Fall travel

Fall travel

Fall is a great time to travel. Leaves are changing colors, and it can be an excellent time for a road trip.  However, the weather can be a bit unpredictable, and temperatures can drop unexpectedly. Here are a few ideas to consider as we head into the fall if travel is in your future.

Packing light.

Packing for a fall trip can be a bit tricky.  Sweaters, hoodies, and jackets can be bulky to pack.  One way to pack light is to think of dressing in layers. Layering long sleeves, vests, button-down shirts, and jackets make it easier to take on or off and adjust to weather changes.  In addition, varying different items can refresh outfit choices leading to packing less.

Be prepared for weather changes.

Fall weather can be unpredictable so prepare for rain or sunshine. An umbrella or poncho will often come in handy.  However, sunscreen and sunglasses might also be necessary.  Mornings are usually cool and crisp while the afternoon warms up.  In addition, rain is often in the forecast.

Off-peak deals.

Fall travel is much less hectic than summer travel as many destinations are much less crowded.  In addition, fall can be one of the cheapest times to travel, and prices on airfare, hotels, and activities tend to be lower. Food also tends to be more affordable as fall festivals and seasonal changes in food make fall dining an incredible experience.

More hotel perks.

The hotel industry tends to slow down in the fall season.  There are far fewer crowds, so hotels and other places offer more perks to attract business.  It is easier to receive hotel upgrades, and hotel points go further than in peak season.  Hotel staff is usually more attentive as they have fewer guests to serve, so the service tends to be better.

Fall sickness.

Temperature drops, more rain, and humidity tend to increase people’s risk of getting sick. Due to the change in weather, fall is often a time many people experience colds and cases of flu.  This trend, along with the realities of Covid, means fall travelers should be more careful of fall sickness and try to stay as healthy as possible. Getting more exercise and sleep is a great way to enjoy a fall vacation while maintaining your health.

Do you have any plans for fall travel?  I’d like to know.

5 Covid friendly hotel stay tips.

5 Covid friendly hotel stay tips.

Having flown as a career for over 20 years I have stayed in many hotel rooms and so the experience has taught me a lot about what to look out for in terms of cleanliness.

1. Check the hotel sheets. No one wants to sleep on possible dirty covid sheets. I can’t tell you how many different times I have gone into a hotel room just dying to shower and get into bed and found that the sheets have not been changed. If you do this when you first get into the hotel room, there is plenty of opportunity for the hotel to fix the issue before you are ready to go to bed.

2. Make sure the sheets are visibly dirty before you check out of the hotel and prevent any possible Covid spread. I think it’s just a matter of kindness to the next guest and just plain hygienic. Don’t feel bad as the hotel should automatically be doing this anyhow. I always wiped the bottom of my shoe across the sheets before I checked out.

3.Place a face towel or hand towel on the bathroom counter to place all your items on. Especially in this time of covid you do not want to transfer any germs to your face or hands. It’s also a visual reminder of anything placed on the counter and it helps in not forgetting items like jewelry in the bathroom.

4. Take an extra washcloth and wipe the toilet seats down. I think we all assume that the hotel room has been cleaned thoroughly but my experience has shown that the toilet seat is often overlooked.

5. Treat hotel room floors like airplane bathrooms and never assume it’s just water. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed through hotel corridors and seen the remains of a hotel room party gone wild. Let’s face it, the hotel does not have the manpower or capability to thoroughly clean hotel room floors, nor do they often have time between checkouts. Covid can be easily spread through bodily fluids.

I hope my tips have been helpful, check back in for more of my lived travel experience.

Travel envy.

Travel envy.

Having traveled both professionally and personally, I can certainly attest to the travel envy often directed to me even though unheard and unseen but very present.

As an international flight attendant, my job took me all over the world. It was not uncommon for me to fly to unique destinations such as Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Bermuda, or Madrid within the same month. At the same time, I was still a mother and a wife and had to contend with all that those roles entailed. I quickly learned when trying to establish a relationship in the community, to gloss over my job. Mentioning destinations seem to bring on the envy of travel and I would quickly say “I’m a flight attendant” and change the subject as many seemed to hear my destinations as a brag. I would get responses along the direction of “oh how nice” or “that’s wonderful.”

It was not unheard of to get responses like “what about your kids?” or “how does that work with your husband and kids?” With my explanation that it was just a job like any other, I would inevitably get the response “it must be nice!” To me, that was the code for travel envy. I quickly learned in conversations to say that I was “going to work” or “going on a work trip.” Always conscious to never say a destination.

As an ex-pat in Europe and Asia, there were plenty of opportunities to travel in those areas. Thankfully I had learned from my professional travel experience to not discuss my travel plans in depth when having conversations with family and friends. Here too, the refrain “it must be nice” was also heard.

It was an honor and privilege to be a flight attendant for over twenty years and to fly to so many unique destinations. However, it was also a job and many times after long haul flights, the only part of the city seen was the hotel room. My personal travel was quite different as destinations such as Bali or Bangkok were planned with itineraries and time to complete them all.

I can certainly empathize with the travel envy now that Covid has canceled so many travel plans for me. But I know as long as I travel, there are many others whose dream of travel is unmet. So, I am very careful in discussing my travel plans and limiting or tailoring those discussions to the audience.

Have you ever experienced travel envy? How do you handle it? Does my story strike a chord? I’d love to hear your take.

5 must have items that stay in my carry-on.

5 must have items that stay in my carry-on.

As an avid world traveler who has done this both professionally and personally, my carry-on is always semi-packed. Here are my tips and advice on the 5 items I consider must-haves and should always be in my carry on.

1. A lingerie organizer bag (details on another blog post). The one I use has two sides, one for clean underwear and the other for dirty. You never want to get them confused!

2. An electronic organizer bag (blog post coming). With people being so connected it is so inconvenient to lose connectivity and most hotels do not provide enough power outlets for the technology we use in our daily lives.

3. A toothbrush which in my opinion is even more needed than the electronic organizer. Many people pack this in their suitcase but with the chances of your luggage being lost, I like to always have this at hand.

4. A medicine bag with items like Tums, ibuprofen, cold medicine, etc. I tend to also have eye masks, face masks, prescription medications, band-aids, Neosporin, alcohol pads, and such (more on another post).

5. Finally I always have a small makeup bag with the basics like mascara, lip moisturizer, lipstick, makeup remover cloths, toner, and face moisturizer. These are always found at beauty supply stores and pharmacies in travel sizes.

You make have other priorities for your carry-on. If so, what are they? I’d love to find out.

Choosing the right travel partner brings treasured memories.

Choosing the right travel partner brings treasured memories.

As I end this most recent trip without my travel partner of the past thirteen years, I reflect on my feelings about this travel experience. One of the most important aspects of having a wonderful travel experience is the consideration of your travel partners.

There are many different types of travelers. This includes budget travelers who want to make the most from their trip with the least expense. Another type is carefree travelers who often give no care or consideration to the footprint they leave behind, whether it be a trashed hotel room or negative impressions.

Needless to say, I fit none of those categories. After years of professional and personal travel, I try to leave behind a very minute footprint and I have no problem budgeting and paying for the type of accommodations and experiences I expect. That being said a hotel room with no bathrobe or slippers is subpar for me as my feet touching the floor gives an instant gag reflex (more on another blog post).

When considering travel companions, choose wisely! An incompatible travel partner can leave less than treasured memories. Those minute frustrations that arise can play havoc with the inner travel experience you will have. Often you will hold back on voicing your opinions to not create friction while traveling. Subconsciously, however, this takes away from the enjoyment of the travel experience. I would suggest you think long and hard about choosing the right travel partner.

Have you ever planned a wonderful trip then regretted it before it ended? Share your thoughts, I’d love to hear about them.