Four Kitchens

Travel tips for conference and camp season

5 Min. ReadEvents

See you in the Big Easy

It’s time to dust off your luggage and stock your computer bag with dongles and trail mix, conference and camp season is here! After some successful early trips (SANDCamp, MidCamp, and Stanford Drupal Camp), the Web Chefs are turning our gaze to the Gulf Coast and gearing up for DrupalCon North America, being held this year in crawdad country— New Orleans! We’ll have trainings and talks, and we’re teaming up with our friends at Kalamuna to say goodbye to dear old Drupal 6 in true French Quarter style — a second line parade from the convention center to a local watering hole. Hopefully you can join us!

Tips & Tricks

During a recent #TeamHugs meeting, the Four Kitchens team began discussing some of our favorite travel tips and tricks, and we wanted to share. As a distributed company, we spend more than our fair share of time in airports and hotels, and we hope some of our hard-earned road knowledge can help make your travels more enjoyable.

  • Peter, a father of two, is a big fan of dressing his kids in superhero costumes when flying. Tiny, adorable versions of Batman are apparently a hit with airport staff and fellow passengers alike, which can help smooth over many of the rough edges of traveling with young ones. When traveling with his kids in tow, Elliott has only one piece of advice: travel light!
  • As for dressing yourself for flying, Mike loves his Nathan elastic shoe laces, which turn any pair of kicks into slip-ons. He also looks sharp by packing his nice clothes in a shirt folder, and his cables and dongles in a Grid-It organizer for easy overhead storage access on long flights.
  • Flip likes to use his born and bred Georgia charm to sweet talk his way into airport lounges without paying for day passes, although your mileage may vary. He also appreciates when fellow passengers prep thoroughly before hitting the security conveyor – shoes off, belt off, pockets empty. Alex likes to streamline the security process by leaving her toiletries in her bag — rarely is it ever an issue, as long as you stick with the proper travel sized containers. Chris M has had good luck with keeping his small pocket knife with him through security, but again, your mileage may vary.

  • Jon insists on wearing slip-on shoes, and brings a solar powered charging battery to help keep his devices topped up with nothing but sunshine. In related gadget usage, Matt is all about the hotel room jams, and travels with a nice, loud Bluetooth speaker to make the party mobile.

  • Elia and I are big fans of what we refer to as our “grown-up luggage”— we both have different generations of the same Timbuk2 rolling suitcase and couldn’t recommend it more. Sturdy construction and lots of internal organization go a long way. The Timbuk2 comes with big fat skateboard wheels that can roll over anything and are pretty much indestructible — and they’re easily replaced if something does go wrong.
  • Lucy, Chris D, and Joe are proponents of the travel backpack lifestyle. Chris D loves his Osprey Porter, even though it makes him look a bit like a turtle. Joe recommends an Outlander daypack, no comments on whether or not it makes him look like a reptile. Lucy loves having her hands free, helping her deal with her kids, while Luke takes it a step farther — he attended our week-long company retreat with nothing but a Topo daypack on his back. Regardless of the size of your luggage, technique is always important: Suzy is a firm believer in the rolling technique of luggage packing, preventing wrinkles and helping fit more into less.

  • When traveling internationally, Lucy and Patrick both recommend bringing an unlocked phone, Apple or Android, to help avoid the often atrocious international roaming charges. As for talking to the locals, Jeff likes to spend some time brushing up on the native tongue of his destination—even basic please and thank-you in the local language can go a long way when interacting in foreign countries.
  • Our fearless leaders Aaron and Todd probably log the most frequent flier miles, and both recommend applying for TSA Global Entry, which includes pre-check in the bundle, getting you through airports with ease, foreign or domestic. Aaron showed off a really great trick to wrap headphone cords neatly, but it’s hard to put in print, so you’ll have to ask him to show it to you in person. Todd is also a cheerleader for his Eagle Creek Wallaby toiletry kit, and what he calls the ultimate travel pillow, which allows him to fall asleep instantly, on any flight of any duration, a true superpower.
  • Finally, Randy had perhaps the most important advice of all: making a packing checklist, so you don’t forget anything important (like your youngest son in a John Hughes movie) in the last minute rush to the airport!

We hope you’ll stop and say hi if you see us at any events this year (we’re the ones in the green track jackets); we always love chatting with everybody we meet, and if you ask nice, you might just take home a limited edition sticker or two!

Everything But The Sinks: Four Kitchens’ Web Chef Packing List

☑ Todd: Eagle Creek Wallaby and Cabeau Evolution memory foam neck pillow—you will literally fall asleep on any flight, no matter the duration

☑ Dustin & Elia: Timbuk2 Copilot rolling luggage

☑ Jeff: Lea\r\n \the language! Get some basic phrases with Berlitz phrasebook or if you have a little more time, try a free DuoLingo course.

☑ Lucy: an unlocked phone

☑ Chris Devidal: Osprey Porter backpack (makes him look like a turtle); maybe a nip of booze (but only in the airport, not on the plane!)

☑ Suzy: roll your clothes for easy packing; here’s a tutorial

☑ Mike: Grid-IT organizer, shirt folder, Southwest drink tickets, and Nathan elastic laces

☑ Peter: when traveling with a small child, dress them in a superhero costume

☑ Jon: slip on shoes, USB battery pack chargers

☑ Aaron: TSA Global Entry, which includes pre-check

☑ Joe: travel light with a daypack

☑ Chris Martin: pocket knife

☑ Matt: UPDATE: This bluetooth speaker is the hotness, according to Matt. travel-size Bluetooth speaker

☑ Randy: Make a packing checklist!