See The World
Seek Adventure Travel Happy
The old saying is that "It's all about the journey, not the destination". While that's true in life, the journey to your vacation destination is often the most unpleasant part. Slogging through airports, sitting next to sweaty, loud people. Spending hours on end, hungry and uncomfortable does not sound great to me. But, it is what you have to do to get to where you're going.
There are a few ways to make it a bit more pleasant, so I'm here to help!
Don't drink Coffee on the plane
But, you're tired and need a little pick me up? Drink some cold water and wait until you're off the plane to get your coffee fix. This is coming from Pat, an aircraft mechanic. There are just too many ways for the water systems to get cross contaminated on a plane. Yes, that yucky bathroom water and the water they use to make coffee. Does it always happen, no. Can it happen fairly easily, yes. Just don't. You'll save yourself from getting sick, and ruining the rest of your trip. Coffee is also going to dehydrate you, which makes beating jet-lag harder. Bottled water is your friend here. Better yet, bring your own refillable bottle, that you an fill up once you pass security.
Flying can be uncomfortable. You're hauling heavy bags and crammed into small spaces for hours on end. So, you're thinking, I'll wear sweatpants and slippers to the airport. Don't be that guy. I'm sorry to say this, but nobody wants to see you in your jim-jams. Not only this, but if you're hoping for an upgrade to first class, you're very unlikely to get it dressed like that. It can be a challenge to get an upgrade anyways, but come dressed like you haven't left the couch in 3 days, and you can guarantee you're staying back in coach with the rest of us.
Sure, flying isn't as glamorous as it once was, but it's no reason to not dress as least as nice as you would to go to dinner at Chili's.
Hack the boarding order
One could argue that boarding the plane first just means you're going to be sitting there longer. True. Today though with baggage fees skyrocketing and overhead bin space becoming premium property, you definitely don't want to get on last.
There have been a couple of times when I've been in a late boarding group and my bag ends up in a bin behind where I'm sitting. This meant that I had to weave through a mass of people to get my bag and then wedge myself back up, both when I get on AND off the plane. You can read all about my near rage blackout at how rude some people can be in this situation. Yes, sometimes you can just wait until EVERYONE is off the plane, then go back and get your bag, but sometimes you've got only a few minutes to make it to your connection and time is not on your side.
To save yourself from this fate, learn a little bit about how airlines decide you boards first and last.
And please, for the love of all things holy, do not use the overhead bin for your jacket, shopping bag, hat, etc. Those are "personal items" and should be stowed under the seat in front of you. You get to put 1 ONE bag in the overhead bin. The rest goes under your seat. That space is for the other passengers' carry on bags, not just you....End rant...
Know that you can ask to have your flight changed if they change the flight time on you
It's becoming more frequent, but I'll book a flight, only to get an alert that my flight time has changed. Sometimes it's only a few minutes, and it isn't a problem. But recently, I had a flight moved up 2.5 hours and arrive 2.5 hours later. That is a big deal. If the flight time is significant or causes you a headache, call the airline and see if they can put you on a better flight. If there is one available, the should put you on that one without charge. If they can't put you on a better flight, you can ask for a voucher as compensation. It likely won't be huge, maybe $100 towards your next flight, but it's better than nothing.
Also, if the change causes you to have to stay overnight somewhere that you otherwise wouldn't, they have an obligation to put you up in a nearby hotel. You paid for something, they're not giving it to you, you can and should ask to be compensated.
Come equipped for every scenario
We've written several posts on how to pack for two weeks in a carry-on and did a guest post with the Global Couple on what you need to beat jet-lag. Just like the boy scouts say, you've got to be prepared. That means, being ready for the plane to be hot, or freezing, to being stuck in an unscheduled stop for 13 hours, for a crying baby, for the plane to have run out of all food options, with the exceptions of beer (yes, that has happened), for your luggage to catch fire, (yes, this has also happened, not to me thankfully), or for any other possible hurdle in your road to paradise.
So, make sure you've got the items I share in those two posts along with things like a battery pack for charging phones. Just because you have the cable, doesn't mean you're going to have an outlet.
And, one of the best things you can bring along is a good travel companion. Someone who's going to calm you down when you're about to have a melt down, or who reminds you to have a snack because they see a hanger attack brewing, or lets you rest your tired weary head on their shoulder. There's nothing better in my book for traveling happy!
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz