- Be kind. Fellow travelers and travel industry employees can be rude and unkind. Don’t fight jerk behavior with jerk behavior. I know how hard it is. I ashamedly have behaved poorly in the past and am doing better as I get older. I wish I had learned patience and long-suffering earlier in life.
- Quit complaining. Can you think of a time when whining made you feel better? It isn’t catharsis. I have found that even other inconvenienced travelers aren’t sympathetic to anything vaguely resembling whining. You might think you’re commiserating with like-minded folks; they think you’re bitching and moaning.
- Bring dead time back to life. I’ve learned that the quicker I get over being frustrated or upset, the quicker I can become engaged and productive. Time spent in a funk would be better spent reading, returning calls, writing reports, etc.
- Have a plan. This seems like travel basics 101 but I’m surprised how many road warriors don’t have a plan for when travel goes bad. Keep needed travel numbers programmed in your phone, familiarize yourself with alternative flights or travel arrangement in advance and think ahead.
- Pay attention. In the age of distraction, bad things can happen when you text and walk through airports. Being aware of your surroundings and those around you not only makes you a more considerate traveler, but it helps avoid run-ins and distractions.
- Accept uncertainty. You can have the best plans, be extremely travel savvy and still get screwed up. Hope springs eternal in the road warrior and we sometimes mistake optimism for control over the situation. We don’t control the weather, equipment failure, happens but we interact with those circumstances and work hard to create the outcome we desire. Sometimes, however, the circumstances win.
- Interact. Some travelers like to be left alone so they can think, read or whatever (and I am often in that category). But occasionally looking up and connecting with others can provide unexpected enjoyment and even business opportunities.
- Travel with margins. With all the things that can go wrong in traffic, returning rental cars and clearing airport security, allowing a little extra time almost always decreases stress levels.
After 25 plus years of travel and roughly 3 million air miles, here are eight reminders I’ve found helpful: