The ONE Thing You Must Pack on your Next Trip

My trusty carry-on

My trusty carry-on

My blog doesn’t quite have the following that, say, Tim Ferriss or Chris Guillebeau have, but I hope this post reaches a little farther than usual.

Sometimes I forget to pack something, and I regret it every time.

I forgot to pack it when I went off on the tour company representative on our cut-short cruise of Halong Bay.

I also forgot to pack it in a restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong.

I sometimes forget to pack it on flights or when things change at the last moment.

It’s grace.

  • The airport check-in agent doesn’t get any joy from telling you that you cannot stand by on an earlier flight without paying a fee.  He/she is communicating a policy that is decided way above their pay grade
  • The parents of the baby crying in the row in front of you aren’t happy about it either.  If they knew how to make their baby stop crying, they would
  • The gate agent wants to help you get to your next destination in the event of delays and cancellations.  Their computers do not search better as the volume of your voice gets higher
  • The tour guide (most of the time) wants to do a good job for you.  Sometimes they have off days too
  • Waiters sometimes won’t notice you’re done with your meal and ready to leave.  It’s ok to politely get their attention and let them know
  • The captain of the plane isn’t happy about the turbulence either
  • The flight maintenance staff isn’t happy that a plane needs a crucial part to ensure safe operation that takes 30 minutes to fix

Now, am I saying that if someone doesn’t offer you a benefit to which you’re entitled (via hotel/airline status, etc.) or a service for which you paid you should just sit back and accept it?  Of course not, but have a little grace and humility.  Be kind.  Politely ask if your status is displaying correctly, because you thought that ______ status entitled passengers to ______ benefit (I always find it’s best to use third person here) or ask why you’re not being taken to ______ like the tour brochure indicated.  It may have been a momentary slip-up by whoever you were talking to.  Stand up for yourself, but don’t be a jerk.  Most likely whoever it is does not know you personally enough to mean whatever they left out personally.

Frequent flyers of the world share a common trait: we want a quick, hassle-free, and safe journey to our destination.  Every so often, our journeys are neither quick nor hassle-free.  You know what?  Hopefully they’re safe, and you’ll live on to journey again.  It doesn’t always work out our way, and that’s ok.

I guess it just boils down to a response I had to a prompt that asked me to complete the following phrase: “I have never…”

I have never been proud of how rude I was to someone.  Even if they deserved it.

Be kind out there, and don’t forget to be grateful.

 

Best,
Andy

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the reminder – it’s what can make travel even better.

    Reply
  2. Grace is a real b____…unless you meant the character trait…nah, you clearly meant the other Grace.

    Reply

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