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12 Critically Important Travel Notes

  1. My uniform of black yoga pants, black tee, black pumas + LV and diamond studs usually works fine for travel. A shortage of water for laundry on the island meant I wore a white tee on this return trip. Not so good. I was almost saved by orange Havianas. Not quite.
  2. Some airports you have to take your shoes off, some you don’t. The ones where you do it’s bad to wear flip flops. It’s good to have Purell. Just pour it on said flip flops after you have walked with naked toes across that icky floor. Insert feet.
  3. The Stockholm airport deposits you right into the center aisle of a Duty Free shop, once you come through security. Leaving people like me stunned and unable to proceed in a linear fashion. All I remember is the words Must Have. They were printed in many places.
  4. I will need to carry a camera round my neck, if I intend to continue blogging about travel. And to know what that camera does, of course.
  5. I do think that older couples, he in a blue blazer and khakis, she wrapped in a shawl and wearing large gold shell earrings, look terribly dignified.
  6. SAS service is fantastic. The flight attendants smile at you. They appear to mean it. They do a good job of pretending if they don’t mean it.
  7. It’s not terribly fun when your plane aborts a landing. You might have to shriek a little bit. “Woo!” is sufficient.
  8. It’s unclear why business class, given all the stuff they give you wrapped in plastic, doesn’t also provide trash bags.
  9. O’Hare is torture. New methods are devised every day. As a result, I can tell you nothing of use. Just prepare your soul.
  10. Fathers who travel with two young children and then read Alice in Wonderland to them on a Kindle are endearing.
  11. I’ve never come home from vacation before without a stressful job awaiting me. It’s a pretty nifty system.
  12. Impatience gets you nothing. At least in airports.

36 Responses

  1. Wonderful travel notes!
    (good call on the Purell, I never leave home without it)
    Since you've survived O'Hare with your soul intact, I'm looking forward to your future posts with photos from your trip!

  2. I also love to look at how other people have solved the problem of traveling comfortably and in style. While at home I consider myself pretty polished, when I travel (mostly backpacking/trekking/indie), I confess I don't mind wearing my most comfortable and often least stylish clothes (read=cotton pants, trekking shoes, hoody). I guess I will never be promoted to business class if coach is overbooked. Oh well.

    I am happy to hear SAS treated you well. They seem to have changed their service attitude in the past few years, after having a 5-year dip. My friends, who flew during the ash cloud havoc, were also treated very well.

    But are you saying you have no pictures??

  3. Top tips, these! And yes, the worst part about holidays nowadays, is coming back to work. It's good to know it gets better.

  4. Belle – Thank you. And now I want some of that EO organic lavender-smelling Purell-ish stuff:).

    Muffy – Thanks! Yes, yes, I'm working on the Sweden Home and Sweden Outdoor posts as we speak.

    Anna – These days, I don't think airlines care so much how you dress as what impact you have to their bottom line:). But I still care. Evidently.

    agirl – Good thing unemployment has a happy side, huh?

  5. I like #5 :)
    Especially him in khakis. Did you ask him, where he got them? Since you have been on a quest …

    I can not imagine having to pass a security gates barefoot. *ieek*

  6. What about the jet-lags this time? Did you buy anything? Are you happy to be back home?

  7. Connected to an international flight through O'Hare last fall – not this east coast gal's usual departure airport. I had a long layover and failed to realize there really wasn't anywhere to hang out – the desks in the international terminal didn't open for check in/boarding pass until a couple of hours before the flight. I think I spent 5 hours in the bar at the airport Hilton, watching soccer on ESPN and talking to a gentleman who was about to embark on a trip to Antarctica.

  8. Very thoughtful list…aborted landing?! OH my. That would have scared me to death. The older I get, the less comfortable I feel flying…I wonder why?

    In our little airport, we now how full body scanners! I'm not looking forward to my first "flashing" experience!

  9. Paula – I could not ask him where he got his khakis. All his attention was focused on supporting his wife as they walked.

    Mette – I am about to take a walk exactly to deal with jet lag. I bought nothing. Didn't even ever change any money into kroner. My stepfather and mother very generously took care of everything.

    DocP – Antartica! I love it. This time I conceded to my midlife weakness and flew business. When you fly business, they let you into the Red Carpet club…

    Jill- I bet the airport security is looking forward to it. In your case, are they looking for border trafficking or something?

  10. Oh wow you're in Stockholm – one of my favourite cities! It's so beautiful, I love being surrounded by water. If you're shopping make sure you pop into Svenskt Tenn for interiors – and it's lovely to walk around Sodermalm, lots of vintage stores and cafes.

    You're right about impatience!

  11. Love the tips (especially the one about the purell because I always forget to not wear my flip flops at the airport). For some reason I have no fear of flying once I'm on the airplane, but am so nervous and frantic in airports. Always so stressful I find.

