David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
Loving And Hating Travel
I both love and hate that I have a long, international road trip coming up next week. †Iím not sure how many people get crazed about travel like I do.† It makes for an interesting experience.† Just like Dorothy Parker who ďhate[ed] writingÖ[but]Ölove[ed] having writtenĒ I hate traveling but love having traveled.† Here are a few of the things Iím driving myself crazy with right now.
I am most definitely an over-preparer.† I want to make sure I have all the personal and health supplies, technologies, clothes, etc. that I might need.† I mentally flog myself when I come-upon on a situation that I could have been prepared for but was not, so it makes me tend to over-pack.† Over-packing makes me have to schlep too much stuff, which makes me struggle and perspire, which then of course makes the travel experience at the airport and during transfers even more burdensome.† After packing enough clothes for the trip I worry about how many extra days of clothes to pack (heaven forbid that I wear a pair of socks two days in a row if I get stuck somewhere.)† Then, after all that, I been known to leave the portable umbrella I always pack in my hotel room when Iím out and itís raining, and that just drives me crazy.
Moving onto going to the airport (with ďdadĒ timing of course Ė 2 hours before domestic, 3 before international) I canít wait to get on the plane, even though it sucks.† Iíll never be the first person on-line in Group 1 (damn ďgate liceĒ) but I wonít be further back than third.† It just kills me that working my whole career to be a Lifetime Million-Miler Iím still only in Group 1 for boarding Ė which savvy travelers realize is about the fifth or sixth group called.† (Iím getting far too old for all this insane standing around, which is probably good, because if I can manage to hobble due to my bad back I can likely board earlier as someone who needs more time.)† I go through all this craziness only to have a place for my bag in the overhead bin, because other than that it makes no sense rushing to get to one of the most uncomfortable chairs Iíll be stuck in on the whole trip Ė and for the next six to eight hours.† And now, add wearing an uncomfortable set of masks for the whole flight to the experience.† I do all this rushing to the airport and to the plane because of course I prepare for the worst experience Iíve ever had, not the best one.† The security line was once almost two hours long; there was once no room for my bag; etc.† Thatís all it took.†
Iím also of a mixed mind about experiencing new things.† I drove Joe Brancatelli crazy a few years ago begging for info from him about how to get around Amsterdam (having never been there before) but now that I have experienced it, the panic all seemed silly.† Iím going through the same thing about another new city Iím hitting next week.† Iím both excited to see it and scared about not knowing the local language or how to get around.† (My first stop after the airport is a Hilton, so that brand familiarity puts me at least a little bit at ease.)† However, Iím still panicked that I need a COVID test the day before leaving in order to be allowed to go home, but I donít have a fixed appointment to get one somewhere.
There was a time when being an elite traveler on an airline and in a hotel program took some of the fear out of seeing new places.† You felt like you always had a friend wherever you were going that could help you get around.† Nowadays, the only friends the travel firms has are banks issuing their credit cards.† My decades long Hilton Diamond status couldnít even get me into the Hampton Inn next to the conference center I was attending (so ďDiamond ForceĒ is apparently not a thing anymore) and as you know United would rather drag passengers off a plane than go the extra mile for them.† Weíre definitely on our own these days.
So, as I contemplate this next week away, I take solace in the little things Ė Iíll have most of what I need for a week with me, and at least Iím not a bee flying Delta.
Trip reports coming over the next couple of weeks.† As Joe requested, Iíll write the guide I was looking for and couldnít find.††††
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.
As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.† Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.† Thanks!