Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Travel Lessons

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In the past two weeks, I have been out traveling for work and then vacation with the family. Having taken at least 10 trips to Canada for work, you'd think I was a seasoned veteran. But these trips had a few things to teach me.
  1. When the Canadian customs officer asks whether you will be doing any work while during your trip, say NO, you are only there for business meetings. Otherwise, you have to stand in another line in immigration for a work permit. Obviously, business meetings aren't considered work in anyone's book.
  2. When asked if you could rent a minivan instead of a car, say NO. Otherwise when you sit in it (Grand Caravan) and decide that it is too big to fit in the garage that you intend to visit, you won't leave your wallet in there when you go to get another car.
  3. When determining what time you will arrive at your business after traveling, add two hours to your arrival time for gaffs 1 and 2.
  4. If you have an Avis wizard number, make sure your company discount is associated with it. Otherwise even if your company makes the reservation for you, you'll get charged the full rate.
  5. Even if you can't get your company hotel rate at reservation time, if you ask when you check in, you will most likely get it.
  6. If you have a layover at LaGuardia airport, there are no secure areas between terminal wings, so say goodbye to the water you just purchased at the last airport.
  7. You can't take a screwdriver or allen wrenches in carry-on luggage. I purchased them while on my business trip and I had to check that bag in.
  8. When you buy books in Canada, you need to look at the Canadian prices, not the US ones. I got burned for four extra dollars for books for the kids.
  9. Never take the Massachusetts Turnpike on Friday, Saturday or Sunday in the summer, unless you don't mind an extra hour of traffic. After taking it on Saturday, and having friends say it was bad even on Friday, we decided to take it again on Sunday. Bad idea.
  10. Always take a room on the top floor because Doug can't sleep when there are elephants staying above him.
  11. Don't get a ready-to-bake pizza for a kitchenette that doesn't have an oven or toaster oven. Microwaving and then browning in a pan is a painful process and not nearly as tasty.
  12. I can live without Internet access for my laptop. It was a painful withdrawal process, but after a few days, I was fine. With Syncplicity, I was able to download my critical files and work offline. Plus I actually got to read books!
  13. I can *almost* live without cell reception. We kept having to make our calls while we were out and about instead of in our room. And I could finally check my email on my phone.

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