Travel Do’s and Don’ts

I am a traveling kind of gal. Whether it be by car or airplane–whatever means it takes to get me from Point A to Point B —I usually love the entire experience.  The past couple weeks have included trips to Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and South Dakota.   Like I  said—I am a traveling kind of gal.

Airports are always a great place to people watch and I prefer arriving early just so I can see what is going on all around me.   Usually my trip to the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport includes a trip to Starbucks where the barristas seem to have difficulty with my name.



When I travel with “Mr. Diamond” I am treated to top of the line service.  Easy check in, pretty yellow priority tags on my luggage which ensures it gets handled first,  and always courteous treatment and thanks for being a valued customer.  When I am on my own I have to go through the normal security line, usually travel in steerage (I try to get Economy Comfort or exit row) and don’t get those flashy yellow tags.  Either way I don’t mind.  Yes, the special treatment is a little nicer but as long as I reach my destination I am happy.

My recent travels have made me think about some of the things that happen when traveling. There are some great ways to be able to handle airport and airplane travel a bit easier so here is my quick list off the top of my head without much thinking.

  1. Know the “rules” of your particular airline that you are using.  A little preparation ahead of time by just going to their website can save a lot of time and high blood pressure upon arrival.   Know what their rules are on luggage sizes and how to transport pets!
  2. Live and breathe the 3-1-1 rule.   It applies to EVERYONE flying in the US.   No liquid more than 3 ounces each in a 1 quart bag with 1 allowed per traveler.   You would be amazed at how much you can fit in a 1 quart bag.  Have it already bagged BEFORE you go through security–ready to pop in the bin.
  3. Don’t forgetthat thatlast minute purchase of a liquid might not be the thing you want TSA to pull out of your luggage.  On a trip over Valentine’s Day Chris and I witnessed a thoroughly embarrassedmiddle aged woman try to escape the TSA’s loud announcement that the lovely tube of KY Warming Jelly was larger than the allowed 3 ounces.  Oh the mortification as he pulled it out, held it high and announced to her that if she wanted to go back and put it in her checked luggage she could do so…..

    Image from

    Image from since I don’t have any in my house.  🙂

  4. Once in the security line please make sure that you are ready.   Be a Scout—prepared to take off those shoes, that sweater, and the lovely accent scarf that you have donned to complete your airport attire.  Have your liquid bag, your laptop and anything else that needs scanned out and ready and move, move, move as quickly through the line as possible..
  5. If you know what you are doing avoid lines with families and frail older people or people in wheelchairs.  This is not being mean—-it is just a matter of fact that this is going to lengthen your wait time in security if you get behind strollers laden with Cheerio encrusted toddlers and the occasional pensioner who depends on a wheelchair for transport.
  6. Once you are in the boarding area PAY ATTENTION!   The time on your ticket that says “Board Time” is not absolute but you should be there by that time to ensure that you hear all the instructions for boarding.  The flight attendants and gate staff can be very helpful but only if you ask!
  7. Board when it is your zone.  Most airlines board by designated zone with a few exceptions. Pay attention and don’t board when it is not your zone being called. That just makes people angry.
  8. Finally my basic rule of thumb is simply to BE NICE!!!!!  I find that engaging the TSA folks as well as the airline folks in simple polite conversation makes a world of difference.   Just think how many bozos these people have to deal with on a daily basis.  If I can smile and say “thanks and have a great day” to them maybe it will in turn affect the way they react to the next person in line.

So there you have it—just a quick list of a few helpful tips.  Nothing revolutionary or new but just practical every day tips.   Got any of your own?  Please feel free to share in the comment section.  And don’t forget—Comments this month to to help fund Breast Cancer Research.



  1. Chris Chiles says:

    Mr. Diamond says you are the best companion. I always put the KY in my checked luggage.

  2. I am always bewildered why everyone rushes to get on the plane at the same time. Everyone has a seat, don’t stress about getting on first 😉

  3. Oh, I’m having myself a good laugh right now after reading Mr. Diamond’s comment!!!! 🙂 These are some great and straight-forward tips for making travel easier. I feel the better you are prepared the easier it will be for all involved, especially if you are travelling with children. Going across the Atlantic with a baby and a toddler in two – you learn a few things that’s for sure!!!

    • Oh yea—-you know of what I speak with the traveling thing! I wondered how many folks would see Mr. Diamond’s comment. 🙂 I was giving him a bad time because he never comments so he got me back. 🙂

  4. Oh, that Mr. Diamond. Laughing up here in Minnesota, too, along your airport route.

  5. NOW you tell me ;-). It was much more pleasant travelling with the experts!

  6. I have not traveled by air for a long time and I hope to stay that way. I am amazed at how well you pack when you travel from one place to another and seem to be ready for any situation.

