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photo courtesy of DUN Magazinephoto courtesy of DUN Magazine

Travel Insurance: When someone suggests that I buy travel insurance, I am hit with the same eye roll urge I have when I hear warnings of not letting your gas gauge dip below the half tank mark, dramatic and probably a bit of overkill on the concern side. Typically, the travel insurance we see is only of value if there is a death or hospitalization, only then can you cancel or reschedule a trip — until I found that there is insurance that covers activities beyond our wildest imagination. Sure it covers fishing gear, personal effects, baggage, etc., but if you want to live your best Romancing the Stone moment, go ahead and do a Rickshaw Run in the Himalayas, drive off the cliff and you’re covered! Launch your prized Frisbee into the mouth of a lion in the Serengeti and you’ll have a replacement in no time. If nothing else, the list of activities challenges me to see how I can absolutely shred my new limited-edition Air Guitar (included activity). World Nomads has the most ridiculous and inspiring list of activities with some fairly substantial coverage at an affordable cost. You can also buy while traveling, so before you’re lowered down in the shark feeding cage make sure to have decent WiFi and request a quote.

Passport app: The last time I came back from Mexico, I must have heard the flight attendants suggest an App called Mobile Passport half a dozen times. I was one of three people who took heed. I know this because I was in the line with three people while the rest of my fellow passengers lined up 250 people deep and collectively whined. I was through customs with luggage in hand, jumping in a taxi, before anyone else on my flight could answer “purpose of your visit”.

Baggage policies:  Damn Print, you so fine. Baggage fees are part of the numbers game, but a freebie many people unknowingly under-utilize is taking advantage of the carrier's baggage policy. Many carriers comp fishing gear under their policy provided it’s declared. Some airlines charge one fee for all gear even if it’s in multiple pieces.  Do your research when selecting an airline to fly or to frequent. How many rounds of drinks can you buy with the $100 worth of baggage fees you’ve saved?

What to pack, what to leave: I have gone out and purchased or gone to great lengths to borrow and carry gear that never even touched the water. Talk to your guide ahead of time to see if they have a setup for you to use. Do they provide everything but the fishing license and the banana for your guided trip? You may have a tried and true set up you want to bring and use, but I’ve found I would have saved time and money since I usually end up using a guide's setup anyway.  At the same time, you may be married to your own gear and wouldn’t dare to be caught holding on to another. That’s reel love.

I’ve told you how to save time, money, stress, and restore your sense of adventure, but the most valuable traveler secret I can leave you with is an unconventional airport treasure hunt. Men eating ice cream cones.

Overwhelmingly, I’ve observed this dozens of times in airports and nowhere else. I’ve grown to really enjoy this inside secret observation, and have had no greater glee than when I see two unrelated men’s worlds colliding over mint chocolate chip and rocky road near the gate. It's like watching them spot a twin they didn’t know they had as they lock eyes over a double scoop. Now when you see this remember me. Snap a secret pic and we have an avant-garde coffee table book in our future.