This week I will be taking a trip to San Francisco in order to help out with a large event that my wife coordinates each year. In an effort to reinforce the technique of learning by proxy, I wanted to give you guys and gals a few personal travel tips that I have learned over the years…The hard way
Avoid making these mistakes otherwise you could be in for a rough trip.
Know what to expect when you get there.
I was dumb enough to think that going to San Francisco, I shouldn’t need more than a jacket because, hey it’s California….right?
Luckily a friend of mine pointed out that the average temperature in San Francisco this time of year is 57 degrees, around 3 degrees cooler than my home town of Austin.
This isn’t much of a difference but it left me red faced to think that with all my preparations at home, I would have walked out of the house completely unprepared for what would have been waiting for me on the other side of the country.
I felt dumb but luckily I had time to repack my suitcase with a few extra long sleeved shirts and a slightly heavier jacket.
That leads me to the next item
Pack light, have wheels, or face the consequences.
On my first flight alone, I was headed to New York City. I had gotten a free ticket after my high school graduation and wanted to take a bit of a vacation.
What I didn’t realize was that the flight was actually several connected flights.
I had a duffel bag that weighed in around 30lbs and nothing else.
When I left Dallas my flights looked something like this
Dallas -> Houston, Houston-> Memphis, Memphis-> Boston, Boston-> New York
At each stop I only had about 15 to 20 minutes to get to my next plane. Normally this is pretty simple, but my luck was not good that day. I would land at gate 3 and be taking off at gate 53.
Nine hours after I left Dallas, I finally arrived in New York and boy were my arms tired…
Lugging around that 30lb duffel bag really takes a toll on you. Make sure that you either pack light or have a good set of wheeled luggage. Your body will thank you for it.
Old habits die hard
I carry a pocket knife every day. I have the same routine when I leave the house in the morning.
Wallet goes in back right pocket.
Phone goes in front left pocket.
Keys go in front right pocket.
Knife clips in to front right pocket.
Leave the house.
Frantically check each pocket multiple times on the drive to work because I am sure that I forgot something. (Yes I realize I may have a few OCD tendencies.)
I do this every morning, so it never fails that on the day I am headed to the airport I find myself with a pocket knife that I have to leave in a car.
On one occasion I lost a rather expensive pocket knife to the TSA that soured my outlook on the rest of the day.
My wife now has to literally pat me down to make sure that I’m not carrying a pocket knife every time we take a trip. I don’t know if it’s more for my benefit or so that she can avoid the embarrassment of watching me go through security…. Probably the latter.
Post it notes, alarms on your phone, or hiding your knife the night before; do whatever you have to do in order to make sure you don’t head to the airport with a knife or heaven forbid a pair of toenail clippers in your pocket.
Have a travel story or tip of your own?
Leave it in the comments below.