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December 22, 2006

Travel tips

On Tuesday I left Denver to visit some customers, expecting to return home on Wednesday.  It's now Friday afternoon and I'm still not home.  As you probably know Denver got clobbered by a big snow storm that dropped 30 inches of snow at my house.  The Person Who Prefers Not To Be Blogged About just dug out this afternoon after being snowed in for almost three days.

I'm sitting in an airport still waiting to get home, so assuming I really do leave this afternoon I will have set a personal record for a flight delay of 48 hours.  Everyone I've talked to is surprised that I'm not upset about this, so I thought I would share a few travel tips that have helped me keep my good humor.

  1. Keep smiling - you really can choose your attitude.  Being annoyed is not going to help and it will just ruin your day.  Who would you rather help?  Someone who is mad and acting like a jerk or someone who's taking the delays in stride?  I once got bumped into first class and got home while the guy ahead of me got stuck and probably had his baggage sent to Alaska.  The difference - he yelled at the gate agent because of a mechanical problem with the plane, and I simply smiled and told her that I understood it wasn't her fault and that I appreciated her trying to get me home.  The longer the delay, the more fun it is to be smiling while everyone else is losing their head.
  2. Enjoy your time - yesterday I spent a few hours exploring the city.  I can work from anywhere and it was fun to sit in a new coffee shop and answer emails.  I enjoy seeing new places so no matter where I am I can find a new neighborhood to explore.  Having a portable GPS really helps too.  I just head off in an interesting direction, knowing that I can always get back to my hotel.  Now that I'm at the airport, I'm catching up on emails, making a few calls and generally just enjoying some time where I have no choice but to sit still.
  3. Be creative - There might just be another route home that the airlines won't volunteer, so having someone to help look for alternatives can mean the difference between getting home and spending another night away from home.  I'm lucky to have someone helping me who doesn't take no for an answer, and for less than the price of another night in a hotel I'm (fingers crossed) going to be home tonight.  The airline originally said I would not get home until sometime next week.
  4. Travel light - I have a small bag that I don't have to check, so last minute changes don't disrupt my travel as much.  I sometimes have to buy new clothes on the road, but it gives me something to do when I get stuck.
  5. Keep it in perspective - I'm traveling on business and I'm on my way home.  There are lots of people in the world who have it a lot worse than I do, even if I do sleep in a terminal tonight.  This is a bump in the road.

Safe travels!

Terry

December 22, 2006 in Travel | Permalink

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Comments

Yup. Good attitude. Travel often and you're guaranteed to spend more time than you want cooling your heels someplace (usually a not-so-lovely terminal full of upset people, gaudy lighting and torn up furniture).

Posted by: Michael | Dec 27, 2006 1:03:05 PM