Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : July 2005

Previous | Next

 SOLO/SMALL FIRM PRACTITIONER

BY PAT YEVICS  

On the Road Again
Tips for Great Travel This Summer

By Pat Yevics

In this month’s article, we are going to take a break from office management, technology, blawgs, etc. We are not going to talk about the value and importance of taking time off. We are assuming that you understand the importance of taking time off to rejuvenate (please see loma.typepad.com for information on the importance of time off).

Flying has become quite a hassle, but there are some tips that you should follow to make the process easier.

Although you can get some really great deals at the last minute, unless you have the luxury of just dropping everything to take a great deal it is best to book early. You should also have tentative hotel/lodging reservations before booking airline tickets.

Most tickets are now electronic. Save your confirmation. You can also sign up for e-mail/voice mail messages regarding any changes to your flight. Most airlines will allow you to pick your seat (except Southwest) in advance and print your boarding pass.

If possible, travel during off-peak hours. It really does make the process smoother. If you can avoid the typical Saturday-to-Saturday, you can save a lot of aggravation and often get some better prices.

Vacations are meant to be as hassle-free as possible, so try to get to the airport as early as possible. One website – http://waittime.tsa.dhs.gov/index.html – will give you average wait times for airlines at most airports.

Dress in such a way as to make getting through security as little a problem or hassle as possible. Do not wear clothing or jewelry that will set off the metal detectors. Wear shoes that can be removed easily. This also applies to children.

Pack correctly. Do not include any prohibited items in your carry-on luggage. Don’t assume that an item is not prohibited. For a list of all permitted and prohibited items, visit the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) online at www.TSATravelTips.us.

Put all film in your carry on luggage. Scanning machines for checked luggage will destroy film.

Put your name both inside and outside your luggage. Do not lock your luggage. If necessary, TSA agents will cut open your luggage if there is any suspicion that there may be a problem. Do not assume that there will be no problem. The TSA recommends two types of locks – www.travelsentry.org and www.safeskieslocks.com – that all TSA screeners can open if necessary (rather than cutting the luggage).

Do not put anything valuable in the front zippered sections of your luggage (just trust me on this one).

Stow all medications in your carry-on luggage. If necessary, take an extra prescription or note from your doctor if there is any concern that you may need to refill.

A great site for firsthand information from other travelers is www.tripadvisor.com. There are forums for locations all over the world in which people review lodgings and restaurants, and some of the forums are very helpful. We are going to Cape Cod for 10 days, and this site has helped me decide which town to stay in and which hotel to consider.

Another good site for restaurant reviews is www.zagat.com. It does require a subscription fee, but if you travel it is worth the price. A full listing of hotels, restaurants and entertainment is $24.95 a year, while information for restaurants only is available for $19.95 a year.

Traveling with your Pet: If you are considering traveling with your pet, there are some good tips at http://tinyurl.com/a742t.

Auto Travel: If you are traveling by car, more tips are available at www.edmunds.com/reviews/list/top10/105722/article.html.

An excellent new service offered by Google is its maps (maps.google.com), which will pinpoint exact addresses. It is a great tool. Outside of Google, there is also the reliable www.mapquest.com.

Another concern when traveling (especially for extended periods) is your own home. If you travel in the summer, it is important that someone take care of any plants you may have on your porch or deck. Dying plants could be a sign that no one is home. Since we have had pets, we always have someone come to the house to walk and take care of the dogs. In addition, they take in the mail, newspapers, etc. (Even if you are gone only for a few days, it is important not to have a few days’ worth of newspapers on the lawn, which might advertise your absence.)

If you are interested in some of the new adventure travels, a good place to start is www.specialtytravel.com. If you are traveling to Europe or beyond, you can get information on security issues worldwide from the US State Department at http://travel.state.gov.

Staying Connected: Find Internet cafes throughout the world by going to www.world66.com/netcafeguide. If you are planning to take your laptop and it is set up for wireless connection, you can find hot spots by visiting www.wifi411.com, www.wifimaps.com or www.wi-fihotspotlist.com. Many hotels also offer free wi-fi. Keep in mind that your laptop must have protection against viruses before using these sites (which can be breeding grounds for viruses). Before considering using these hot spots, read a good article (http://mobileoffice.about.com/cs/findinghotspots/bb/byusehotspot.htm) at About.com.

And finally: Many years ago, I said that one of the tests that all couples should take before being allowed to marry is spending three weeks together in a car with a map. If you can do that, your marriage has a better chance than most. An amusing (if not serious) article on couples traveling together can be found at a site called Third Age (http://tinyurl.com/7qzo9) – a worthwhile read, even for long time couples. It always helps to be reminded.

Have a great summer, and see you at the 7th Annual Solo and Small Firm Conference on Friday and Saturday, November 4-5, 2005 at the BWI Marriott.

Previous previous

next Next

Publications : Bar Bulletin: July, 2005

Back to top