Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Always, Sometimes, Never: The Travel Edition

Well what do you know, I am once again in the midst of a trip.  This time to Orlando.  Please don't be jealous.  I'm attending a conference for work which is a good learning opportunity for me but I could just as well be in Timbuktu because between the conference, client dinners, and studying for the CFA, it's not like I will see the light of day. But I guess I will see palm trees and sun from the confines of the hotel, which is probably better than looking outdoors and seeing snirt (the midwesterner's term for the lovely combination of snow and dirt)!  I *hope* this is my last work trip before the move because I am totally worn out!  I can't wait to get home tonight so I can sleep in my own bed and not eat out every meal. Except I found out last night that I have to go back to Charlotte AGAIN next week. It's a quick trip but still. It's like the powers that be forgot I am studying for the CFA and preparing for a cross country move. :(. But I digress.

Through all the traveling I've done, I have definitely developed some habits, rituals, and perspectives so I thought I'd share them in the format of an "always, sometimes, never" post.

I always...
- attach my keys to a latch in an inner pocket of my backpack when I get to the airport - and they stay there until I fly back into the airport.  That way I always know where they are and avoid the "OMG where did I put my keys" panic attack.

- travel with my backpack (and put my purse inside of it while boarding to meet the 2 carry-on maximum rule), even when I don't bring my laptop.  I think a backpack is the most space efficient and ergonomic carry-on, although traveling with one probably makes me look like I am a college student.

- try to sit in an aisle seat as I like the freedom of being able to get up and go to the bathroom without having to disturb someone else. My exception is international flights as I like being able to lean against the window when I try to sleep on those flights.

I sometimes...
- have a drink in the airport at the start of a trip if it's for personal or if it's an evening flight and I don't have to study on the flight.  It's nice to have a glass of wine to start off a trip!


- get upgraded to first class now that I have Silver status on Delta (which is the lowest status so really not a big deal). I love it when this happens as the extra seat room is awesome since I kind of have long legs!

- get really, really annoyed with people in the security line that don't observe what should be well known rules by now.  Like last week a women went through security with 2 full 20 ounce bottles of water.  What in the what?  Does she live under a rock?

I never...
- initiate conversation with my seatmate.  I am just not a 'talk to a stranger I will never see again' type of person.

- check a bag on domestic flights, even though I can check a bag for free on Delta. I've had a couple of awful experiences of having my luggage get lost and it's way more efficient to just carry-on.

- have been in an airport that is as nice as the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.  We have the best food options and book stores, IMO.  It is a rather large airport but once you understand how it's laid out, it's actually really easy to navigate. 

Do you have any travel rituals?

25 comments:

abbi said...

I always try to carry-on as well and am a backpack packer!

Gracie said...

I bring a water bottle and fill it up at an airport fountain. I refuse to pay for water!

Becky said...

OMG I just typed this whole long comment and my computer freaked out! Grr!

I always get a bottle of water & soft pretzel from Auntie Anne's when I fly out of a certain airport. (I always seem to be at a gate near the stand and I am not complaining!)

I never check a bag unless it's a direct flight.

Also, my friend mentioned this the other day - I hope you're all finished traveling for awhile in April, but we should prepare ourselves for sometimes longer lines and processes. Sequestration starts 1 April and both air traffic controllers and TSA employees will be furloughed on certain days so airports may not have as big of staffs.

Stephany said...

You're in Orlandooooo? You're so close to me! I wish you had time to meet up for dinner. But I imagine you are super, super busy so next time! :) Enjoy our nice weather as much as you can. It's been so gorgeous lately!

Kyla Roma said...

Ooh, being upgraded would be amazing! That's never happened to me. I use the key trick too, otherwise I would be checking for them every. five. minutes. Good luck at the conference!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I used to get upgraded. Now I never fly. It's so sad. :(

I am like you: I always get annoyed at the people with things in their pockets who don't take their laptop out of the case before putting it through security. I never check a bag. I always wear my largest pair of shoes on the flight. I sometimes steal the hotel shampoos (if they are good ones, like at the Marriott).

Leigh said...

I will always wear comfortable clothes if I can! I don't understand women who wear really tall high heel shoes. Just doesn't make sense to me

Jeanie said...

I wish they'd just let you stay home and pack! I try for the aisle, too. And generally, I'm a reader not a talker. I try to wear a sports bra (no snaps) and shoes I don't have to tie!

Raquelita said...

MSP is a great airport, so long as you're flying out of the main terminal. The other terminal is something of a desolate wasteland.

Unless I'm traveling for a job interview, I always carry a backpack instead of my briefcase, as it is so much better for my back and shoulders.

Nora said...

I always treat myself to a new crossword puzzle book on each trip, buy a bottle of water AFTER I make it through security and get to the airport early. I'm terrified of being late, missing my flight or being stuck behind those people who don't know the rules and hold me up.

