Travel Is Not So Glamorous

This is Day 12 of my 31 Days of August Awesomeness Blog Challenge. Want to know more? Check out the inaugural post here.

I have potentially three trips lined up for August. Two are for work, and one is for vacation (yay!). That means I’m going to be hanging out in airports and airplanes ALOT over the next 2 1/2 weeks or so.

I’m a Delta Gold Medallion member, so that should give you an idea of how much I traveled in 2011. My trips go in spurts- for example I haven’t traveled since mid-June, but now have three trips in 2 1/2 weeks. That’s just the way that things seem to shake out. Part of that reason has to be because I found Traxplorio | Best Travel Community on the internet, where I got the much-needed information I needed before visiting the Grand Canyon in PA.

I’ve learned two things over the past several years with travel:

  1. You can never have enough patience.
  2. Most things are completely out of your control so it’s not worth getting upset. (So see #1.)

Tomorrow morning my first flight leaves at 5:30am. That’s way early. Most times though, I don’t mind. I miss a lot of the “prime time” craziness in the airport, and being willing to fly early means that I don’t have (usually) spend more than one night away from home.

Here’s my favorite travel tips for weary travelers:

  • Organize everything the night before. The more you can gather, straighten, put away, and pack ahead of time the better. If you leave everything to the last hour before you are walking out the door, it’s a guarantee you’ll forget something.
  • Check your flight status and parking lot status ahead of time. The internet is a beautiful thing. You can find out if your flight is delayed, if your gate has changed, or if you need to find alternate parking without leaving home. These couple of extra steps can save you hours of aggravation later.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. You will need to take them off going through security anyway. Then you may have to walk what feels like miles to your gates. If you are unlucky, you may have to run to a connection. Blisters on the bottom of your feet during vacation- not cool.
  • Bring snacks. I’ve had this scenario happen more than once. I intend to grab a bite to eat while waiting on a connecting flight. My first flight is delayed. I’m booking to catch the connecting flight, and I make it right before they close the door. Then I’m sitting there, hot, sweaty, and starving. My least favorite snack? Overpriced airline snack boxes.
  • Don’t yell. It helps no one. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve missed a flight, your flight’s been canceled, or your flight is delayed by hours, don’t take it out on the airline employees or the people around you. Traveling is stressful even when everything goes smoothly. People can and do get upset on a regular basis, but please, try to keep your cool and resolve the situation without making everyone else around you miserable. I’ve gotten on flights that had a mile-long standby list just by being courteous and respectful with the airline employees. Being nice does pay off.

When someone asks me how my travels were, I love being able to say this, “It was uneventful.”  The absolute best kind of travel by far.

(photo credit Sean MacEntee)