As I try to psych myself up for traveling on the busiest travel day of the year tomorrow, I am reminding myself of some traveling best practices, so I can make my own life, as well as the lives of the people around me, easier as we try to make our ways home.
I won’t belittle your travel expertise, so I’ll instead make a list of things I wish OTHER people, not you, would do when traveling:
1) Stick all of your loose items like wallet, change, etc. into your carry-on bag instead of a big bin or little bin. You can then leave the security area and put everything back at your own leisure, rather than having another traveler breathing down your neck.
2) Grab a bin as soon as possible. In this bin should go your shoes, belt, and cell phone, liquids and your coat. But not your boarding pass. For the love of Jake, hold on to it or put it somewhere you can very easily access it.
3) If you have a laptop, take it out of the case, put the laptop bag on top of it and then put the laptop bag onto the conveyor belt separately when it is your turn. This way you’re only carrying two bins and a carry on. Very manageable, and less awkward than juggling two bags and three bins. No one likes being behind the stumbling camel in line for security.
4) Don’t be one of those people who is going to protest the scanners. It’s Thanksgiving. Take a stand on your own time instead of burdening everyone around you with your peaceful protest. I’d rather have a little radiation than get screamed at by TSA and other travelers. I’d rather have a little radiation than have a bomb on my plane. Let’s not forget the Underwear Bomber and what could have happened.
5) Don’t be one of those people who is going to protest the scanners. It bore repeating. I’d rather have a little radiation than being very intimately frisked by someone who is not my physician or boyfriend.
6) I’m not a big guy. Average height, lean toward the slim side in terms of girth. I don’t care how big or small you are, random, large or tiny and inconsiderate random traveler that I inevitably have to sit next to on every flight. Your knees are supposed to fit within the borders of the armrests, not halfway into my leg room. And being that I’m flying United this trip, (if my flights take off at all), it’s not much leg room at all. And I will tell on you to a flight attendant.
7) You also get one armrest, guaranteed. The one in the middle is a little touchy. It depends on who sat down first and claimed it. I’ll give you that. You, however, do not get the middle armrest for your arm and half of my personal space for your elbow. I will push back. Please don’t make me be mean.
8 ) If I am reading a book or have headphones in, I do not want to talk to you. If I have not made eye contact with you since we were thrown together in this world, I do not want to talk to you. If I am monosyllabic in my responses to your invasive questions, I do not want to talk to you. If I look you straight in the face when you try to talk to me and I turn away, I do not want to talk to you.
9) If you have one of those roller luggage bags, put the wheels in first. It’s the only way it’ll fit. Don’t pull a Gaylord Focker. And don’t say bomb on a plane.
10) Don’t be one of those people who is going to protest the scanners. Seriously. Don’t.
Follow these tips and you will be an expert traveler and be spared being yelled at by me or other travelers or the TSA.
Happy Turkey Day everyone!
PS – This is what happens when you protest the scanners. No one wins.