.
Go monochrome. My uniform hasn't changed in 20 years; every time I fly, I'm in Nike, and I'm all in black. I'm the most comfortable passenger the airline industry ever invented. I never worry about someone spilling stuff all over me. And I never have to take off a belt.
Don't carry receipts. The worst thing is to be slowed down by paperwork. I use an app called Expensify to take a picture of every receipt as soon as it lands on the table. After that, I don't care if I lose it.
Movies are for kids. Real road warriors get on the plane and just go to sleep. Don't stay up all night watching movies, or waiting for someone to get upset about a Knee Defender. I'm a big believer in Benadryl. A little dose and I'm drowsy. The next thing I know, I'm where I should be.
Treat yourself. I've learned that in your middle years as a traveler, you stop thinking you're invincible. It's OK to spoil yourself along the way. Every time I see one of those half-hour massages at the airport--here's my money, get me going. If I can't get in a lounge for free, I'm good with spending $50. A familiar environment where I'm not fighting for power outlets is worth it. Cokes cost eight bucks in the terminal, anyway.
Stop schlepping. I still check bags, at least internationally, because you're traveling with more than a backpack. I don't like carrying stuff around if I don't have to. Frequent fliers like me don't pay $25 per bag anyway, so I might as well take advantage of it. I want to ensure I'm getting the most out of my benefits.
Arrive hungry. On board, food just doesn't interest me. I've never seen it executed well on a long-haul flight, anyway.