    • My next challenge is packing for 2 weeks in Houston with a weekend to NYC in between where I need to pack very lightly. That one is giving me some pause!

  7. Make sure your nail clippers do not have the attached swing out file in your carry on luggage. Either check the clippers or remove the file before carrying on. I got caught like this once & the TSA agent was nice enough to just remove the file rather than making me go all the way back & re-pack my luggage. I didn’t even remember I had clippers in the bottom of my purse!

    • Oh that is a great one! I never even thought about that one at all but what a nice TSA person to help you get through by a simple act of kindness!

  8. If only people would put their attitudes in their check-in bags, you’d have at least half the tension at airports..

  9. Hilary - Dangled Carat says:

    I am always amazed at how many people don’t know the rules

    • I can understand a few slip ups here or there (goodness knows I have had them!) but some people really don’t do their homework before they travel/fly. It makes it so much more difficult for everyone.

  10. Good reminders! Rick and I love to travel but we really don’t fly often, when we do I’m a “nervous nellie”. The folks that check you though can really make you feel like a dummy (1st hand experiance) Last year when we flew to California I didnt take my laptop out of my backpack, you’d think I was the stupidist person in the world. It’s just hard to read all the rules and hurry as your doing it and trying really hard not to screw up. Ugh, not a fan of flying.

    • Oh that is not good—-it should not be an experience where you feel belittled. I totally get the fact that sometimes we just forget. I have forgotten to even take out my quart bag of liquids to put in the bin and it was never caught. 🙂 So you see I don’t have it all figured out either. Too bad for that agent that made you feel stupid—-and yes—often it is intimidating to get in and through security . If I were with you I would hope that I would help you not feel like a nervous nellie!!!

  11. It’s been so long since I have flown, I’ll have to keep this in mind if the day should ever come when I get to venture past my own backyard again. (although, I am guessing if we have the KY, we aren’t going anywhere soon! LOL) It’s a good thing I cut my hair because I don’t think 3 oz of shampoo would last me a week somewhere when it was long.

  12. Loved the tips! May I offer one more?
    When standing in the *#% body scanner, if you wear jewelry and sunglasses on your head (like me) do yourself and everyone a favor and toss them in the bin too. Every time I stood in it I went off because of a metal bracelet or charm on a pendant – all costume.
    But running at top speed through ATL’s airport and still missing my flight made me realize the value of my time over my costume jewelry!

    • Pamela, Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment and YES!! That is a great tip!!!! I try to remember to put the watch in my purse before I hit the airport and limit my jewelry, too. The things that you can’t predict—–buttons and beading on clothing often gets you a little extra pat down! 🙂 Thanks again!

  13. Apologize if this is a duplicate–am at LAX and the internet is cycling. this is my 2nd try.
    “I am also a veteran traveler & your tips are all right on target!”

    • Hey Carol, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!! Sorry the LAX internet is lax…..hahhahah! No duplicate at all so you hit it just right. Thanks again —glad to hear from a fellow traveler. Hope the skies are smooth and sunny for you today!!!

  14. I broke rule 8 once and had a semi-strip search. So yes, be nice. It’s less embarrassing. And I think I might slip some KY jelly into the better half’s bag next time. Would love to see the look when they announce that! I might pee my pants from laughing.

    • Oh my goodness you have a mean streak in you, dion”t you ?? It was so hysterical to see that woman in line but I did feel a bit sorry for her. 🙂

  15. I am JUST like you – when I travel with my husband we get priority and yellow tags and all that fun stuff. But alone: nope. More than once I’ve had airline employees say to me, “Oh, you can go into that line over there.” But I say, “No, I can’t. This is my husband’s suitcase.” 🙂 In other words, I may have his diamond luggage tag…but it doesn’t work for me!

  16. I try to be nice. I really do but I feel so picked on by TSA.I loathe them. It seems no matter what I where it isn’t appropriate and my carry on is always suspicious. These days I check luggage and liquids. The only thing I board with is my lap top, camera and wallet. I don’t travel well but when I reach my destination I’m a gem and take everything in stride. Oddly enough when I have traveled with Rascal TSA is much nicer—I do like your tips tho–especially the be ready part. AND just to prove I am kind of nice I’ve held more than one baby while Moms get ready to go through the line.

  17. Mr. Diamond chimed right in on this one! LOL


  1. […] If you want to read another post about hints for traveling click here to go to my Travel Do’s and Don’ts. […]

I love your comments--each one makes me smile and makes a difference for Comments for a Cause! Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: