Efficiency and availability of the essentials are so crucial to running a business and also to travel. As I become more experienced, I practice some small habits that really help me when I’m in a bind. Just last week, I found myself in a travel crunch that while incredibly uncomfortable and inconvenient, was made infinitely better by my preparedness.
So the preceding logistics were crazy. I was headed to Munich for a wedding in which Steve was one of the groomsmen, but with all the crazy going on, I didn’t finalize my plans until just a few days before (I’m moving cities and running a business!) Stuffing a 3-city hop into 2 days just before traveling, I managed to put my house on the market, get Steve's beloved The Pooh to the only family he trusts, and get in a few meetings before spending the 4th (and crashing a bachelorette party) in Vegas to fly out the following day.
Ready to settle in for a flight nap and arrive in Munich with a day and a half to get over my jetlag, I was about at my limit when my flight out was canceled, and rescheduled for Saturday. Not good. The wedding was on Saturday! I jumped on my laptop and searched for alternative flights. Fifteen minutes later, my route was re-booked, and I had to be back at the airport for the first flight out. Wandering Entrepreneur tip 1: Always bring your laptop.
For anyone who’s ever been in this position, there’s definitely a cost/benefit analysis when deciding if it’s worth it to get a hotel room, or just crash in the airport. Instead of leaving the airport on a bus with the other 100+ passengers to check into a hotel room, sleep a couple hours, drag myself back to the airport and go through security again, I decided to just crash at the gate. Wandering Entrepreneur tip #2: Deal with discomfort.
A dawn departure on a 5-hour flight to JFK, a 2-hour layover before a 6-hour flight to Dublin, I arrived for another pre-dawn stretch at another airport. Now at this point, after a crazy week and an exhausting chunk of unexpected delays and additional travel, I just wanted something to feel like a human again. Snacking on a croissant and sipping a double espresso, I wandered around the airport and found the most glorious luxury I could possibly have expected. For just $35USD I could enter a lounge, open to all, and have access to a comfortable seating area, breakfast, beverage bar and wine (airports have no time zone, it’s always afternoon!) But the true glory was the showers! I was sold. Wandering Entrepreneur tip #3: When the universe provides, say yes!
I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to efficiency. At this point, it was T-10 hours until the wedding, so I had to strategize. I started by taking a shower. Luckily I pack as light as possible so I can always carry-on, and I had access to all of my toiletries and a change of clothes. Nothing improves your mood more than clean teeth and fresh undies! I would have less than an hour to get ready for the ceremony if my flight was on time, so every minute counts. Usually, I’d take public transport, to save money and appreciate the city like a local, but time was the enemy. Steve booked a driver so that as soon as I landed, I could stroll off the plane and straight out of the airport without having to wait at baggage claim. Wandering Entrepreneur tip #4: Carry-on when you can.
In the end, I made it, a bit stiff and a little less glamorous than I’d hoped, but I love LOVE, so any effort to get there to celebrate my friends was worth it - and to reunite with my honey, of course. Looking back, I find it so strange that the other passengers reluctantly stayed and waited out the two days. I couldn’t imagine! There are so many great travel resources available today that make traveling so much easier as well as inexpensive. I used Eurowings, who happily refunded the difference in fare, plus expenses along the way. We're still working on their flight cancellation compensation of up to $600Euros (we'll see how that goes). I did manage to fly to Munich at no additional cost...well...maybe a huge cost of time! I have a folder in my phone home screen named Travel, with all the apps I need at my fingertips. It lets me be agile and execute quick decisions in critical situations. Wandering Entrepreneur tip #5: Have tools ready.
Traveling will never go 100% according to plan, despite our best efforts, but with enough practice and preparedness, it can definitely be more comfortable! I was over the moon ecstatic I made it in time to witness a beautiful ceremony between two beautiful humans I call my friends. Oh, the wedding venue, Schloss Elmau, wasn't too shabby. LOL