Whilst in a very opinionated mood this morning, I happened to come across Christopher Elliot’sarticle (consumer advocate, and definitely one worth following) in The Washington Post regarding luggage etiquette. There are couple of things I do differently, that I don’t see changing anytime soon. Find those things, plus lengthy explanations and mostly-unrelated tangents, below:
I always travel in jeans. I need to have a pair because it can be reused more than once before needing a wash. But, I don’t want to pack it because it takes up too much luggage space and adds weight. Plus, planes are germs and cold. Wearing jeans adds a layer of protection and warmth. And, if my baggage is lost or delayed, I can use the jeans for a few days while I figure out my next steps.
I always pack a pair of underwear and a light shirt in my carry-on. Just in case.
I always purchase travel insurance. I read the plan to make sure that it covers luggage issues.
Even if I decided to ship my luggage to my destination in advance, I still want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that regardless of what happens during the transport process, I can shower and change, and then deal with whatever mess might need to be dealt with when I reach the hotel.
Pack as light as you can and check as much as you can, so that your airport & airplane experiences will be better. But, also, be prepared and flexible.
There’s one other thing that I sometimes do, but wouldn’t advise during the holiday madness (play it by ear):
I store my carry-on in the overhead bin, then retrieve it and place it under the seat in front of me near the end of the flight (before the final seat belt light comes on, there’s usually a warning). This way, deplaning is quicker.
I used to just keep all of my bags under the seat in front of me, as a courtesy to other passengers that could use the overhead space. But, after a particularly long overseas flight, I started doing this instead. When I was much younger, I flew Spirit a lot so I was used to cramped quarters (no shade). When I swore off of Spirit and started flying better, even with my bags under the seat in front of me I felt like I had more room. It wasn’t until I was in a row with an empty middle seat that I moved my bag over and felt the huge difference it made. (I’m 5’10” & from the south so, admittedly, “Awe, bless her heart!” is appropriate here.)
It’s the holidays. It’s crowded. It’s a public space. On airplanes, it’s a tight space as well. We all know this, going in. So, compassion, empathy, patience, planning (give yourself ample time), and a helpful attitude will help shift your personal perspective to one that is less annoyed by people being people.
And, this trip to Cambodia Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Center (Thanks AMAWaterways!) is the kind of experience that makes airport annoyances worth it.
The first thing that came to my mind when I considered today’s prompt was “extraneous.” Then, adjectives and phrases along the lines of “basic,” “unhelpful,” “pointless,” and “verbose” followed. Ironically, I tried to think of a lighter (read: fluffier) concept to quickly address. But “marshmallows” and “clouds” would be inauthentic for me. I could put up a pic of either one and keep it moving. However, I think that should be reserved for times when I don’t have as much of a reaction as I did. When I think of fluff, warm and fuzzy isn’t what comes to mind.
Extraneous information came to mind. It leads to wasted time and, oftentimes, confusion. It’s inefficient. I am not a fan. I do engage in fluffing, but I try to be conscious of it and limit it.
For example, I will often choose to type something along the lines of “I hope that you are faring well” over “How are you” because I don’t want to pry, and the welfare of the recipient will not affect the content of that email/message. Although I am truly interested in the answer, it feels inefficient and inappropriate. I reserve “How are you” for people that I know will not interpret that question as being nosey and people that I trust know that they needn’t worry about offending me by answering — or not — in their own time.
I understand that that may seem odd, but it’s also authentic, efficient, and polite.
In this age of click-bait, advertisements, hoax articles, and the like, I just hate to contribute to more verbal “fluff” and wastes of time. (Yes, irony. I see you, again.)
The post that would have been:
Below is a picture of the stuffed Bilby that I won from Corroboree West at the Tourism Western Australia booth. It’s full of the warm, fuzzy kind of fluff!