Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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8 Things To Do Or Not To When You Travel

Posted by Sophie Dawson on October 8, 2012

We take a winter vacation each year. I’ve worked my husband up to two plus weeks. He has a hard time getting off the farm. This past winter we went to a Caribbean island with another couple. The suggestions below come from this experience. They aren’t specific to that region and can be modified to fit your travel plans.

1.  Choose a resort on the leeward side of the island. Many of the islands straddle the boundary of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. On the leeward side of an island the water is calm and the breezes are refreshing. On the windward (note the wind portion of the previous word) side if you travel east the next thing you will encounter is Africa. There’s a whole lot of miles without anything to cut the wind and slow it down. This results in pretty steady 30 to 40 mile an hour wind blowing across the beach you were hoping to spend the week on. Also, the waves are driven by these winds lifting the surf into motion which this old lady doesn’t want to struggle against.

2. Don’t listen to the person at the counter on the small island where there is only one plane, the one you are to take, when your plane has a mechanical problem and they tell you, first, “You’ll make your connection.” Second, “It’s not Airline 1A’s issue since you’re going to change to Airline 2. Go to their ticket counter when you get to San Juan and they will reschedule your flights.” When the flight attendant tells you to go to your departure airline to deal with the situation, don’t believe them either.

3. Don’t leave the customs area going to said Airline 2’s ticket desk. This is, of course, at least three miles away. You’ll end up being told to go to Airline 1’s counter. You’ll walk back two and a half miles. Airline 1 being the parent company of Airline 1A’s regional one. Then you’ll be told you need to go to Airline 1A’s counter since you flew in on it. Fortunately, this counter is only a half a mile away, but there is now a line 30 people deep getting rescheduled. There are only two people handling this with two to three others standing behind chatting. The man who helps you will then ask, “Why didn’t you stay in the area after going through customs?”

4. Check in when you get rescheduled. This is to assure you are actually in the system for the flights the next day, especially if you are having to change airlines again to get to your destination. It’s under 18 hours now with an opportunity to sleep for no more than four hours so checking in shouldn’t be a problem.

5. Don’t throw away the toothbrush you took with you until you are back home. I thought about it but decided to keep it, my friend didn’t. She didn’t ask for one at the motel desk either ending up brushing her teeth with her finger.

6. As you walk down the concourse watch for the service desk just in case you aren’t in the system for seats on the flight you have a voucher for. Lessens the panic when you are very close to boarding time and going in on six hours of sleep the day before and four hours from last night.

7. Never pack your car keys in the suit case you checked to meet you at your destination. The couple we vacationed with left their car in the airport parking lot. He packed the car keys in the suit case. You guessed it. The luggage didn’t arrive when we did. Fortunately, their son met us at the airport. Something he’s never done before.

8. Don’t throw away the baggage claim tickets for that day but get rid of the ones from previous flights so you know which ones will match with your luggage when it finally does arrive.

I hope this helps you with your own future travels. I’ll store these in the back of my head and hope I don’t have to either relearn them or learn new things next year.


Sophie Dawson is a Christian Historical Fiction author. The wife of an Illinois farmer with 2 sons, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter, Sophie has published the first two books of her Cottonwood Series set in the 1870’s in Iowa. Healing Love and Lord’s Love will be followed in Dec. 2012 by Giving Love. Besides her monthly post in Reflections, Sophie posts weekly on her Little Bits Blog and monthly on The Barn Door.

One Response to “8 Things To Do Or Not To When You Travel”

  1. LisaLickel said

    Aw, sounds like the trip my folks took to Africa many years ago…good lessons. I prefer to drive. Or only pack enough to carry on. The one trip I’ve flown since 1981. :)
    Thanks for sharing. I’m sure it’s mch fun to look backward now that it’s over.

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