Home again with some travel tips

Australian Bottlebrush tree

around the worldOne last Aussie photo (above) . . . This one is of a bottlebrush tree.

I had an interesting trip home when I learned the night before I was due to travel that my trans-Pacific flight had been cancelled and my new itinerary had a new final destination – Idaho Falls. What?!! I was fortunate that I noticed the change when I did, because had I rocked up to the airport the next day as planned, I wouldn’t have had a ticket to anywhere. Yes, I had a new itinerary, but a new ticket wasn’t issued because the system detected a discrepancy in the two destinations. As a result of my experiences I thought I’d share what I learned to the travel tips page on our website:

1)  Check with the airline at least the night before that your travel plans are the same.
You can also install apps for the various airlines you’re flying with to monitor changes and updates.
2)  Update your contact info with all airlines so they can contact you while you’re traveling.
The airline sent a text to my U.S. mobile number but it was not connected while I was in Australia so I didn’t receive it until I arrived back in the U.S.
3)  Know your airport codes.
The reason I might have ended up in Idaho Falls instead of Dulles? The code for Dulles is IAD. The code for Idaho Falls is IDA. Such a small error, but with pretty big consequences. My daughter once experienced a similar mix-up between Phoenix (PHX) and Portland (PDX).
I also met a couple at Dallas/Fort Worth who were traveling to Washington but didn’t know which airport they were going to and it took valuable time for them to find their correct departure gate. I think they missed their connecting flight.
4)  Include a change of clothes in your carry-on bag.
My checked bag didn’t arrive with me on the flight to Australia although I received it the next day as promised (Thank you Qantas!). Still, it was really nice to have a clean change of clothes on hand and I didn’t have to do an emergency clothes shop.
5)  Don’t be shy about asking for help.
I think we talked about this at our cafes, but I wanted to make the point again. Due to delays caused by weather, I had really tight connection times more than once. Airline and airport staff were so kind and helpful and helped me catch my flights on time.
water glass6)  Drink more water.
– I know, you hear this all the time, but there are lots of reasons (apart from the usual one of avoiding a UTI) that this is good advice. When you’re flying, you don’t get good feedback from your body that you’re dehydrated so waiting until you’re thirsty is not a good indicator. Symptoms of dehydration may include dry eyes, tiredness, dry mouth, headache, constipation, dizziness or lightheadedness, and can exaggerate jet lag. Severe dehydration may result in low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and fever. I’m sure that some of these symptoms are familiar to many of you on a good day but they’re harder to deal with when you’re traveling. Isn’t it worth a few extra trips to the toilet to avoid exaggerating them?

Hurricane Florence and Emergency Preparedness Website
In trying to find information about how hurricane Florence will affect us here in Fairfax County I found this website – Fairfax County Emergency Information: Official Fairfax County Government Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery Website. It looks like it has good information for emergency information beyond Florence as well, and we can subscribe to receive updates by email.

I hope to see you out and about soon! We’ll be at two cafes next week – at Alexandria and Fairfax. Will we see you there? More details on our cafes page!

Cheers,
Sonia
email: Sonia@ParkinsonSocialNetwork.org

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