As a business travel veteran, she insisted that I follow her "School of Travel," and I must admit, it made things easier.
Here are some of her rules and my own tips.
Never bring more luggage than you can carry by yourself in one trip. A woman should be self sufficient. You won't want to rely on the kindness of strangers. leave your luggage unattended, or throw your back out.
If your carrying on all of your luggage, reserve a seat at the back of the plane. The overhead bins near the back are less crowded, and you'll have more chances to find a spot for your luggage.
On a flight home from Boston my seat was in the middle of the plane, but the only available overhead space was in the back. I had to wait for everyone to exit the plane before I could walk back to get my bag.
If you have a lock on your luggage, make sure that code is one that can be read upside down. For example, "6" will look like a "9" upside down.
Go to the bathroom, before the plane boards, and don't leave your friend stuck watching your luggage when the plane is boarding. She might be in a different group that boards sooner than you.
Have a back up for the hotel's wake up call. Whether it's pre-ordering breakfast to arrive or setting the alarm on your cell phone, always have a back up.
Pack your carry on bag as if you will never see your checked luggage again. Because, in fact, you may not. Your luggage could be lost or an unexpected delay may have you sitting in the airport for hours.
For me, this includes, a pashmina wrap, contact solution & case, my glasses, something to read, a snack, a pair of undies, medicine, my iPhone/iPod, phone charger, and toothbrush/paste.
Never put anything in a checked bag, that you think someone might steal. Jewelry, laptop, camera, and other valuables should all go in your carry on.Carry your passport, even if your flying domestically. Pulling your drivers license out of your wallet at every security checkpoint is a pain. With your passport, you can leave your DL safely in your wallet and keep your passport with your boarding pass.
Plus, it's a back up in case your wallet is stolen or you lose your DL.
Never get on a plane hungry. I made this mistake on the way to Miami one time. My colleague and I were ready for lunch, but thought we'd just eat when we arrived. We didn't expect our plane would be sitting on the runway for hours. We almost died.
Always carry a snack and bottle of water. This will save your life if your stuck on the runway somewhere. According to today's rules, you can't bring your own liquid through security, but just remember to buy one at the airport for your bag.
Stash some cash. Everyone who knows me knows that I NEVER carry cash--except when I travel. If your bank freezes your accounts due to suspected fraud while you're away, you'll be SOL if all you have is plastic. Also, you'll need to tip anyone who carries your luggage for you.
Spread out your cash. If you're carrying a lot of cash, never put it all in your wallet. Spread it out between the pockets in different bags. That way, if one bag is stolen, you will still have some cash stashed in other places.
Let you bank know you'll be traveling. Before the Happy Husband (HH) and I went to Belize, I made sure to call my credit cards to let them know that there would be some unusual activity in a foreign country, so they wouldn't freeze the accounts.