I’ve been on the road for 26 days now. 6 flights, 5 hotels, 2 airbnb’s, 2 radio interviews, one TV interview, 3 sleepovers at friends’ houses (including Bruno’s boat); taxis, Supershuttle, subway and bus rides, miles and miles of walking, all for the sake of 8 bookstore presentations for Small Homes.
The good part is that it’s good to get out and meet people, to get outside the California bubble, and hopefully to promote sales of the new book. The down side is so much time away from home. I’m homesick.
Following is all pretty obvious to seasoned travelers. (I’m just killing time at the airport here.)
United Airlines Despite recent bad publicity, I like United. All flights have been on time,* United employees courteous, a great website. The new United terminal at Newark is state-of-art. Most of my tickets free due to United/Visa card points. It’s such a giant organization, it’s a wonder it works so well.
Supershuttle: $21 to and from NYC airports. Set it up online, works as well as a taxi or Uber for 1/3rd the price.
Enterprise rental cars. I use them exclusively these days.
Kayak, Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. I check hotels, flights, rental cars through these guys (Kayak has its own rates plus those of all the other outfits), then go directly to the hotel or airline, etc. to see if I can get the same rate; advantage is that hotels, etc. have much less draconian payment or cancellation provisions.
11″ MacAir laptop is my on-the-road computer, my temporary office. It and my iPhone 6s+ are probably the most useful tools in my life right now. (To think, it was once a hammer and a saw.)
iPhone I can’t say enough about this device. Every week I’m learning new wondrous capabilities. I’m constantly learning stuff about the phone from young people. Siri has been leading me around in NYC. “Hey Siri” — doing/flash — “Walking directions to 259 West 4th Avenue” — and off I go, following the blue dot. I’m using it for 95% of my photos these days, what with Instagram and all. It’s a pleasure to use one of my real cameras when on assignment or it’s important, but the phone works well for day-to-day observations. I understand the iPhone 7 has an improved camera, but it’s expensive for us in these rather lean times, so I’m waiting. My friend’s Samsung phone seem to have a better cameras (can shoot in much lower light). Also to see if the 7s is as big improvement over the 7 as the 6s was over the 6.
Bose in-ear headphones, thanks to Kevin Kelly’S recommendation on Cooltools
Sleeping I carry a small silk-covered down pillow ( typical hotel pillows would give me a cricked neck) and a double-sized silk sheet in case I encounter polyester sheets (happens every so often).
Fanny pack from Pacsafe is invaluable. Wallet, Moleskine notebook, pen, tiny flashlight, glasses, magnifying glass, Sony Cybershot camera, spare battery, $8 Casio watch, key drive with slide show in case I lose my computer…
Backpack by DaKine with multiple pockets, special computer compartment, and too many items to list here; it seems infinitely expandable. With fanny pack and backpack, I’m ready for just about anything, although it’s with great feeling of freedom when I leave the backpack behind for street prowling.
Writing this at Newark airport. Another of my travel m.o.’s it to be at least 2 hours earlier than flight. No stress, plus there’s now decent food and wi-fi available at just about any airport. One of my dad’s oft-repeated witticisms was of the value of hitting yourself over the head with a baseball bat because it feels so good when you stop. Travel isn’t as bad as the baseball bat, but it’s sure gonna feel good when it stops (7 hours from now).
*Me and my big mouth. We’ve just had to change planes due to malfunction of a moisture detector. Looks like 3 hours late now (and counting).
Spendin’ too much time away
I can’t stand another day.
Maybe you think I’ve seen the world
But I’d rather see my girl
I’m goin’ home, I’m goin’ home
I’m goin’ home, I’m goin’ home…
–Goin’ Home, The Rolling Stones, 1966