Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tricks of the Traveling Trade.

Photo Credit.

Airports. Let’s chat about them. I know many of my readers (whose blogs I also read) either travel frequently for work or are headed places this summer for vacation (hopefully both). I’m wondering if you all find airports as interesting as I do. I never have a dull travel experience and I fly a lot! In fact, my flight schedule for the next few months involves…

Pittsburgh, PA
Cinci, OH
Myrtle Beach, SC
Isle of Palms, SCIndianapolis, IN in Sept, Oct, Nov (x2), & Dec
Raleigh, NC
And a few more I can’t publicize just yet.

First off, let’s talk about the people you meet when you travel. A few years back on a flight to Hawaii I slept on the shoulder of a man with no teeth. Crap, now you know how to get me if I ever play ‘Never have I ever’ with you in the future! Gr. Confessions….Nice guy though. When you’re exhausted and dirty from traveling for 12 hours, you aren’t picky about your travel friends. Or at least, I wasn’t.

On a flight to my sister’s wedding (2 flights, actually) I met a guy who happened to be on both my flights, in the seat next to me and was from my school. Fate? Perhaps. Regardless, we’ve been friends for 3 years now since our airport meeting and we check in from time to time to see what the other is up too. He’s working on his PhD (still at Purdue) and I’m in Florida working, obviously. He’s one of the only travel buddies I’ve ever been daring enough to share my personal info with…we started as only facebook friends.

Flying home (to Indy, I mean) I was offered a job with Verizon once! That was interesting. I met two men who headed up sales areas in the Midwest and after gabbing with them for an hour or so they took a liking to me and gave me their cards, saying if I ever wanted to move home and work for them – they would have a place for me. Presh. I’m happily employed and settled here in Florida but the gesture warmed my heart and it’s always encouraging to make a good first impression (hard to do while looking a hot mess en route home).

Let me share with you a few words of wisdom about travel (feel free to comment some additions, my traveling friends)…

- Never take a layover to save 50 bucks. In my experience your time is worth a lot more than your money when it comes to traveling. If it’s the difference between 200 and 250 bucks but you have to stop in Detroit on the way, don’t do it. Fork over the money and fly direct. You will thank me.
- Unless Atlanta is your ‘final destination’, avoid it like the plague. I have honestly NEVER had a good experience with a layover in Atlanta and en route to the Super Bowl this year my sister actually had to sleep in the ATL airport, without her bag, which they’d lost by then. Yeah, ugly stuff.
- Don’t wear complicated shoes. You’ll be in a full sweat by the time you get through security and the people behind you (who will inevitably be on your flight and close enough to glare at you) will hate you by the time you successfully get them on, on the flip-side. I recommend shoes that slip on and off… flip flops, ballet flats, sperrys, uggs, etc. (I don’t know enough about men shoes to have lots of creative ideas for them, so sorry). Please avoid crocs….please.
- Dress for the summer, plan for the arctic! It never fails if I dress for the plane to be 60 degrees, it’s 90. If I plan for it to be 90 degrees, it’s 60. I’ve learned to layer so that regardless I’m not dealing with chattering teeth or sweaty pits.
- It’s over your head. If you’re going to carry on, practice lifting your bag above your head before you leave your house. I always pick my carry on up and make sure that I will be able to lift it (even if slightly awkwardly) over my head and into the bin. If you don’t, chances are you will either crush your soon-to-be plane neighbor OR you will have to ask for help and lets me honest, people are cranky on planes! I like to be prepared…if it’s wicked heavy, take a pair of jeans out. A southwest employee taught me that.
- Establish Boundaries/Learn to Ignore. If you want get anything done while flying I highly recommend setting the expectations early on. If I plan to read or sleep, I sit down, put my ipod on and proceed to ignore the people sitting next to me (assuming I don’t know them, of course). If you start chatting at the beginning you’ll get stuck chatting until you touch down. Sometimes, I don’t mind this (in the case of attractive, single men for instance) but for the most part I prefer to be left alone with my Kindle.

If I sat here long enough I could probably tell you 100 more stories and tips but I’ll spare you. You now have the force, Luke (Star Wars reference, don’t judge). Use it well.



Mere said...

Cute post. I love to travel. The airport is one of my fave parts of travel--I love it. (weird I know) Great tips. I myself enjoy silence on the plane but my husband on the other hand talks to everyone. lol Safe upcoming travels. :-)

Anonymous said...

If your trip to Pittsburgh involves the Steelers, I'll be your willing travel companion... :-)

IGal said...

Great post. Very useful, thanks for sharing!

Btw my best advice is to always have a carry-on only. That way you don't face the risk of losing luggage and you don't have to wait!

Island Gal said...

I left an award for you at my blog: http://www.nycislandgal.com/2010/06/button-up.html

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Amen on the complicated shoes bit!