Travel Local: Avoiding Baggage Fees, Full Body Scans and Bad Coffee
Today I am flying. I started in South Carolina and will eventually end up in Texas. This means:
- Getting up early for my 6:00am flight.
- Driving to the airport
- Paying for airport parking
- Figuring out the latest and greatest check in procedure for my airline
- Paying to check my bag
- Going thru security. (no details here, but the whole body scan thing is kinda creepy)
- Lining up to board and hoping there will be some overhead space for my little back pack
- Trying to juggle this laptop,my coffee, and the stale muffin I purchased for breakfast on the tray table while the 6ft guy in front of me stretches out to sleep
- Freezing my little feet off because the air conditioning on my plane is set for penguins
- Hoping that I will not need to head to the bathroom, in the back of the plane just as the flight attendant passes me with the 500 lb cart blocking the aisle.
- Trying not to sing out loud to my favorite song, earplugs from my iPad jammed in my ears. All this to drown out the sound of the jet engines perched at my left shoulder
- Spending 4 hours in the airport in Houston while waiting for my connecting flight. The airline changed flight times at the last minute, thus extending an already ample layover time
- People watching and enjoying an herbal tea in the Houston Airport (This is the fun part of the trip)
- Boarding yet another, even smaller plane with propellers that sound eerily like my lawnmower
- Landing in central Texas in summer…this means one bumpy ride
- Begging a ride from friends
- Finally arriving at my destination. No matter how nice it is, I am now hot, tired and irritable….not to mention broke. Plane flights, checked luggage, airport parking fees and the occasional quick airport breakfast spells time for a second mortgage or maybe a second job!
Now, I could have chosen to travel locally. You know, hop in my car, drive a few hours to some charming small town destination and finally arriving at some quaint bed and breakfast. Why would I want to do that?
- Check in probably isn’t until 3:00pm. I can wake up at a reasonable hour, take a leisurely drive, stopping along the way. No hurry. I can choose my route, travel the back roads. Unwind.
- I choose who I sit next to. You do not have this option when flying. Enough said!
- I choose when I stop. There will not be a “beverage cart” blocking my way.
- My bag is in the trunk. I put it there myself. That is free.
- No long layovers, lines or security checks.
- Parking is free at my BnB. No claim checks, numbers or pay to park machines.
- When I arrive at my favorite local BnB, there is someone there to greet me, with a smile, not a metal detector.
- I can look forward to a great night’s rest and innkeepers who are truly happy to welcome me. When is the last time you felt your flight attendant was REALLY happy to serve you coffee.
- Speaking of coffee, no fear that the innkeeper will spill coffee on your laptop or Kindle while he/she controls the cart now blocking the aisle.
- Finally, when my trip is over I get to do it all over again….leisurely drive, bag in the trunk for free, taking the backroads, singing out loud and arriving home when I want to. No layovers or weather delays to complicate things.
Travel should be fun, relaxing and an adventure. Search for a vacation spot a little closer to home. Take the road less traveled. Turn up the radio, roll down the windows and sing a little.