Or, how to get a great deal on a hotel. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
If you are planning to fly this summer, book an early flight. It’s less likely to be delayed or cancelled. Also, pack your patience. Be kind - you will find that you will be treated better if you treat others nicely. Bring a mask, you may find that you will want it in a crowded setting.
My best travel tip is to travel as lightly as you possibly can. For most leisure travel, you should be able to pack a week's worth in a small backpack (30-40L). You don't need anything more if you'll be gone longer, provided you have access to a sink to do some laundry. If you need help on figuring how to do this, go back and read the classic text on minimalist travel - Europe Through the Backdoor by Rick Steves.
I've never had my luggage lost, even when I have a tight connection. I can stay at funky hotels that may not have an elevator. I worry less about having my things stolen since I have less to keep track of. I save money on baggage fees. I could go on... the benefits of bringing less far outweigh having extra stuff.
Sometimes I feel compelled to talk to strangers. Having a pet can make it easier to strike up conversations or just having a common interest with people you meet. Last night, I started talking to a young man playing guitar in our town's Circle. I really admire young people who pick up an instrument and learn to play.
What about you, do you just start talking to people you meet randomly? If you aren't, I think you're missing out.
1. Always bring at least one book.
2. Arrive at the airport early.
3. If you have carry on its better to get to your seat early, otherwise, don’t.
4. Water is your friend, especially at a cabin pressure equal to 6,500’ of altitude. Us a bottle right after TSA.
5. Own noise-canceling earbuds/headphones if you can.
6. Download a few movies if you have a device as well as some relaxing music.
7. A blowup head pillow is gold on a flight over an hour.
8. Bring your own lunch and have extra bars as a snack for delays.
9. Take a photo of where you parked with the level, area, etc.
10. Go easy on the perfume/aftershave.
Don't travel. Work from home. Surf the net, National Geographic Channel, and experience the world from your armchair. No passports, toll roads, hotel bills, high gas prices, car breakdowns, mechanic repair bills, fender benders, and expensive restaurant menu prices. And more "beer money" to stock up the frig!
My travel tip is the same as Carry's: Pack a carry on and don't check a bag. Avoids delays on both ends of your trip and eliminates the risk of your suitcase getting lost. If you have a longer trip, stay at an airbnb with a washing machine.
My travel advice is stay a hotel you like with a rewards program. A good nights sleep, and with mine, a good breakfast, makes one less thing to worry about. You can spend travel dollars on risky things like out if the way restaurants or funky souvenirs, but at the end of the day you’ll have a peaceful place to land and be saving up points for perhaps a last minute travel excursion!
I, too, love talking to strangers, and can strike up a conversation most anywhere. Most memorable recently:
I met a young man (30-something, I’m 70-something) at the community table at a local breakfast spot. We began talking about tattoos and their meanings, and addiction to tattoo-ing, and that he is a tattoo model (who knew?) and that he is the cover model on a few romance novels. And about his drug addiction and recovery and that he can’t decide what he wants to get his masters degree in but thinks he would be a good school counselor and is looking for a job and he had an interview the following week and was nervous. And I told him I had some connections and would he like to talk with them… so I texted them while we were eating and we exchanged cell numbers. AND yes they’d be happy to talk with him. AND he got a job though not the exact one he wanted. He recommended a tattoo artist to me and… surprise… I got my first tattoo a month later. So, here’s to the power of “talking with strangers.”
Was on a flight recently and the woman next to me & I started talking. Turns out she was the daughter of a junior pilot on Pan Am's Flight 9 in 1956 - the first airliner to ditch in the ocean with no fatalities.
Flight 9 became the training video for pilots and a model for what Sully was able to accomplish with US Airways Flight 1549 or 'Miracle on the Hudson." There is video because in the early days of long flights over water, Coast Guard ships were positioned in the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, offering weather information to flight crews and relaying radio messages. Upon landing, Coast Guard rescue boats sped toward the plane, while other Coast Guard officers filmed the event.
Super fascinating what you can learn from strangers. :-)
(Here is the story if you are interested: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/08/nyregion/a-miracle-on-the-pacific-53-years-before-sully-landed-on-the-hudson.html)
Vermont? Nooooooooooooo. If you're not born and bred there, the locals give you the cold shoulder. Unless you're filthy rich. Then they just want your money.
Best state? Whichever one you love the best. Duh.
We got a pull-behind camper a year prior to COVID. Learned a few valuable driving tips. Fridays seem to be the heaviest, congested travel day of the week. We would try to go around large cities (especially NYC!) using the loops. It usually added several minutes or more to the driving time, but well worth it.
Travel? Drive! See what you're missing. Get a quality Rand McNally map. No, not on your phone. A real one, laminated. Now look for those little places in red. "Worlds largest something or other". Go there.
When you see a road that makes you think, " Gee, I wonder where that goes?" Take that road. Find a small town. Eat there. See if there is a B&B. Stay there.
Huge hint: Be friendly! Smile, laugh, and most importantly, ask the people living there about their town. People love to talk up their town.
Remember, it's about the journey. Savor it.
If you’re flying and you have to check luggage, put at least a clean shirt and underwear in your carryon, even if you’re on your way home. On my way home from Europe I missed my connecting flight and had to overnight in an airport hotel. I was desperate to take a shower but the thought of putting my dirty clothes on was so disgusting I slept in them instead.
Senate Republicans blocked legislation? I am shocked! Shocked, I tell you!
How in The Wide World of Sports does anyone support the party of No? Seriously. That's all Mitch and his merry band of idiots do. Vote no on everything. Doesn't matter what the legislation is or how much the country needs it, vote no.
They even vote no on positions they originally supported! What. The. Fu...??? I am of the opinion that when politics go screwy follow the money to find out why. So who is bankrolling the Senate Republicans?
My advice is PLAN early! (A year out is a good rule of thumb)
Make reservations at ABNBs when possible and NEVER turn on the TV at your destination.
Get out and enjoy everything nature has to offer.
Always pack your rain gear and layers regardless of the forecast - you won’t regret this!
Hotel upgrade trick: If you are checking in later in the afternoon for just the night, ask for an upgrade or even one of the suites at the same price. If the hotel hasn't booked those rooms yet, it is unlikely that they will. they get a very satisfied customer and you get a nicer, sometimes much nicer, room.