Abby said...

I agree with you on so many of these topics! I don't know how to handle traveling so much -- I hate flying!!!! No, I'm not scared of it. I just don't like the discomfort involved.

I am mad impressed you carry on. I have got to get better at consolidating my packing!!

Marisa A. said...

I think we are travel twins! I always attach my keys to the strap in my pocket of my backpack. Although I have to admit, I really liked the Orlando airport. It was easy to navigate, clean and had really awesome snack shops. And, I too heard a girl argue with security about a full water bottle. Her claim " It hasn't even been opened yet!" Seriously?

Marisa A. said...

I think we are travel twins! I always attach my keys to the strap in my pocket of my backpack. Although I have to admit, I really liked the Orlando airport. It was easy to navigate, clean and had really awesome snack shops. And, I too heard a girl argue with security about a full water bottle. Her claim " It hasn't even been opened yet!" Seriously?

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I always overpack.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

This post was great! I'm pretty guilty of trying to carry on things I'm not allowed to carry on - but, I'm a casual traveler now and am definitely not on the up and up with travel rules. In a former life, I would've nodded my head yes to pretty much your whole post. Traveling with a child changes everything.
- I ALWAYS check on bags now, because my carry on luggage is chock full of a million and one ways to entertain a toddler.
- I sometimes have to engage in conversation with my neighbor, because my son is usually up to no good and I'm very apologetic.
- I never get to sleep on flights anymore, because the toddler won't sleep and can't be left to his own devices, which should make for an interesting trans-Atlantic flight should that take place in the next year!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I am the same way- I never initiate conversations and I usually get annoyed when people try to talk to me. Eric and I were going for a walk last night and he got in a conversation WHILE WALKING with some guy about his dog. I was like... REALLY. lol.

Debauchery guy was maybe my own exception. He was amusing.

I carry on for weekend and long weekend trips OR if I have to pay for a bag. If it's free and a week long trip, I'll usually bring a bag. I always put really important stuff in my carry on though.

So jealous you get upgraded to first class. I never have, and I've never flown first class ever. Sad. But it would probably spoil me, so I'll tell myself it's better not to!

San said...

I also like to travel with a backpack (for the same reasons you mentioned) and I always get an aisle seat if possible. :)

I have to say though: I don't have good memories of the airport in Minneapolis. It's the only airport that ever gave me trouble when I was still on a visa and where I was interrogated for 2 hours after one of my arrivals in the States. NOT FUN AT ALL.

Shoshanah said...

It's been a while since I've been there, but I love the Jet Blue terminal at JFK. Everything feels like it's lit up by a blue glow, and they had several restaurants inside with "Blue" in their name. Talk about going all out to make sure your brand is represented!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I always eat breakfast in the airport before leaving the city (but this weekend is my first afternoon flight, so I might eat breakfast at the home for the first time).

I sometimes have a drink on the flight.

I never have sat in the emergency exit seats before.

Barb Geier said...

I don't intend to seem rude to people, but I do NOT like to chat with whomever is next to me on a plane.

Safe travels! Rest well when you get home.

Amber said...

I always wear comfy clothes - usually leggings! I sometimes have a drink, especially if it's an evening flight. I never initiate the conversation either but I will occasionally partake in it if my seatmate starts talking to me depending on the kind of mood I'm in. Most of the time I prefer to be silent but I don't mind chatting from time to time.

Lisa-Marie said...

I don't inderstand people who travel with anything other than a backpack. They are just so practical!

Also, first class ! Swish!

missris said...

I NEVER check a bag. Haven't since they started charging for it, but even before that I didn't do it very often because I'd had several awful experiences (one time my bag was lost for two weeks and ended up at Heathrow in London...I was flying Chicago to Austin, direct).

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Ah, I love how practical you are when traveling. These kinds of details just make me appreciate people more. I typically bring a shoulder bag and stuff my purse inside, but occasionally take a backpack. And I am trying to do more carryon during trips so I don't spend the extra $$, but I also don't travel very often.

Melissa said...

Oh I love this! Hmmm let's see, travel rituals... I avoid the middle seat at all costs. I'm always more of an aisle seat person, unless I know the person/people sitting next to me. I always bring a backpack as a carry on as it can double up as a pillow (open your tray, put your backpack, lean on backpack like you are falling asleep in class!)... It's the most efficient way I have been able to fall asleep on long flights, as I hate the feeling of my head lolling to the side when I try and lean back!

What else... I avoid eating meat and dairy before a flight. I once had a chicken sandwich before getting on a flight to my brother's wedding and I was violently ill from the moment I got to the airport, straight through my 5 hour flight, and throughout that entire day. I missed an entire day of vacation. I take all precautions to make sure I'm not sick before boarding a flight now!