Savvy Travels

By: Maria Davies

Many of you will probably have experienced some or all of the things I’m about to discuss. Travel is one of the things that my husband and I look forward to in retirement but there are aspects of it that test our patience. Delays, crowded or cancelled flights are quite common. So, how does one cope and retain sanity and still enjoy traveling?  Here are some of my strategies. 


Through experience, I’ve learned to keep extra reading material, make sure all devices are fully charged or figure out where the charging spots near my gate are; if my trip involved connecting flights, I make sure to give myself at least 4 hours between flights. Better to sit around then to miss the flight.


If despite all the precautions, the connecting flight is missed, no point arguing or getting upset with the airline personnel, they can’t do anything. Best to go directly to the re-booking desk, get checked in for the next available flight. If overnight stay is required, the airlines will pay for hotel, transportation and meals. HOWEVER, the hotel shuttle company may not be aware that you need to be picked up, so call and ask how long before the shuttle can come; be sure to check meal vouchers because in tiny print they tell you which meal with the maximum amount allowed per meal (never enough for a meal).

Boredom/Tension Prevention

I have my airport routines and can recommend them with allowances for personal preferences. After I find my gate, I scope out the immediate area for food, stores, restrooms, reading materials. Since I’m multi lingual, I try to pick up at least two newspapers, one in German or Spanish, or if not available, The Economist (from England). Then I settle in to read for a while or work using my devices. After an hour, I get up and take a long walk. Since much of travel necessitates long periods of sitting, walking is for the body and soul. After the walk, if there’s still waiting, back to reading or people watching.

Accepting Things I Can’t Change

Ultimately, I tell myself not to get upset by things over which I have no control. Go with the flow, this too shall pass. Of course, if your budget can accommodate 1st class, the whole thing is much easier to endure, nice lounges, complimentary fruit, coffee, reading materials, etc. but if the plane isn’t taking off when scheduled, you’re still stuck.

Bon Voyage.

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Maria Davies has lived on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean since retiring from a successful, Chicago-based real estate practice.  She keeps busy with managing her website, producing a monthly newsletter, gardening and exploring island-life activities. Her current project is videotaping a legendary native Grenadian who’s renowned for his knowledge of folk medicine and the history of the island.