The Summer Traveler’s Survival Guide

Christine Colleran

If you are lucky enough to be traveling this year, chances are you will do so during these summer months. While the end-goals of such trips often lie in sandy beaches or open arms of friends and family, the “getting there” part of travel can prove much trickier than anticipated.

Seeing as I have finally reached cruising altitude, and am now allowed to take my tray table down from the upright position, I think it an appropriate moment to provide you with some travel knowledge.

I now present: Christine’s Nearly-Foolproof Guide to Somewhat Safe and Sort-of Smooth Summer Travel (Journey by Air Edition).

Step 1: The Scareport (Whoops, did I say that? I meant airport.)

Before arrival to airport make sure to utilize the online check-in system (found on your respective airline’s website), as well as print boarding pass(es) for your flight. Doing so ahead of time allows you to forgo the evil, crash-happy check-in machines on site, and helps to avoid the over-worked customer service agents who are tempted to steal your ticket and hop on your scheduled flight out of there.

Continuing with the timeliness idea, arrive to the airport early in case of security issues. WHATEVER you do, don’t talk about bombs or explosives in front of a Transportation Security Administration agent. Trust me, the TSA won’t care that you were only telling a story about your roommate’s unfortunate gastro-intestinal issues, you will still be detained.

Lastly, make sure to remember appropriate forms of identification, i.e. passport or driver’s license. This does not include: your student ID, your debit card, or (god-forbid) your fake ID. One misstep with false identification can have you going from beach hero to potential-terrorist zero faster than you can stay stolen identity.

Step 2: On the plane (a.k.a. When Shit Gets Real)

Be sure to pack snacks for your trip, because no bag of peanuts is ever worth $12. A $12 beer is acceptable in some circumstances; however, those being: when one is sitting next to a child under the age of five, or sandwiched against a seat neighbor who is decidedly anti-shower.

Do skim Sky Mall magazine purely for your own amusement – hello, Tank the 8-foot garden armadillo statue!? That being said, don’t have one too many $ 12 beers and actually purchase big Tank.

Step 3: Acceptance

The last and final step of summer travel deals with acceptance of your surroundings. Try not to get too mad when the person in front of you thinks of their chair as less of a seat and more of a bed. At the same time, don’t be pessimistic about travel either – just realistic with your expectations. Travel is an exciting, stressful time for all, and there are bound to be a few missteps in the face of such high emotions.

Since you have read my travel guide, you now have the knowledge to make your air-travel experience more of an adventure than anything else.

Remember, roll with the punches, and if all else fails there are always $12 beers.

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