Road warrior pens invaluable travel guide
I have been traveling with colleague Peter Greenberg on and off for more than 20 years. To date, I have not met anyone who can spout more tidbits of travel information or give more morsels of travel tricks than this very well-versed road warrior.
From Madrid to Hong Kong, from London to Lisbon, from New York to San Francisco, Peter and I have exchanged travel secrets (though I have to say I have learned more from him than he has from me).
My first lesson happened two decades ago on a six-hour flight out of Los Angeles when Peter pulled out his carry-on, only to reveal a stack of unopened mail.
All I said was, "Huh?"
This high-flying efficiency expert who spends more time on the road than he does at home told me that this was the best time to get caught up on correspondence. As he tore open envelopes, discarding most but keeping some, I watched with fascination as Peter's carry-on ended up only about one-eighth as full as it was when he first arrived to take the flight.
After that, I copied Peter, and this practice has worked wonders for me.
With that and many more anecdotes in mind, it was no surprise to me when I received a big package in the mail: the fattest travel advice book I have ever seen, authored, of course, by Greenberg.
"The Complete Travel Detective Bible: The Consummate Insider Tells You What You Need to Know in an Increasingly Complex World" is a big paperback, 624 pages long, with 35 chapters on everything from frequent-flier miles to security and terrorism, volunteer vacations, gay and lesbian travel, travel insurance and boating safety.
When faced with where to start devouring this massive missive, my first instinct was to skip ahead to Peter's chapter on checking luggage. Since my sojourn-driven friend -- who professes to have "some 18 million miles of lifetime travel" under his belt -- has not checked any luggage in the past eight years, I wanted to see how he proposed us overpackers get our things to the destination to which we are headed.
There it was. The perfect answer in black and white: Ship your luggage.
My esteemed colleague, who practices what he preaches, says that some 17 luggage shipping services are on hand to help. Says Greenberg in his new book, "The benefits of using one of these services: you can avoid the excess baggage fee; the company usually takes care of all the paperwork for you, including airbills and international customs forms; and they can pick up and drop off the luggage at your home or hotel."
Sounds good to me. Peter picks a few such companies to consider, including Boston-based Luggage Forward (www.luggageforward.com) and the year-old Luggage Club (www.theluggageclub.com).
I could go on and on about the redeeming reasons to pick up Greenberg's new book, but I don't have room here to do that. And I can't promise the compendium covers everything the travel world has to offer -- but I have to say it probably comes close.
In fact, Greenberg's thorough offering has now become my very own personal travel bible. Thank you, Peter!