Tremendous Travel Tips
- Laura Petherbridge TheSmartStepmom.com
- 2012 11 Nov
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:
- 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.
- 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:
- Pack an over the door hook (Wal-Mart $2) in case there is limited closet space
- Don’t assume they will provide hangers, soap and toiletries.
- Bring a bathrobe. The restroom may not be in close proximity to your room.
- Take a hostess gift they will enjoy, or take them out to dinner as a thank you.
- Things that make travel easier:
- Backpack: Remember that when you turn around, the pack swats those near you. While seated on a plane I’ve almost been decapitated by a backpack on numerous occasions.
- When boarding the plane step out of the center aisle to let people pass as quickly as possible. Keep the things you wish to use during the flight out of your luggage BEFORE boarding.
- In the airport keep the path to the doorway clear until it is your row is called for boarding. If the path is clogged with luggage and people, boarding takes longer.
- Be courteous: use low volume and ear buds when listing to music or TV, don’t kick the seat in front of you, and keep your arms and legs within your seat space.
On the trip back home from Seattle to Orlando another young boy was seated in my row. But this adorable Canadian chap was polite, kind and a pleasure. As we chatted about his vacation he eagerly opened his bag and offered me a treat from his plethora of snacks—what a difference from the first child. However, let’s remember—he was on his way to see a VERY big mouse.
Copyright © 2009 Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved
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Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on relationships, spiritual growth, divorce prevention, and divorce recovery. She is the author of When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, and a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series. Her newest book The Smart Stepmom, is co-authored with Ron Deal. Laura’s website is www.TheSmartStepmom.com
Publication date: November 29, 2012