  12. I once had to spend 12 hours in O'Hare. The memory is seared into my brain, unfortunately.

  13. I am a reluctant…translate scared flyer so I appreciate these tips and insights.
    Hope that you are rested and happy to be home again.

  14. I am willing to spring for the Red Carpet Membership. What I didn't realize is that I had to leave the secure area where the Red Carpet Club is to go to the international terminal, find out that they couldn't check me in for hours, then the TSA wouldn't let be back into the domestic side to get to the Red Carpet Club because I had already flown my domestic flight for the day. Thus the Hilton. Now I know.

  15. That's Not My Age – This time I never actually made it into Stockholm, went straight out to the Archipelago. But I agree with you, it's a fantastic city.

    Ms. Givens – Wishing you great success:).

    prepfection – I have learned to give myself LOTS of time and carry the right bags. That helps.

    VA Gal – Glad you are still with us.

    Hostess – I'm scared too. Xanax.

    DocP – Oh that's terrible. I should have known it was TSA and not any lack of knowledge on your part.

  16. Impatience gets you nothing…but cold hard cash can grease the wheels ;o)

    A shawl for travel is a must have! Heck I take one to dinner in the dog days of summer – one never knows when the restaurant owner might be going through 'the change'.

  17. oh how i aspire to be #5. i would like to think i am on my way to such effortless glamour. and i will specifically second #3…stay on target…!

  18. 1. I used to date a guy who worked for an airline. He had a lot of latitude in upgrades and wouldn't put people in first class if they were in flip flops, sloppy tank tops and shorts. He said nobody wants to see anyone else's armpits or touch their bare legs.

    2. SAS is amazing. We flew home on them after our last trip to Spain.

    3. I have gotten really spoiled with business and first class and never want to go back. My husband has 600,000 frequent flier miles, so we say what the heck and get the business or first class seats before the airlines change the rules.

    4. I traveled to Bolivia with a friend. She took all white clothes, I took all black. Mine was the wiser choice.

  19. am LOVING 11 and totally agree with 9… overwhelming to say the very least!



  20. Suburban – And that's exactly the present my mother gave us all. Shawls:). I picked blue.

    Dani – I think you are on your way.

    Class Factotum – You travel BUSINESS!?! The King and Queen of Thrifty? I feel better already.

    QBS – 11 is in your future. I feel it:).

  21. 12 is such a truth. That old maxim of knowing someone by how the treat waitstaff is easily extended to how they deal with travel and its inevitable frustrations (as I write, I'm back in my parents' home, extending my trip for a day, due to flight delays).

    Very much looking forward to your island stories. The light in those northern climes take on such a magical, diffuse quality in summer, don't they?

  22. When flying, always dress better than the rest of the cattle–it sometimes gets you an upgrade. Always wear socks, it means you won't find yourself barefoot in a line. Always wear belgians, they are forgiving of inflight foot swelling. Never shop duty free, it is a rip off. Always bring Ambien and an eye guard, so you can be assured of sleep. And be sure to always drink lots of alcohol, damn what they say about dehydration!

  23. You travel BUSINESS!?! The King and Queen of Thrifty?

    I save in some areas where there is an arbitrage opportunity (used Cole Haan purse on eBay vs brand new) so I can splurge elsewhere. :)

  24. Welcome back! We were also both able to ease back into the post-travel routine without rushing back to work, and it's very nice to be able to indulge body clock. . .
    btw, I have orange Havaianas as well — we're flip-flop sisters!

  25. I love SAS! :)

    And I discovered on my last trip an outfit that I owned that is now my go-to travel outfit: a long A-line stretchy, prettily embroidered black skirt (thrifted J. Jill) with a pretty, but comfortable, black top. For YEARS I had been trying to figure out a good way to achieve the "look nice" AND "be comfy" travel outfit. :) Ever since a friend, whose mom was a flight attendant, told me about the way that one's dress is noticed by those who work in the industry and control things like seating and such. This bit of news upset me for a while, then I just figured I should dress a little nicer if I cared about it. :)

  26. Oh! #5 is my parents! Especially this part: All his attention was focused on supporting his wife as they walked. Sadly, they (at least my mom) no longer travel out of the country.

    We had an aborted landing at Logan, thank God for valium.

  27. Frachellea – The light indeed.

    Pink Martini – Thank you:).

    Reggie – Somehow I feel you know.

    Kay – Thank you!

    Turquoise – Thank you. You are the real traveller:).

  28. RoseAG – You know, I didn't notice that…

    Class – Aha! Good thinking.

    Mater – Thank you. It is really nice not to have to haul myself to an office when I'm half asleep.

    Adventures – Doesn't black make travel clothes instantly more stylish?

    Patsy – Oh how poignant to think your parents are like that. And I too travel medicated. Xanax. Otherwise I panic.

  29. I travel a lot. But I don't have any idea about those 12 Critically Important Travel Notes. I read all those 12 and I think I need to memorize those. It is going to be a big help for everyone who travel.

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