Travel News, Parramatta Eels Dept.

The New York Times had a highly trafficked feature a few days ago highlighting travel tips from tech-world sophisticates. Two I agree with:

if you have work to do or a stack of magazines to pore over, try it [one tech whiz's] way: Go [to the airport] early. Absurdly early.

Yes. Almost no "savings" in time is worth the surplus stress of wondering if you're going to miss the plane. This is a lesson someone told me when I was in my 20s, and I have only learned to appreciate it more with the passing years. And, regarding our friends at the TSA:

As you approach the X-ray belt, put your shoes in the first bin, your laptop and liquids in the second bin, and your carry-on bag in the last bin. This way, when you're waiting for them on the other side of the metal detector, you'll be able to put your shoes back on first, then grab your laptop and liquids and, finally, return them to your bag.

Yes, yes, yes! Anyone who has not been doing it this way is a chump.

But mysteriously the article left out an important travel tip: how to bring back, safely, bottles of Three Sheets Pale Ale, from the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, long renowned as the best brewpub in Australia. The Lord Nelson home base in Sydney, as it looked last week. [Note the trees and the long shadows. It is dead of winter in Australia.]

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Here is the advice left out of that NYT article. The right way to bring back a bottle of Three Sheets is to put it in a foam bottle-cozy with the logo of the Parramatta Eels rugby league football team.

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Second best -- probably more protective, but overall less stylish -- is to put bottles in your shoes.

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You'll thank me on your next trip.
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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