Traveling Challenges and Helpful Hints

Mike and I travel a lot, and much of that is by car. While traveling this week, I decided to mention a few of the challenges we, and likely you also, encounter when traveling.

First of all, there are bathroom challenges. Have you noticed how different bathrooms are? Have you stood in front of the lavatory faucet, waiting for the water to magically appear, only to realize that in this bathroom you have to turn the faucet handle, that the water doesn’t come out when you wave your hand in front of the faucet?! Actually, some of those that should have water descend when you wave your hand, don’t! Then you have to try several to get the water to appear! Frustrating, but still definitely a first-world problem. I try to remember that in some parts of the world, water is in dire supply, and it behooves us who have these small inconveniences to remember our blessings.

How about how differently the toilets flush? Some toilets have the old-fashioned handles that you operate to flush them. Many others flush the toilet for you, at least they are supposed to. I know you, like me, have stood there wondering if the toilet was really going to flush, finally deciding to manually flush it to be sure!

Then there are paper towels in some restrooms, and in many others, a blow dryer. (Dyson dryers are the best!) Previous to recently, I had only wanted the paper towel dispenser, being too impatient for the dryer to dry my hands, until I started trying to be more ecologically friendly. Now, I prefer the dryers, and if there isn’t one, I only take one paper towel, not two or three that I used to use. Now, I realize this act on my part will not save the planet, but if we all make small changes, over time we will reap the benefits, or our grandchildren will.

If you travel by car much, I hope you are familiar with my two favorite apps, Gas Buddy and Waze. Gas Buddy can save us lots of money, by giving us information on where the best prices for gas are. By checking Gas Buddy, Mike and I just saved almost five dollars on a tank of gas. Now, you may not think that savings is enough to worry about but multiply that by 52, assuming you fill up once a week, and you will have saved almost $260.  Many of us fill up more than once a week, so consider the savings that can be realized. Over time, those savings, and other changes we can make to save money, can put some serious money in our pockets to spend elsewhere, or better yet, to save!

Waze is an app that provides GPS navigation and real-time updates that help us avoid traffic delays. If I had turned my Waze on recently when traveling from St. Marys, GA to Southport, NC, I would have saved almost an hour in traffic. If time is not of the essence, then do not worry about Waze.  And if your money is unlimited, forget Gas Buddy. If, however, you want to save money and time, by all means, download and use Gas Buddy and Waze.  

One more helpful hint. When traveling, always have some cash and some change. Never be without cash when traveling, for you may need to pay or tip a helpful person if you need assistance. (Of course, be careful about accepting help from strangers; that goes without saying, hopefully.) As for change, you never know when you may need to put air in your tires when traveling, and those machines only take change! How much cash and how much change is enough? If you can, get in the habit of having $25 or more in cash, and at least $10 or more in change. And this is money that you do not spend for anything other than what has been mentioned, or if you do deplete it, replace it immediately. This will give you peace of mind, especially when traveling alone.

My passion is “Inspiring Positive Change in Work, Life, and Family,” and I blog (mostly) weekly on areas of interest in these three important aspects of life. Some of my posts are “heavy,” and some are “light.” “Light” isn’t less important.

Remember me when you need cash or change and you have it, or when you are trying to get the faucet in a bathroom to give you water! You will then know how important “light” topics are!

About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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