Queen of the Road: I ‘guana Tell You a Secret

It’s a jungle out there. Let’s face it, traveling is not for the weak, especially when it comes to flight delays, baggage mix-ups and the occasional angry airport encounter. But here are my top five travel secrets for the road warrior. Always be nice to the travel agent. Make real eye contact, thank them profusely and repeatedly — they can make or break your travel schedule. Never rely completely on the agent or airline to get you where you need to go. Although this may seem counter to number one, you must take responsibility for your own travel when you find yourself in a jam. You might hear, “they have already rebooked you to your destination,” but you cannot rely on that information. Call the airline as you get off the plane, or better yet, call your travel agent if you have one. Get your new flights as soon as you can in any way you can. Remember, hundreds of people are trying to rebook at the same time you are. Do your homework. Check out your location in advance on Trip Advisor, Frommer’s, Fodor or Yelp to research where to go and what to avoid. We recently traveled to St. Martin and the Frommer’s guide to restaurants was spot- on delicious. Let things go. Accept the fact that your trip will not be perfect. You will take a wrong turn, and possibly lose something, even something you love. I pride myself on always taking that last look back when traveling to see if anything was left behind, but I lost my favorite jacket on my last flight when going through security. How did this happen? I was tired after missing our connection in Atlanta, being rerouted to Miami, and took my “eye off the prize” while chatting it up with a friendly TSA agent at customs. Follow your heart. This is the easiest thing to do, but we so often forget to listen to ourselves. While in St. Martin, I asked my husband to take a left instead of a planned right, and we ended up on Nettles Beach where we found two restaurants nestled on white sand. I walked past the first and found a beach table at Ma Ti Beach where we ate mussels and stingray. Yes, I said stingray, or as my husband would say, “just fantastic!” During lunch, I walked the beach and found myself in a sea of beautiful beach glass washing up at my feet. To some, it might be just glass, but I recently told my granddaughter, Kennedy, that sea glass was magic glass which is made new from the salt water, surf and sand. Like beach glass, our hearts are made anew by how and where we travel. We are never sure where we will land, but one thing is certain. If you stop to listen, you may find yourself on an unforgettable shore.

Tags: advisor, agent, airport, homework, jungle, location, travel, trip

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