Home Pastors Articles for Pastors How to Travel Smarter, Faster, Lighter and Cheaper

How to Travel Smarter, Faster, Lighter and Cheaper

Vince Antonucci, Senior Pastor
Verve Church, Las Vegas

1. Have a unique set of all the toiletries that you’ll need in your suitcase. Buy an extra of everything and have it in your suitcase all the time.

2. Get Global Entry. If you never travel out of the country, get TSA pre-check, but Global Entry gives you TSA precheck in America AND for international travel. It’s relatively inexpensive and will save you lots of time standing in lines.

3. If you want to meet people on airplanes or try to share your faith with them, I respect that. But if you want to get work done on the airplane, put headphones on BEFORE you get on the plane. If you board and take your seat with headphones on, the talkative person sitting next to you won’t even try to start a conversation.

Brad Dupray, Senior Vice President, Ministry Development
CDF Capital

1. PACKING: Keep a travel set of toiletries that matches what you would use at home in a zip lock bag. Same thing with electrical stuff. Use the same set of shoes and pants for your trip that you wear on the airplane. Pack non-wrinkle shirts, then steam them in the bathroom for about five minutes when you unpack. Keep some zip lock baggies in your travel bag; you’ll be amazed how often they come in handy. Keep a big supply of business cards in a small pouch in your travel bag so you don’t have to think about packing them.

2. CUTTING COSTS: Whenever you get $1 bills in change, stick them in a pouch in your travel bag, so you always have a few bucks for tips (I don’t generally carry cash). Eat whenever you get a chance because you never know when your next meal is coming. Throw some protein bars in your bag, just in case. Rental car—no. Uber—yes.

3. FLYING: Studies say that window seats carry fewer germs. No people walking by you all the time, nobody climbing over you. You’re in your own little cocoon. If you’re in “Group Six” to get on the plane, follow the last guy who appears to be in Group Five. By the time you get to the gate, they’ll be calling Group Six, and you’ll be sure to get an overhead bin for your carry-on bag. If you travel a lot, buy the Bose mini noise-reducing earphones.

Doug Priest, Retired Executive Director
Christian Missionary Fellowship

1. If you have a three+ hour layover in an airport between flights, spring for an entrance into your carrier’s lounge if one is available. You will have better amenities and opportunities for snacks and drinks (part of the price of the lounge). Seats are usually plush, the bathrooms are not crowded, and there are plenty of places to go online. Yes, it may seem pricey, but after a long flight, and another long one coming up, it is a good choice. You want to arrive in the best shape possible.

2. Place a few toiletries in a sandwich bag and carry on your person (not in luggage). I usually carry a couple of aspirin, throat lozenges, mini-toothbrush with a small tube of toothpaste, antacid, floss pick and any daily medicine. You might also want to add a handy-wipe or two. You can clean your eating tray with one of these. Add a breath-mint or two as well.

3. Reading material makes the trip go faster. Some people like to work while they fly—filling out their expense report or editing a paper. I prefer to read, and my Kindle is a constant companion. Be sure you have your charger packed in your luggage because a long trip might mean your Kindle loses its charge.

Tim Cole, Executive Director
Waypoint Church Partners

1. Get TSA pre-check ASAP. Not having to take off your shoes and belt (and pull out your laptop) are worth the one-time fee. Plus, you get to feel so superior to all the riff-raff in the regular line.

2. I take my own pillow. When it fits, I stuff my pillow in my suitcase, which lets me sleep much better in a strange hotel room. If I remember the story correctly, Jack Nicklaus wrote in his biography that he lost a tournament once due to a crick in the neck. He traveled with his own pillow from then on.

3. I buy the first ticket that fits what I need. I’m prone to surf the Internet for deals or better itineraries for way too long. Then I once calculated the pay cost it took me to save $50 on a ticket. I probably spent $100 of company time to save $50.

Tom Warner, Retired Vice President
CDF Capital

1. Do your own booking. Don’t rely on your secretary to do it for you. You’ll learn how to get it done faster and won’t have to get up at 4:00 a.m. to make a 6:15 a.m. flight.

2. I used Hertz for rentals. Their cars are new and clean, and they have a no-hassle process. Cheaper, no, but there are undesirable consequences of cheaper. Make sure your rental car is on site at the airport. The guys at CDF were just starting to use Uber when I retired in 2015, so I don’t have experience with that.

3. Take your wife with you whenever possible. If you’re driving, it doesn’t cost any more for the car or the lodging. Together you can see parts of the country that you wouldn’t otherwise. We were able to see Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and lots of other sights at little additional cost.

4. Regarding air travel, never sit in a middle seat and never use the toilet on the plane if you can help it.

5. Buy two of everything, like a razor, deodorant, etc. Have it packed and ready to go so you don’t have to gather it up at the last minute and forget something.

6. Be careful where and what you eat. Eating badly is easy to do when traveling. Usually eating too much of the wrong thing and spending too much money.

Greg Nettle, President
Stadia Church Planting

1. Get TSA Precheck, Global entry and CLEAR. I want to spend as little time in the airport as possible.

2. Fly the same airline as often as you can. Being a frequent flyer gives you free luggage check, better seats, access to sky clubs and dedicated help when you need it most (delays, rescheduling, etc.).

3. Whenever possible DO NOT check a bag. I can pack for five days with my carry on.

4. And just for fun: Wireless earbuds, iPad loaded with books, music, movies and favorite games, Take Five candy bars, Starbucks Via, and leak-proof pens.

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I’m the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In 13 years the church has grown from a small group in my home to over 2,000 incredible people. Before that I served in churches of 25 to 600 in attendance. I love church planters and pastors of smaller churches, and totally understand the difficult challenges they face as they try to help people find their way back to God.