The door was ready to close on my plane headed from Orlando to Seattle. I was pleased to notice that most rows consisted of passengers looking out the window, and seated in the aisle, with the middle spot vacant. However, I was even more fortunate on this lengthy flight. In aisle seat 25C I had the entire row to myself—or so I thought. 

Just before take off the man seated kitty corner to me asked if he could move to the window seat in my row. After a few seconds of, “What would Jesus do?” dancing through my brain, I agreed. I was a bit disappointed to give up my extended space, but blessings often come in disguise.

Within minutes after my new seatmate buckled his safety belt I spotted a young mother attempting to walk down the center aisle. She was having difficulty because her young son continuously stopped, laid down on the floor in the aisle, and with hands and feet flailing screamed to the top of his lungs. 

When you are a frequent flyer out of Orlando it’s not uncommon to observe one or two children that have hugged Goofy one too many times, or heard “It’s a small, small world” until it borders on insanity.    

However, as this child’s howling continued the atmosphere on the plane shifted from calm to tension and dread. The mom tried to coax her son to get off the floor with adoring phrases such as, “Come on, Honey” and “Sweetheart, please get up.” I am certain each passenger joined me in thinking, “Please God don’t let me be the unlucky person to sit next to this child for 6 hours.”

The woman stopped at my row, and spotted the man now seated in the window seat. She looked at the flight attendant who stood nearby and that’s when the horrific reality hit me. “Those 2 seats were for her and this child, it’s my row!!” Recognizing that the man had moved into the woman’s seat the kind attendant ushered the woman and child to a vacant row all to themselves. As the child’s wailing continued, the attendant proceeded to hand out bright pink ear plugs to the passengers within an audible range. 

I turned to look at the man beside me, and whispered to him, “Bless You.” We both smiled. 

As someone who travels often I thought others might benefit from a few “road warrior” tips. Here are several of my favorites:

Safety

  • Photocopy your driver’s license, passport, and front/back of credit cards. Keep a copy at home in case of theft. 
  • Put your name and contact information inside as well as outside your suitcase.
  • Pack a small jingle bell tied on string to hang on your hotel door, that way you’ll hear if anyone tries to enter. 
  • A small flashlight will help in power outages.
  • If you go for a walk or to the fitness center make certain your have ID in case of emergency.
  • On your airplane count the number of rows front and back to the exits. If in an emergency where the plane fills with smoke, you’ll be able to count your way to an exit. 

Practical:

  • A few little things I carry: nightlight, alarm clock, band aids, mole skin (to help when shoes create a blister)
  • Spray Lysol on door handles, TV remote, things that have been touched a lot. It comes in a purse size and kills almost all germs. 
  • Earplugs and eye mask. You never know when the people in the next hotel room will be having a party or a fight at 3 am.
  • Airborne-little tablets that you drop in 4 oz of water. It’s vitamins and minerals that prevent illness. It’s expensive but I think it helps.
  • Visine- for some reason hotels make my eyes red, maybe it’s the dry air or cleaning detergent.
  • Make up removal cloths prevent damage to the hotel’s washcloth with mascara, and it doesn’t need to go in the quart sized baggie as liquid at airport security. 
  • Sewing kit and/or iron-on hem tape
  • Lavender body lotion or oil-the smell helps to relax 

When staying in someone’s home: