How to deal with in-flight stress

October 23, 2014 - Leave a Response

Let’s face it, air travel is stressful.  A lot of the time we just want to get to our destination and out of that cramped airline seat as fast as possible. 10-23-14-2 There are tarmac delays, crying babies, loud talkers, chatty neighbors, smelly food, tight carryon space, small seats, middle seats, slow WiFi, no WiFi, few outlets, dry air, germs, cold airplanes, hot airplanes, and who can forget the drama from this summer with the knee defender! First class can solve some of these problems but that’s not always an option for many flyers.  So here are my tips for coping with in-flight stress when flying coach.

Delays.  Delays happen, and sometimes they happen once you’ve already boarded due to things like weather, mechanical issues (that one was a doozy), and a number of other reasons. The first thing that stresses me out when there’s a delay is not knowing if I’ll make my connection.  As soon as a delay is announced I immediately start looking for a plan b on my phone.  I ask myself ‘what will I do if I miss my connecting flight?’  Then if I know I’m going to miss my connection I’ll have plan in place that I can quickly relay to a customer service agent.  If the delay is the fault of the airlines (such as mechanical and not weather) ask for a concession such as an upgrade to first class on the next flight or miles.

Another stressor with delays is not being able to eat.  After being delayed on a plane for certain period of time airlines are required to provide refreshment, but I prefer to have something that I know I’ll enjoy if I’m hungry.  I usually have a couple of KIND Bars to hold me over just for these situations. I’ll also eat the KIND Bars if the airplane food isn’t looking awesome.  Something is better than nothing! Be sure to also stay hydrated in the air.  I always have my Contigo refillable water bottle with me on flights so I don’t dry out.  But be sure you release pressure before popping open the straw with this bottle!

Noise.  There are all kinds of noises on a plane.  You could end up with a seat right by the plane engine, you could end up next to a loud talker, screaming baby, chatty neighbors, etc.  Don’t leave home without your noise canceling headphones. Seriously.  I preach this a lot because it works.  Use something like these Bose Noise Canceling headphones along with a white noise app (or a classical music app depending on your preference).  If you have a chatty neighbor and want to get away politely tell them you have a work assignment due, put the headphones on and hopefully they’ll get the picture.

Smelly food.  Read more of this article »

Rain during business travel

October 22, 2014 - One Response

Oh, rain. I love rain, and as a Texan in the middle of a drought I don’t see nearly enough of it. So when I am lucky enough to see it, I want to 1 Umbrella 1wallow in it. Sit inside my house with a cup of tea, curled up on the couch looking out the window.  But sometimes you have to go to work. Boo. And other times, the place where it’s raining isn’t your place–it’s somewhere you’ve traveled a long distance to, just to go to work. That was my trip this week.  Three rainy days in New York.

When I looked at the weather forecast and realized how much rain was expected I panicked just a tiny bit. In Texas, like many places, you just run from your house out to your car and then run in to the office. You open your umbrella if it’s raining hard enough, but mostly you just try to be fast. In New York there are cabs to hail, trains to catch, and blocks to walk.

So how do you navigate rainy cities without arriving at work drenched? Here is my strategy. Read more of this article »

Southwest boarding issue

October 21, 2014 - 41 Responses

My husband and I have traveled for years using points from Southwest.  It’s really nice to be compensated from an airline for all the loyalty I give 10-21-14-2traveling for business.  Now that we have the companion pass it has made it even more attractive to stay loyal to Southwest.  It’s hard to beat not having to use money or points to have the Home Warrior fly with me places.  When checking in for Southwest flights my husband and I will usually end up with different boarding groups.  I typically will end up with the better boarding group between the two of us.   No big deal though.  We just stand in line together and when they check our boarding passes I tell the agent we’re married and along we go boarding together.  On a recent flight to Las Vegas we had different boarding groups as usual.  I explained to the agent we were married, and had no problems. Coming back though it was a different story.  Read more of this article »

Beauty Monday: Dry Shampoo

October 20, 2014 - Leave a Response

Every week Road Warriorette features a beauty product that makes traveling easier. Do you have a favorite? Send it to RW @

A while back I complained to my sister about how weird my hair gets in the winter. I’ve always had dry hair, but during the winter it is extreme. She recommended Read more of this article »

A fire, a bird strike, and three planes to get to Raleigh

October 20, 2014 - Leave a Response

Last week I was scheduled to go to Raleigh for a meeting. It was a simple overnight trip, and I was slated to arrive around 930. I had a tight 10-20-14-1connection, so was a bit relieved when I checked my flight status on my phone and saw it was delayed by twenty minutes. Then I looked up from my phone and saw a plume of smoke. Not something you typically see at an airport, so I moved closer to the window to get a better look. Then I saw a plane parked off in the distance, with flames underneath. Holy crap! I couldn’t see what airline, and with all the water being sprayed on it the fire quickly died down. Still! It was crazy.

I should have known then, though, that the trip wasn’t going to go as planned. My earlier relief at a short delay soon turned to consternation as it was delayed another twenty, another twenty, and then yet another twenty minutes. We finally started boarding an hour after scheduled takeoff. I got comfortable in my exit row seat, setting out my water bottle and Kindle. After about twenty minutes of reading Sherlock Holmes I realized boarding had stopped, and the plane was still half empty. Just as I was thinking there was no possible way we were ready to go, the pilot announced that there was a maintenance issue and we had to de-plane. The whole plane trooped off to the new gate, heading in mass to the airtrain.

We waited close to an hour, then finally got on the new plane. (2.5 hours after scheduled departure.) We all get settled back in, the plane takes off, and we think we are good to go. I doze off a bit, glad to be on my way. Suddenly I hear a loud bang that shakes the aircraft, and I jerk up from sleep. Looking around, the other passengers are also clearly baffled. Immediately the plane starts turning, but it took about ten minutes for the explanation to come. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had a bird strike and have to head back to DFW.” We all look at each other in amazement. Read more of this article »

And the winner is…..

October 19, 2014 - Comments are off for this article

This past week we had a fascinating interview with National Pro Jennifer and ran a giveaway to celebrate National’s ONE TWO FREE promotion. Well, we have a winner for the giveaway! The lucky reader is Eric, who said that he always uses mileage earning credit cards to earn as many points as possible. He wins $200 and Emerald Club Executive Status for a year. Congratulations Eric!

Road Warriorette Weekend Express

October 18, 2014 - Leave a Response

Hey readers! Got a question or something you want to discuss this weekend?  Here’s the perfect opportunity!  Whether you want to share an Weekend Express picinteresting travel story, a packing tip, an etiquette tip, or anything else going on in the business travel world, comment here and we’ll have a discussion.

Travel tip of the week:

  • It can be pretty frustrating to stand in line, waiting to talk to a ticket agent, so I recommend calling the airlines customer service while you’re in line. That way if the line isn’t moving fast enough you have a possible quicker alternative for resolution by phone.

Week in review: Read more of this article »

Travel bag of the week: London Fog Chelsea

October 17, 2014 - Leave a Response

Each week Road Warriorette features a travel bag that hits all of the high notes for ladies on the road: pockets, construction, and (of course!)10-17-14-1 style.

Every time I see this bag I think, I love that bag! Surely I’ve featured it! The London Fog Chelsea has so many things to love. It’s neutral-colored but has an interesting pattern, has one million pockets for everything a business traveler could possibly need, will hold a 17” laptop, and still has a place for clothes and files. Since it rolls you can load it up and still not hurt your back. For an overnight business trip, this could be the only bag you need. Reviewers agree—with 60 reviews it’s got a 4.5 star rating. It’s normally priced $229 but is on sale for only $86 right now.

Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!

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Hilton starting a new “lifestyle” brand

October 17, 2014 - Leave a Response

Normally when I hear that a company is creating a new “lifestyle” brand I roll my eyes. According to Wikipedia a lifestyle brand, in theory, Becker wineattempts to embody the interests, attitudes and opinions of a group or a culture. It seems gimmicky, and often feels like pandering. But sometimes the brand actually sounds like a really cool idea.

Case in point. USA Today reported that Hilton has announced a new lifestyle brand called Canopy. Instead of being placed near airports or strip malls, each hotel will be placed inside a neighborhood. The idea is that the hotel will draw inspiration from that neighborhood and provide a unique experience rather than a cookie-cutter design. It will include more interesting breakfast fare like quiche and an evening reception with local brews. Read more of this article »

Last day to enter National Car Rental giveaway. Prize: $200 and Executive Status for a year!

October 16, 2014 - Comments are off for this article

Today is the last day to enter the National Car Rental Giveaway. One lucky reader will win a $200 AmEx gift card and Emerald Club 10-14-14-2Executive Status for a year! Remember in order to be eligible you have to leave a comment AND tweet about the contest using the hashtag #ONETWOFREE. Winner will be chosen tomorrow!! Click here to enter.