Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Escape and Travel with Confidence.

With the vacation season in full swing, many of you may be thinking about a trip. My job involves travel and I have always like travel. One of my early adventures/escapes involved Rhonda flying from coast to coast. Security was different then and many things went wrong, however none of the problems involved how I was dressed. In fact, how I was dressed likely solved a problem. Read about this adventure here.

On many of my trips today, I fly as Rhonda and do not give a second thought to how I am dressed. Trips are uneventful and routine although flying in this manner adds an extra punch of excitement as all escape do. Here are several suggestions - Your mileage will vary:  

  • Purchase TSA pre-check. Because of age, I get pre-check about 75% of the time. Lines are shorter (sometimes no line) and the check-in process moves along quicker with less hassle. There are written guidelines for the TSA to use for us.  
  • Always be friendly. Typically when I present my passport I get the classic double take between the passport photo and the person presenting. I just say “It is me” with the biggest smile I can manage. A smile many times disarms and usually results in a smile back. Once in Chicago ORD, the TSA agent said, “Honey, You have your husband’s passport”, before I could give her the It is me. I just said, “No, It is me” with a big smile and I added “You have made my day”. She really laughed aloud and apologized. I think I made her day also and I can only imagine how boring her day is usually.  
  • After the TSC check there are few interactions and seat conversation are under your control. I have some good conversations, met some interesting people however usually put on headphones and listen to a book/music. The headphones drown out the airplane noise and usually interface with the in-flight entertainment.
  • Restrooms during connections can be stressful. Larger airports have “Family Restrooms” which are unisex and easily accessible – no line. Even if locked (in use), I just wait across the aisle until it is free. These one-person small rooms can serve as a facility and have good lighting for a makeup check.  
  • On most trips, I check my bag. It is usually heavy with outfits, shoes and training materials needed for work. A large bag or even roll-on, is not something I want TSA going through in public. Also not having a large carry-on eliminates the problem of finding space in the overhead bin. Yes checking a bag is an extra cost, but worth it. 
  • My large tote bag carries all needed flight items including my tablet computer. Pre-check eliminates the need to turn on the computer/tablet. Although the bag is not unisex, it works and fits under my seat. In the winter, I carry my coat on board and quickly place it in the overhead. 
  • Car rentals and hotel check-in sometimes get interesting, however the “It is me” usually works there also. At a Holiday Inn recently, I was asked, “Will Mr. Williams be joining you”. With a big smile, I answered “Of course”. 

Recent Travel Outfit
Just one other suggestion - likely the biggest; to blend in dress comfortably. The day of people dressing up to travel is gone. Jeans, t-shirts, comfortable shoes and sweaters are the dress of the day especially for early flights. Anything other than that will produce unwarranted attention. You do not have to be boring, but dress down. I am always neat and coordinated, with minimal makeup. Blending in is better.  

I hope these suggestion help. Remember your mileage will vary. Be confident, smile and Escape with confidence. 

1 comment: