I spent the first part of my summer traveling almost every week. I started in mid-May and traveled consecutive weeks all the way into mid-June. It was tough being away from family for so many stretches at a time, but Chris helping more on the home front, along with a few summer camps for the kiddos and our awesome nanny, made it easier.
I actually got pretty good at traveling. I learned a few central life lessons while out on the road and I thought I’d share them with you today.
- Pay whatever it takes to not have the middle seat on an airplane.
- Chewing cinnamon gum on the plane yourself will (sort of) help counteract the bad breathe of your seat neighbor.
- Americans don’t wear near enough deodorant. We should be spraying that stuff on mass transit crowds like confetti.
- When you’re trying to eat healthy, small town America is not your friend. But grocery store are.
- No matter how much you feel like you can splurge because you’re traveling, you’ll feel so much better if you stick to your regular, normal diet.
- Request to have a hotel room at the end of the hallway. Further walk from the elevator, but usually much quieter.
- Stick to one airline, hotel, rental car company to accumulate points. (I’m a Delta/Holiday Inn/Hertz girl myself.)
- FaceTiming with your family in the mornings while they get ready for the day generates better conversations than at night when all of you are tired.
- Call home often. I call/text Chris in the morning, at lunch, after I finish for the day, at dinner (for the kiddos), and before bed. It makes me feel closer to home.
- Pack lightly and carry it on when you can.
- Make up remover sheets will set off a moisture detector in security. If you’re going to bring them (I always do), pack them somewhere you can get them out easily.
- When you’re bored or lonely, find a Walmart or Target and roam the aisles. It will make you feel like you are back home.
- Do face masks in your hotel room at night.
- Bring your journal/Bible/planner with you to help keep some normalcy in your day.
- If you’re traveling on business, get as much work done as you can while you’re out. For example, I always try to have my expense reports filed by the time I get home so that I don’t have to spend more time away from my family when I get there.
- Plug all your electronics into the same outlets in the same general area so that you don’t leave anything behind.
- When you use something from your suitcase, put it right back when you finish to help keep all your stuff together and make packing up easy.
- If you’re not a breakfast eater, like me, stop at the continental breakfast to look for snacks you can pack away for later in the day.
- When renting a car for just yourself, go one size above compact.
- If you’re renting from Hertz, select the Manager’s Special rental. I’ve gotten some much nicer cars than I would have chosen and they are cheaper because it’s a special rate.
- When you get to your hotel, hang up your clothes for the next day to let some of the wrinkles fall out overnight.
- Even if you have TSA precheck, still pack your toiletries in Ziplock bags in case they explode in your toiletry case (has happened twice to me).
- If you have a choice, fly out early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening. The weather is usually better and you’ll have less delays.
- If you have to reschedule part of your flight during your trip, use the airline app instead of calling or using their website. It’s faster and you’ll get better rates.
- Add your family to the text message list when you book your flights so that they will get text message updates when changes are made to your itinerary. Saves you from having to keep everyone informed.
- Take a picture of where you park your car in the airport parking garage. You’ll never remember when you stumble around at 11pm looking for it in a few days!
- Take a backpack as your personal item. I put all my purse items in there and just leave the purse at home. It keeps my hands free in transit.
I just spent this morning booking four more trips for business travel that are back to back, beginning in mid-July. I’m not really looking forward to it because I’ve gotten used to being home again, but at least I know a few things about how to make business travel more enjoyable along the way. If you’re going to have to do it, at least do it right!