1. Being in the middle seat? Not so bad. Especially when you’re surrounded by Europeans going to the U.S. They love Americans, I guess. Also, the guys wear floral. To each his own?
2. One should never underestimate a security TSA officer’s ability to be “too” embarrassing. During the body screening in Amsterdam Schipohl, I was really sick and one of the officers told her colleague in a sing-song voice that I was having a “hot flash!” Thanks a lot.
3. Don’t bring a super heavy backpack like I did. This stopped up traffic in the aisle when I had to lug it out from the overhead, and I got many a disgruntled glare. Even if you’re carrying rainbows and unicorns, ain’t nobody but you gonna carry that bag home, honey. It’s a grade A travel offense.
4. Do not underestimate the screaming abilities of children. Seriously, we went up the escalator at Amsterdam and the kid didn’t even stop for breath. The lung capacity, my word. Bring a good set of ear plugs or give your child something chewy to eat…
5. It really paid off to be polite to security. It speeds up the line for everyone, plus you can always crack a joke to make up for all the stress in the airport. TSA officers are perpetually stressed out, for good reason.
6. Graphic t-shirts seem to amuse people. I wore my “Paper Moon” shirt which started an interesting conversation with a British TSA officer. It also rushed my screening, which is always a good thing.
7. Do not make jokes about pocket rocket launchers (I’m looking at you, Hank Green). Or anything flame-y or exploded-like. Just no. Not even half a joke.
8. I wear my PJ’s like a boss on the plane. Especially when my PJs are striped backpacker pants that give me extra leg and stretch room. I don’t care if I look good on an airplane, I’m going to be up for at least 20 hours. Looking good? Not gonna happen after hour 7 on a plane.
9. Of course, the cute crew player will sit next to you on the last leg of the flight. Of course. Even when you stare at the floor and mumble, “No no no no no, please nooooo….” Just smile and let him read his book, because you really really don’t want him to look at yo smelly self.
10. Seeing Dad after 6 weeks in Europe? One of the best things ever, especially when he offers to carry your luggage. Especially because he’s ready for your tired stories about travelling. And laughs.
Happy travels, loves.