Traveling with the Savvy Traveler
It's me, Susan. I've got to tell you, friends who know we've traveled together sometimes ask me, "What's it like to travel with the Savvy Traveler?" I got to thinking about it, and I put together a little memo on the subject that might be useful should they find themselves hitting the road with you. Here are The Rules.
Number One: Invest in a back brace.
The Savvy Traveler always travels with a backlog of reading materials. Unread copies of The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, Travel Weekly, The New York Observer...all and more are crammed into carry-on bags. There are even copies of the Star and Enquirer. You may feel moved to help him carry his reading bags. Remember to bend at the knees when lifting.
Number Two: Flight time is not social intercourse time.
After fastening your seat belt, it's time to read. Read as if your life depends on it. In the event of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling compartment above you. Place the mask over your nose and mouth and continue to read, even if the plane is hurling toward the ground. The goal: to discard all that heavy reading material before landing.
Number Three: Police the area. Be sure to properly stow all in-flight refuse.
The Savvy Traveler likes an orderly environment at all times. Upon completion, neatly fold each section of your chosen reading material and place the item in the seat back directly in front of The Savvy Traveler. All in-flight refuse -- cocktail napkins, gum wrappers, ATM receipts, and unidentifiable objects from your handbag -- are to be stored in a plastic bag, usually the one your headset came in. Never place trash in the seat back in front of you, as this will disrupt The Savvy Traveler's reading time as he gathers your refuse for proper stowage.
Number Four: Keep it brief.
At a connecting airport, for example, the Savvy Traveler usually allots a minute to exchange pleasantries before sprinting to the nearest phone bank. He often works a phone plus his cell phone, checking messages and returning calls until the final boarding warning for the next flight. This is free time during which you may do as you wish. But keep an eye peeled. The Savvy Traveler may suddenly dash for a hospitality lounge to plug in his laptop.
Finally, Number Five: Watch for those luggage carts!
The Savvy Traveler possesses the super-human ability to spot abandoned Smart Cartes, no matter how busy the airport. He's not cheap, but he hates paying $2 for a cart he thinks airports should provide gratis. Should he entrust you with this daunting task, don't panic. Begin scanning the airport immediately upon exiting the plane. While The Savvy Traveler busies himself with the phones, you might want to make your life easier by sneaking to a cart dispenser and simply paying the money. He'll ask you where you found it. Go ahead and lie. Tell him you wrested it from ten other angry scavengers...it'll make his day.
Hope I haven't told too many tales out of school, Rudy.
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