Sorry for my absence this past week; I was on a cross-country trip to and from Denver. I flew out Friday and just got back this evening. In such a short amount of time, so many crazy things happened, so I thought this Wanderlust Wednesday was the perfect opportunity to share them with you. Here’s my collection of random thoughts from two flights and a 28-hour drive.
- Be ready for anything. I know this is broad, but you really never know what might happen along your travels. From delayed flights, to missed connections, to a plane driving over a worker’s foot on the tarmac, I’ve seen a wide variety of events in my plane travels. People always tell you to be prepared and pack things for overnight in your carry-on luggage in case of emergency. Well, sometimes you’re one of the last to board your plane and all of the overhead luggage storage is full. You have no choice but to check your luggage at the gate. This is why I always pack a carry-on luggage AND a backpack or tote bag – something smaller that you can store under the seat in front of you.
- If you have a delayed flight that causes you to miss your connecting flight, get to customer service as fast as you physically can. More than likely there will be several other travelers in the same predicament as you, and finding hotels, meal vouchers, and new flights for everyone takes time! Try to be one of the first to get in line.
- Some hotels that accept stranded passengers will accept meal vouchers if they serve food – it’s worth checking when you get a voucher. Pay attention to the amount on your meal voucher – you don’t get change if you don’t spend it all, and if you go over the amount, you’ll need to pay the difference. Spend wisely!
- If I’m in a city that is known for hot, calm weather, there’s a good chance a cold front will come through and I’ll be stuck outside in a thunderstorm.
- Find the best local ice cream shop in whatever town you’re in.
- If you have a local zoo membership, check to see if you get a discount or even free admission at any zoos along your trip. The list is on the AZA’s website.
- Nebraska is full of corn.
- Double check companies’ websites before going out of your way only to find out that they are closed. Trust me on this one.
- If you’re traveling off the main highways at all, be sure you’ve saved your directions on your phone – screenshot is best! Service can be hard to come by, particularly in the little towns in the middle of the US.
- There is a Coca-Cola capital of Iowa. A small town named Atlantic holds a yearly celebration every September.
- There is also a Danish town in Iowa, known as Elk Horn. Along with it’s neighboring town of Kimballton, they are the largest rural Danish settlement in the US. Elk Horn is also home to the Museum of Danish America and the only authentic working Danish windmill in the country.
- When booking hotels along your journey, look for ones that offer free parking and free breakfast to save you some time and money!
- Iowa is also full of corn. And windmills.
- So is Illinois.
- Stop at the welcome centers when you cross state lines. They make for the best rest stops – usually with clean bathrooms, free brochures and information, and some local history. They make for great photo ops and sometimes offer free drinks!
- Remember all of the road trip packing essentials we learned about back in Wanderlust Wednesday #4 – those tips really are useful!
- Most importantly, don’t let the mishaps get to you. Let the unplanned stops make your trip that much more interesting and memorable.