Last week, I was out of town. Having grand adventures. You know, the usual. I’m home, and things are back to normal, so let me tell you what I think about travel.
On Packing: Pick your battles when it comes to your quart zip-top bag of liquids. Would it kill you to use the shampoo you’ll find in the hotel? Don’t forget to pack sunscreen. Really.
If it’s big enough or heavy enough to need wheels, it is by definition not a carry-on.
Rolling pants and most other garments takes up less room and means fewer wrinkles.
Think carefully about how long you’ll be gone and what you’ll really need. After all, you’re going to have to carry it.
On Airports and Airlines: Do everyone a favor and have your ID and boarding pass ready to go when you get in the security line. Already be prepared to go through the probe-u-later. Be polite as long as feasible. And seriously, don’t even joke about terrorism or bombs.
No, U.S. Air, I am not paying for your overpriced food.
The Airbus A321 has the worst overhead storage I have ever seen. Somebody decided that it’s more important for a 6′ tall man to be able to stand than for anybody to have a carry-on bag. The more I travel, the more I like Boeing.
The only thing I like about Phoenix Sky Harbor is that it’s called “Sky Harbor.”
Cancun, on the other hand, has a very nice airport. Clean, well laid out, plenty of room near the gates, huge duty free shop, decent food. Oh yeah, and a Margaritaville.
On Mexico: I understood Montezuma’s Revenge before I even made it through customs. The sink in the airport bathroom was labeled “NON-POTABLE WATER. DO NOT DRINK.” In English, I might add. If a sink is not labeled “POTABLE,” don’t drink that water. It’s simple.
I’ve come to the conclusion that if you are willing to stick to areas frequented by English speaking tourists, you will need very little Spanish. This may hold up in other countries as well.
The Cancun Hotel District looks a lot like the Las Vegas Strip: lots of luxury resorts, lots of palm trees, high end malls, the occasional convenience store that looks like it’s been there for decades. However, the big difference is that Cancun has more pyramids.
Lots of shopping, yes. I think the only things I could have bought there that I can’t get here are Cuban cigars and Cuban rum (which is yummy stuff). And since I can’t bring either one home, not worth bothering.
Going out to Isla Mujeres was much more like visiting a foreign country. Be aware, the shopkeepers will see you getting off the boat.
Step out of your comfort zone and eat what the locals do. You’ll be glad you did.
Tip well around your resort and you will be remembered for it.
And one last thing: You never know who you will run into when you travel. Be aware of opportunities to meet people, or at least say hello to people you know.
In Closing: hilarious; small Mercedes coming soon; must read explanation of “not in the labor force”; Occupy Ports; a battle that was lost by 1978; and Jesus approves this message.