My husband is a travel expert. In addition to being a pastor, he owns a travel agency, Best Memories Travel, and is a licensed travel agent. I’m not going to pretend to be the expert on that. If you’re looking to book a trip — especially a cruise — there’s no one better on the planet than Larry to help you. There’s a reason he has so many repeat, steady clients.
What I am going to do in this post is share 7 things I do for business/ministry travel that are a saving grace to me.
TSA Precheck is worth every bit of effort and cost. It has made all the difference for me in time and stress level. I typically get through security almost immediately, and I do not have to take my shoes or coat off, nor do I have to remove any electronics from my carry-on. Super quick, and it gets me to Starbucks all the sooner before I go to my gate!
Don’t book short layovers
I am not a fan of any layover shorter than an hour and a half. Anytime I schedule an hour or less on a layover, I often miss my connecting flight due to delays on the first flight. I don’t enjoy running to the gate, or not having time to use the restroom or get another coffee. (Yes, I get another coffee. I admit it, I’m addicted.) I typically book at least a two-hour layover. I utilize the time well. Speaking of that…
Use waiting time constructively
I typically work on my layovers. I “set up shop” at one of the desks or charging stations near my gate. I take time to not only keep my electronics charged, but I do a few hours of work. I wrote a good part of my dissertation in airports and now I do the same with my book, grading papers, and other projects. I can get a lot done in an hour and a half to two hours. Of course, I also take coffee or lunch/dinner breaks, especially if I have a longer than two-hour layover.
Take an empty water bottle or tumbler
I take an empty Yeti-type tumbler with a straw, in my backpack or carry-on. When I get through security, I fill it up at a local place, with unsweet tea with ice, or a Coke Zero with ice, etc. The goal is to have what I want to drink not only while I’m waiting, but on my flight. I make sure to fill it up again before I get on board. (Yes, I drink a lot. All unsweet beverages.) This comes in handy if I end up on a flight where they decide for whatever reason, not to do a beverage service. On my most recent flight from Charlotte to Tampa, they announced at the beginning of the flight that due to turbulence that was expected throughout our flight, they would not be providing a beverage service. I believe I might have been the only one on that flight who didn’t get thirsty. I had a great big icy-cold Coke Zero with me on the entire flight.
Take snacks along
I don’t leave snacks to chance either. I can’t think of one airline snack that I like at this point, and I’m not even picky. They just don’t give out good stuff anymore and a lot of times it tastes like it’s been sitting in those little packets for years on end. It probably hasn’t, it just tastes that way to me. You can pretty much take any food that you bring from home on board. I bring fresh fruit, crackers, cheese, etc. If they decide not to do snacks or what they offer is not good, I have what I want.
By now you can see that I am not picky, but I am selective. I always like to have my favorite things available.I tell my husband, “I’m high maintenance, but it’s okay because I’m always the one maintaining me. I don’t expect anyone else to do for me.” Wherever I go, I provide my stuff and that includes when I speak somewhere. I don’t demand they provide anything…I bring it with me.
Use a backpack
Instead of taking a purse with me along with my carry-on, I use this backpack, specifically for travel. I would purchase this again and again. My laptop and large iPad fit in it if I want to put them in there although I usually take them in my carry-on and get them out when I need to. I can fit much more in a backpack than a purse. This gives me much more room for essentials I can’t do without such as my contacts, glasses, medications, etc. If I want to use a purse once I arrive, I include a purse in my checked baggage.
Take my essentials
There are certain things I never travel without. These things include body wipes and face wipes, Excedrine Migraine just in case (it works so quickly for a headache), dental floss, a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, a handkerchief (yes, I use those), a charger for phone and iPad, extra battery chargers for the phone just in case. When I am doing business travel where I will be speaking or leading anything I always have my notes in my carry-on. I usually also have one change of underclothes, and a change of clothes that I can speak in, just in case my luggage does not arrive on time, if I have room in the carry-on.
I hope at least one of these tips has been a helpful takeaway. Happy travels!