Monday, August 24, 2009

Tips for the Traveling Timid

So in three short weeks, I'll be leaving for Denver to attend the ACFW Writers Conference. Of course, I'm ecstatic about knowing I'll be in the presence of respected Christian authors, editors, and agents. I'm excited about everything I'm going to learn in the workshops and continuing education classes, and I absolutely can't wait to meet the friends and fellow authors I've been technologically communicating with for a long time.

Yes, I'm nervous, too. Shaking in my stilettos, actually. Okay, I don't really wear stilettos, but it sounded good, didn't it?

The thing I'm most nervous about is navigating alone. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am, um, rather directionally challenged (to put it nicely) and, as my husband has pointed out, could probably get lost in my own neighborhood.

This is not a good thing when getting on an airplane and flying hundreds of miles to a place I've never been before. BUT... I trust that God will be my navigator. Let's just hope I can hear him above the airport noise.

Anyway, I haven't flown since 911. The last time was over 10 years ago when my husband and I took a trip to Mexico. Things have changed drastically since then and, being the intense planner that I am, I've been trying to learn everything I can about security, luggage regulations, and security stuff. So here is a list of some tips I've come across for air travel. If you have any more, PLEASE let me know. I can't have too much information. Oh - and if you have used the Detroit or Denver airport before, and have advice on navigating through the terminals and concourses, PLEASE let me know that, too.

Thanking you in advance!

Tips for the traveling timid

1. Wear slip-on shoes. Back when I flew last time, removing shoes at the security checkpoint wasn't required. But now, apparently, it is. Shoes that take time to remove will not be appreciated by those in line behind you.

2. Don't check your bags. Many of my fellow conference attendees insist on carrying everything with them instead of checking their bags. This might be due to the fees now incurred, but many just don't want to take the chance of lost luggage, not to mention they'll save time by not having to check in their luggage or retrieve it from the baggage claim area.

I happen to have 2 checked bags included for free in my flight plan. I would only check 1 bag, especially since one of my new writer friends pointed out that carrying a laptop bag and two rolling suitcases would be, um...pretty funny to watch. Isn't she sweet?

Not sure what to do about this one. On the one hand, it would be nice to have everything with me. On the other hand, how on earth am I going to fit everything in one small roller? Got tips on this? Send them on over!

3. Drink lots of water. Everyone knows that Denver is dry, dry, dry because it's a mile high, high, high. So to avoid the altitude changes, staying hydrated is essential. I'll definitely be heeding this advice.

4. Leave the toiletries at home. At least until I arrive at my destination. Not only are liquids over 3 oz. not allowed on the plane (guess this eliminates my 12 oz. Big Sexy hair spray), guests may each have only one quart-sized baggie of liquid or aerosol items. I may, however, pick up some travel sized products so I don't have to shop when I get there.

5. Pack interchangable outfits. Keep clothing to a minimum. This especially comes in handy when carrying everything on the plane instead of checking bags. Pack tops and sweaters that can interchange with pants/skirts. We'll only be there for three days, for pete's sake.

Yes, well... a girl has to be prepared - that's my motto, anyway. This will be my most challenging advice to take. My worst nightmare is not bringing something I wish I had.

So these five tips are the ones that immediately come to mind. As I said, if you have any advice to toss my way, I will be forever grateful.

Hope to meet you in Denver!


Dee Yoder said...

Here's a tip that my sister shared (she travels WAY more than I do): If you have a bottled water open with you when you board, SOMETIMES the attendants will make you drink the entire bottle, in their presence, before you board the plane. Might want to wait to get your water on the plane. Have fun! That's one conference I would LOVE to go to--so what if I'm claustrophobic on planes!

PatriciaW said...

Lynda, from my recent traveling experiences:

1 -- Don't buy bottled water or any liquid-type food items (like salad dressing cups) before you get to the airport. You'll have to dump them. Buy from the restaurants and kiosks near your gate, AFTER you've gone through security. (A bit more expensive but a lot less wasteful.)

2 -- Pack one change of clothing in your carry-on. Just in case.

3 -- Wear as little metal as possible. Think jewelry, belt buckles, etc. Anything that might set the detector off.

4 -- If you have things like curling irons in your carry-on, set them on the top. so if they choose to open your bag, it won't require digging everything out. Same thing with nail clippers, etc.

5 -- Make the address for your checked luggage your hotel, if you're going to be there more than two days. That way, if they find it but somehow don't contact you, they'll be delivering it to you anyway.

Dara said...

You can pack hairspray but it just can't be in the carry-on. I believe it can be in checked baggage but not 100% certain. I've only flown once, back for my honeymoon two years ago. I will be flying again though, about the same time you will be, heading to Disney World.

I'd also suggest packing a change of clothes in your carry-on too, just in case.

I've heard next year the conference will be in Indianapolis--which means it's only 2 hour drive for me! :)I hope to go to it next year.

Lynda Schab said...

Thanks for the tips, ladies!

Dara, Lord willing, I'm definitely planning on going again next year and am so glad the conference will be within driving distance! :-)