January 5 2009 by Mike Mason
I hate to think I am the only person on this rush and go planet that has made some dumb mistakes while traveling. And not just the kind where you forget to take the toothpaste out of your carry-on bag and then have to go through the extra security checks, but things that don't have much excuse. I once forgot my identification (a driver's license in this case) not once, but twice. After arriving at the airport and realizing I was in trouble, I had to do some fancy talking to try and get myself on the plane. These instances were both pre 9-11 and when I was younger, but still (btw, I got on the plane both times, but I doubt that would happen today).
And I have been able to witness other people's travel missteps along the way. I learned firsthand that you should not stow a heavy metal tube in the overhead bin. Some poor lady two rows in front of me was forced to deplane (not at her final destination mind you) to be examined by medical professionals after someone's metal tube landed on her head after the overhead bin was opened during flight. Yes, items really do shift during take-off--metal tubes do anyway.
So in the spirit of the new travel year, here are a few travel resolutions:
- Know which airline I am going to be using for my flight and avoid being dropped off at the wrong terminal. This only happened once and I could use the exercise, but I don't need the added stress of rushing from Terminal F to Terminal W to catch my plane.
- Splurge more for the upgrades. Why not? With airline travel down and with my airline miles expiring quicker than ever, I should kick in for the upgrade now. Maybe I could even get a few freebies if I asked for it.
- Have a comfy plane ride that lasts longer than 3 hours. I have never been able to sleep on a plane, even though I've been on flights that lasted 20+ hours. I am determined to find the secret to comfy travel. Maybe those neck pillows will do the trick? Note to self, try the neck pillows.
- Update my iPod movie list. I always remember to take my iPod only to realize I have seen everything on it multiple times. (I can still watch the Arrested Development episodes, but for longer trips it is nice to have something new to escape in.)
- Road trip. This year is the year to take a road trip...not sure where yet. I have been thinking Yellowstone.
- Take advantage of hotel travel deals. They are out there. Be ever vigilant and find that deal.
- Use the exercise facility at the hotel. Ok, I don't do a great job of this when I'm not traveling, but why not use the free evening to form some new habits.
- Let the kids use the in-room video game system in the hotel. I resist this when traveling with my kids. If we are on a family vacation, maybe we should wait to get back home for the video game tournament. Oh, wait, they have Mario Rampage, I got next!
- Take the scenic route. Stop and read the signs. My dad is a plaque reader. Everywhere we went, if there was a plaque posted he was going to read the whole thing, pull over or take a detour. It drove me crazy. But now that I am older, why not take a few extra moments and try and discover something interesting along the way. I can hear my kids groan now.
- Enjoy the journey. We are a travel-jaded society for the most part. We have become scarred and burdened by it, but when you think of how easy it is to zip across the planet like no time in history it really is amazing. Enjoy the journey.
Oh yeah, and make sure you have your driver's license.
What are your travel resolutions for the upcoming year? Post a comment and let us know.