Tripping Out

December 10, 2009

It’s just about that time of year when people pack up their gear and hit the road for the holidays. I saw a segment on holiday travel this morning and it got me thinking about all the ways I need to get ready for our trip, so I thought I’d pass along a few thoughts.

Think carry-on. Really, you can do it. You honestly save yourself at least an hour between waiting to check in a bag and waiting to reclaim it on the other end. And if it gets lost, well, that’s a whole other disaster. Plus, now you have to pay for the privilege of having your bags make it onto the plane (or not). You’d be surprised how much you can cram in a carry on — I find soft-sided ones are best for squeezing things in. In order to streamline your packing, think monochrome — keep everything in the same color family so you can mix and match what you bring. Minimize the amount of shoes — chances are you can make do with two pairs. Keep a plastic bag filled with small versions (under 3 ounces) of your favorite liquid products. Make it easy to grab and go. Ken and I each took a carry-on bag for 9 days in France, and I had clothes to spare.

If you absolutely can’t do carry on, there are luggage shipping services that people seem to like. You essentially FedEx your bags to meet you there. And if you just want to check it and be done with it, fight against loss and make sure your carry on bag contains some fresh underwear, your necessary toiletries, maybe even one change of clothes. And anything essential, like medication or good jewelry, should always, always go in your carry on.

Do not touch the blanket. Or the pillow. Even if they’re in plastic. Even if you’re in First Class. Really. Those things are rarely washed, and the amount of germs is unthinkable. Your best bet is to take them and put them up in the overhead bin. You’re better off rolling up your jacket for use as a pillow.

Bring disinfectant wipes. Put a Wet Ones packet into our bag and when you get onto the plane, wipe down your arm rests, the tray table — anywhere you might touch. It may seem funny, but in the era of swine flu, you want to do what there’s no way they’ve done in the small amount of time they have for turnaround — clean the plane. Start with your small area.

Try to fly on an off day. A packed airport brings nothing but headaches. Christmas day is a good one to fly. I once flew to visit friends in LA on Christmas and I got upgraded to First Class, no questions asked. A friend of mine told me New Year’s Eve is a good day to fly, too. Whatever your schedule can handle, you definitely want the road less traveled.

Finally, do what I always do when traveling: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That way it always seems to work out! Happy trails!

Lord Have Mercy

Lord and Taylor is having a well-timed Friends and Family extravaganza — it’s essentially 25% off just about everything, and 10% off cosmetics and fragrances. If you want to check it out online, go here and enter “FRIENDS” at checkout.

Etc.

My entire family got H1N1 shots today, so hopefully we are protected. (Technically not for 10 – 14 days.) Finding someone to give them to us was crazy — I asked him how he got the doses and he said he had to be incredibly pushy and email with the NYC Commissioner of Health himself. Crazy!

A miserable rainy day today. Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow!!

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