Monday, November 12, 2012

Mindful Parenting: Keeping Your Cool When Traveling

Patience, Good Humor and These Tips Will Help All Winter Travelers
by Susan Foster, packing expert and author of Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler

When winter weather strands travelers, what can you do to suffer the least? These four simple steps can mean the difference between total frustration and just minor inconvenience when the weather threatens your trip.

1. Pack a carry-on bag with everything that you simply cannot live without for a day. If checking luggage, carry-on the necessities of life and work including:
• All travel documents 
• Computer and cell phone and chargers 
• Partial change of clothing
• All medications
• Important work papers
• A light jacket, gloves and hat — you never know what the weather will be like in the city where you are stuck along the way.

2. Carry all airline phone numbers (program them into your cell phone) and frequent flyer info. Never simply stand in a customer service line with every other passenger on your flight waiting to be rebooked when a flight is cancelled. Go to the rebooking counter line but immediately call your airline and get rebooked by phone. Not everyone will be conveniently accommodated, so act quickly. Standing in line allows you to possibly retrieve your luggage or to pick up food/hotel vouchers, and to hear verbal updates.

3. If you are a member of hotel frequent guest programs, program toll free phone numbers into your cell phone so that you can be one of the lucky travelers to score a hotel room before they are sold out. Carry account information with you, as frequent guests may receive priority.

4. Always check with your airline BEFORE leaving for the airport to verify that your flight is leaving on time and is actually flying.

Most importantly, pack a good book (or fill your electronic device with movies, games and other boredom busters), your patience and good humor, and concentrate on the fun you’ll have at you final destination!


Susan Foster is the author of the fact-filled, well-illustrated book, Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler. Her DVD, Smart Packing – It’s a suitcase not your closet!, offers visual aid to easily put her tips into action. Her website is an important resource for the travel industry and travelers across the globe. Foster's regular e-letter keeps travelers informed about how to navigate the ever-changing rules and regulations and hassles that now govern domestic and international travel.

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