Traveling can be stressful, especially when other people aren’t as awesome at it as you are. If you are worried that your travel skills are total weaksauce and that there is a deficit in your continued existence as a human, then use this guide to fill that hopefully this-guide-shaped-hole in your sense of self. If the hole in your sense of self looks more like companionship or learning a skill or trade, that’s kind of a way bigger deal that’ll take some time. You should probably start small, like with this! Baby steps.
It is very hard to be totally kickass at getting other places so don’t be down on yourself if you find that you don’t do any of the things listed in this guide. This type of situation is exactly why it exists.
Just one rule: this is to be used for traveling long distances by plane, bus, or train only. If I need to consult you on how to get places in your own car, then you should probably just head straight to one of my other self-improvement guides; in this case I would recommend “How Not to Suck at Everything All the Time Forever.” Or consider “How to Make Road Trips Like a Hilarious and Non-trite Road Trip Movie.”
Try to Fit Everything You’ve Ever Owned In One Bag
If your bag is big enough and you’re not a wimp, you can make this happen. A lot of people might ask themselves questions like, “What do I really need?” when they’re about to go on a trip. Though they would then pack accordingly, there’s really no need to restrict yourself.
You may not need that blowdryer, but it’s always nice to at least have the option. Similarly, you might not need to bring your entire collection of 2 Fast 2 Furious die-cast muscle car replicas, but in case someone asks you how big a fan you are of Paul Walker, you should be at the ready.
If you are luxuriously traveling by air, even with all of that stuff you should be able to fit that bag, your backpack, and your coat in the overhead compartment. Putting things underneath the seat in front of you is for commoners. You can’t be bothered to hold on to your jacket or put it in an area where you would have to lean slightly over to get it.
Stuff your whole life in that bag and get it out of your way; the TSA can deal with it. Last time I checked, this is America, and freedom means doing whatever we want all the time because individualism and Atlas Shrugged or something.
Personal Space? Haha
The sad truth about humanity is that they’re fat and slow and want to be comfortable, even if you clearly want to be comfortable more than them. If your travel involves security checkpoints, some people might be slow to take off their shoes or get laptops and liquids out of their bags for screening. Hurry them along by hovering over them, shoving around them, or perhaps exasperatedly sighing into their ears. Onlookers will wish they were as much of an assertive go-getter as you.
Traveling by bus often leads to some very cramped seating, but you can end this for yourself by just being the person causing the worst cramping. Spread yourself out as much as possible, making especially sure to dominate any armrests available to you. This is a world of sharks, and you’re like, a super big one. If you don’t get all super big shark on everyone first, they’ll only leave you like, half of one armrest and that is just horse$#!+.
Your Children Are Now Your Greatest Weapon
If you have kids, now is the time where all the shouting, avoiding baseball games, and making them feel inadequate for not being able to find you during hide and seek shall be unleashed. The years of guilt experienced later in life will be worth it once you are able to bother people into not being around you.
Some methods of travel include open seating, and your poorly disciplined child will more than likely keep everyone away from you; especially if you teach your kid the method to a good kick. If the trip ends up being full and you have to deal with other human beings near you and your awful child, you can at least take comfort in the fact that you are spreading your misery to everyone else.
Patrick is a writer and comedian living in Chicago and gets on planes with some frequency. He puts his coat in his lap because he’s not a monster. He does little cartoons on his Tumblr. He also writes short little jokes and musings on his Twitter @fatfraud.
Patrick last told us how to be a jerk about stuff when he informed us that we could live with other people like jerks. He also spread misery when he told us about ways we could ruin the holidays of our enemies.