This year I flew 250,000 miles, which is a lot for those of you who don’t travel. A normal “heavy travel” year for me is around 150,000 miles. So with all this experience – my “glamorous life” of traveling around the world – I thought I would give you some travel tips that come straight from real life.
Now that I am in full holiday travel mode, it requires a bit more patience, so here are some meant-to-be funny top 10 travel tips you might be able to relate to:
- If you are smart enough to pay for the TSA pre-check, then you should know to check the rules ahead of time and come prepared with no water in your bags or items over 3 oz. Yes, after standing in line for 20 minutes listening to the agents yell the rules, it is hugely annoying when you halt the entire line. (Yep, it was one of my kids who recently did this. I was mortified when she pulled out five things that were 10 oz. each.)
- When your taxi cab driver at the airport yells at you to get out of the car and put your own bags in the trunk, it is best to just get out of the cab immediately and find a different one because the next 30 minutes riding with him will be horrible.
- If you are traveling with small kids in a crowded airport, it is best to not have them all hold hands in a giant human chain and block the entire walkway.
- Treat a walk through a U.S. airport just as you would drive – you walk on the right-hand side; internationally, you need to move to the left-hand side. It’s amazing how much this helps get you where you want to go. (I forgot this when I was super jetlagged while abroad and everyone was giving me dirty looks as I walked down the right side.)
- Your cellphone and social media can wait… Don’t get distracted and leave your luggage at security. (This happened to one of my kids who I won’t name – and then they didn’t notice until boarding time.)
- Don’t yell at the gate agents. Have you EVER seen anyone yell at a gate agent, and then the agent gives them whatever they want?
- When you’re at 30,000 ft and you push the call button for the flight attendant, don’t EVER say, “I don’t like this plane because it’s old, uncomfortable and the seats are small. I’m not happy.” Don’t expect a different airplane mid-flight. (Yes, someone next to me really did this.)
- Expect the unexpected: I must have a natural trusted look at airports. I have randomly been handed around six babies to hold – in security, right before landing, deplaning, etc. All were totally unexpected, and I was just handed an infant for various, but all good, reasons. I’m glad I knew what I was doing, I just didn’t appreciate the one who wet through the diaper.
- When you wake up in your own bed and panic because you don’t know what day it is or which country or state you’re in … You are traveling too much!
- It’s the holidays, which I love. I enjoy wondering who people are going to see and watching our troops coming home, watching the hugs in baggage claim and the power of relationships. I am glad that I have a small impact on helping the aviation industry provide this amazing experience. So pack some extra patience and try to make someone smile on your journey, and you will start to feel better yourself!