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David J. Danto

 

Travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion

 

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eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org††††† Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD on all †††††††††

 

My Ten CommandmentsĖ April 2024

 

This isnít my first trip.I think that every time I have to pass through a TSA Pre-Check checkpoint and the agent tells me what I can and canít have in my bag.(Just how many passengers in the Pre-Check, Premier Access Lane are on their first flight and need to be told what to do anywayÖ. but I digressÖ.) After decades of traveling on business and leisure or a combination of both, I have some rules I live-by.For this article I figured Iíd follow the direction of Cecil B DeMille and share my version of the ten commandments / my current rules for traveling Ė just in case you might find them helpful.(Also, please compare them to your rules in case you have any new ones for me that youíd like shared in a future article.)

   I always arrive at the airport two hours before my flight Ė even if itís a 6am departure.I never plan my schedule based upon the best experience Iíve ever had, or even on the typical experience, but rather on the worst experience Iíve ever had.Does it make me spend more time in airports than Iíd like Ė yes. Is it still the right thing to do Ė yes.

   I always board the airplane in the first group.At this point Iíve flown for over four decades, Iím a million miler, and Iím just done playing the group/lane/privilege game.I recently had surgery and need extra time to board, period.The gate agents donít ask you whatís wrong, and legally they canít.It might be a bad habit if it wasnít true, but it is, so I donít really care.I figure after forty-six years of flying Iíve paid my dues dozens of times over anyway.

   I always assume the entire plane is dirty and full of germs.I still wear N95 masks for most of the flight (the last place Iím still wearing these post pandemic.)I wipe down the seat-belt, tray, IFE display, air vent Ė basically everything I might touch Ė with an alcohol wipe.(Mind you, I did this even before the pandemic.)I also never wash my hands or face with water out of the airplane bathroomís tap.Iíve read the reports that water retrieved from major airlines was found to be contaminated with E. coli as well as other coliform bacteria.I use bottled water and/or Purell for cleaning.Lots of colleagues claim theyíve caught ďconference crudĒ when they get home from a business trip.I think itís more likely that they simply exposed themselves to germs on the airplane (and Iím NOT a germaphobe Ė this is simply factual.)

   I always book an aisle seat when I fly coach and always raise the aisle armrest as soon as I board.(Sometimes you have to fish for the release underneath and near the back.)Thatís a few inches of extra seat-width room that turns the typically bad seat to a bearable one.If there isnít an aisle seat I can confirm in advance then I simply donít go.

   I always price a compact or standard rental car and parking costs against the expected cost of taxis.Youíd be amazed how often renting is far cheaper for multi-day stays.When the rental company doesnít assign me a car from my preferred list (cars Iíve driven before Ė which is important to me) I go up to the preferred counter and ask them to change it.Iíve taken the time to give them a list of around a dozen cars in my profile.If they canít manage or bother to pick one of those for me then the fact that I need a quadruple upgrade to get a car Iíve driven before is their problem, not mine.They donít argue.

   When I do get that rental car, I always stop at a Walmart or similar to get at least a case of bottled water.Typically, the case is the same price of a single bottle at the hotel.There is simply no excuse for that and I refuse to pay the excessive price no matter how much schlepping I have to do.††††

   I travel with all the medicines and toiletries Iíd need.I wouldnít touch the output of a hotelís shared dispenser if you paid me a million bucks to do it.

   I leave a room tip for the housekeeper daily Ė usually $5 but often $10 if itís a bigger room or suite.These people have a terrible enough job already, and the properties have squeezed them Ė reducing cleanings and cutting their hours.If I can afford the hotel stay then I can afford to appreciate someone picking up my towels and emptying my garbage.

   Having said how much I appreciate the housekeepers, I still get annoyed that they canít leave the garbage can where Iíve moved it to.I kind-of hate cleaning people in general.I mean, how hard is it to pick something up, clean it, clean where it was, then put it back?Every experience Iíve ever had with cleaning folks at my homes or offices theyíve wound-up messing-up where and how my stuff is kept.Hotels are no exception.When my stuff gets moved is exactly when it gets lost or broken.Every afternoon I move the garbage cans back to where I need them.

   I always pack extra clothes/medicine/etc. in case I get stuck a day or two longer at a location.Packing just what you need is foolish.If itís a trip where I have to check a bag, on the way home Iíve moved all my clean clothes to my rollaboard in case I canít get my checked bag returned to me when an irrops situation occurs.

Do you follow these too?Do you have any of your own?Drop me a note and let me know.Iíll share them in a subsequent article.††

 

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Also, p

 

 

 

 

 

May represents a break in my business and leisure travel.Iím not back on the road till June.Itís always great to wake-up in oneís own bed.

 

This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2024 David Danto

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As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.Thanks!