1. Avoid large groups and anyone in a Mickey Mouse hat.
2. Take note of the difference between “Departure Time” and “Arrival Time” you will only make that mistake once but FYI it’s about an 8 hour drive from Baltimore to Boston…lesson learned.
3. Don’t try to sneak anything through TSA that you will be upset about throwing away. It’s harder than you think to part with that $6 body spray. Choose wisely.
4. For the Love of God, take your damn shoes off ahead of time. You know it’s coming. People aren’t holding their shoes in their hands for fun.You have won rookie of the year award if you still have your sneakers fully laced by the time it’s your turn. Also on that note – leave the lace up Eskimo boots at home- it is painful to witness the 7 minutes it takes to lace and re-lace those ugly things. Did you remember you were flying today?
5. Snacks, always bring snacks. Sometimes you’re on your plane and grounded in Georgia for three hours, usually on days you skip lunch.
6. Bring all forms of communication (and chargers) with you in your carry on in case your plane is delayed and you’re stranded – phone, laptop, tablet, carrier pigeon etc. etc.
7. Stake out a good outlet to charge all of your 12 electronic devices and guard that shit like Fort Knox. Airports are like first world Survivor.
8. Wear yoga pants. This is a universal travel rule. All those chicks in their makeup and briefcases and heels click-clacking through the terminals – I will give you ten points for putting in way more effort than I ever will at an airport BUT you’re just making the rest of us look bad. I am going away for work as well, but there is a hot mess travel rule that I for one like to abide by.
9. Anticipate the full frontal pat down. It will happen. If there are 1 in 10 random checks, assume that one is going to be you.
10. On that note – don’t make jokes with the TSA people. I don’t recommend the “Well you could at least buy me dinner first…” bit during said pat down – it’s a tough crowd.
11. Don’t run around the baggage claim like its the zombie apocalypse, it goes in a circle – it’s coming back around.
12. Bring a sweatshirt. Sometimes I have to check myself for freezer burn getting off the plane it’s so cold. Also, sweatshirts can act as both a pillow and you cocoon yourself in the hood from any and all people around you, which is helpful.
13. Headphones are key. Even if you aren’t listening to music, even if you aren’t listen to anything at all. Headphones are the international sign for “Don’t talk to me,” which is a hell of a lot nicer than just outright saying that to someone.
14. At all cost go to the bathroom before you get on the plane. Everyone hates you when you have to get up and then you hate yourself for having to use that awful flying porta potty.
15. Always drink a pre-flight margarita, always.