Two Rules for Smoother Travels.

I hate it when I do something careless or stupid when I’m traveling. Like leaving my credit card in a restaurant. Or forgetting to ask the kid at the Avis counter how to program the GPS system … and then getting lost. (Both of these boo-boos were committed on my trip to France last year.)
 
So, take ‘em for what they’re worth, but here are what I think are the two most important things to remember when traveling.
 
Don’t get rattled. When you’re going through the security line at the airport and there are people in a hurry behind you, don’t let them make you rush. They’re impatient? Tough! Take your time. Step off to the side and let them go in front of you. Mistakes happen when you feel rushed!
 
 

Establish a routine.
And don’t vary from it . . . ever. For instance, I always keep my passport in the same zippered pocket in my shoulder bag. Never anywhere else. If it’s in a pocket in my jeans today because it’s warm, in a jacket pocket tomorrow because it’s cooler, and left on top of the TV set in my hotel room the next day, I’m never sure where it is. And it’s easy to misplace.
 
 
I’ve certainly had my share of screw-ups. The most egregious lapse came when I was going through security at the Dallas airport. One of the TSA people noticed that I’m from Hawaii and we got into a conversation. Can you believe it? I left my laptop behind when I cleared security! It was waiting for me when I went back, of course, but what if I had boarded my flight before realizing it was missing?
 
Sometimes incidents like these just happen and are unavoidable. But instead of impulsively jumping at the first solution that pops into my head, I find a nice quiet spot, sit down, take a deep breath, and then start figuring out what to do. As folks here in Hawaii say: “Cool head main t’ing.”