The Day Before a Major Trip

I t always seems that no matter how prepared, organized or experienced I am, the day before a major trip is always a hassle: do I have everything I need? Am I prepared in the event of irregular operations? Are all of my reservations in order?

I do enjoy unexpected adventures when traveling; but not the ones which are disadvantages to me which I easily could have prevented. On my last trip — which was to Las Vegas — I forgot to pack my bathing suit. That turned out to be a non-issue for a number of reasons — not the least of which was that pools at hotel properties were too crowded for me.

I had a quick breakfast this morning of cereal and milk — not my favorite; but I had enough cereal and milk where both containers were empty and thrown into the recycle bin. Perhaps this is an omen that this will be a good trip?

Especially difficult about this trip is planning for a minimum of four currencies and varying climates in countries whose cultures are quite different from each other. I have had to figure out fees of exchanging cash versus using credit cards versus using automated teller machines. Counting the five different airlines on which I will be a passenger, I will be looking at and hearing at least nine different languages. One hotel property will only be open for a couple of weeks by the time I am a guest; while another will change ownership only a few months after I leave. One flight is scheduled to be as long as 14 hours and 55 minutes in duration…

…and as much as I dislike the stress on the day before a major trip, I enjoy it — which makes absolutely no sense. There was one time where I was completely prepared long before a major trip began; and yet I was more uncomfortable than relieved. That could not be right. Did I forget anything? Batteries? Passport? My right hand?!?

There is a sort of rush which is not experienced on any other day other than the day before traveling on a major trip. I do not remember the last time I sat in my seat on an airplane during a flight and had the blood drain from my body realizing that I left a critical item at home — and I hope that does not happen this time. Fortunately, I am usually relaxed by the time I settle in my assigned seat on an airplane — regardless of which cabin class that seat is located.

I am not flying as a passenger on airplanes operated by either Lufthansa or Air France — both of which suffered from labor disputes which led to well-publicized strikes — nor am I stopping at an airport anywhere near Chicago where a major fire from days ago is still affecting flights. I am hoping that there is no “domino effect” which could impact my travels…

…and yet I sit here, typing this article when I should be finalizing my packing. Eh — I will get it done. I still have to figure out how to get from various airports to the hotel properties at which I will be staying — I have been studying the mass transportation maps — as well as costs and what passes are the most economical.

Although technology is forgiving when it comes to forgetting to check on a reservation, for example, one never knows when it will fail. Will the WI-Fi work in this hotel property or that airport? I have no idea; but I do want to alert you that my posting to The Gate will be sporadic over the next couple of weeks until my unintentional trip around the world concludes…

…but regardless of that, I plan on posting aspects about my trip whenever possible while I am still experiencing it; as well as more detailed reports afterwards — hoping that what you read will be helpful to you and encourage you to travel to the places to which I will have been.

As always, thank you for your support and patience. Now to finish packing…

3 thoughts on “The Day Before a Major Trip”

  1. Joey says:

    Safe travels! Do you plan to checkin a bag or are you bringing a carry on ?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am bringing a carry-on bag large enough for all of my belongings; as well as a small camera bag which I can stuff into the larger bag if necessary.

      Thank you, Joey!

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