I love to travel. Despite delayed or canceled flights, long drives (if over 5 hours, I’m flying), lack of Tesla superchargers in some areas, lots of fast food, and the exhaustion that hits when you have a combination of some of the above (why is it exhausting to just sit on a plane?), I still love it. Input is my #6 CliftonStrength which means I “have a craving to know more.” I love to people-watch, stay in new hotels, see more cities and countries, view key places, and try new restaurants. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, I like to make the most of it.
I could share LOTS of what I do like checking my bags, changing money (no need in most European countries now), carrying brightly colored luggage (yellow for me), and how to pack (this is NOT my strength), but those all create a multitude of divisive opinions. So, I’ll share when/where I find joy in traveling.
Be warned, I have become a travel snob, so these are ways I discover Joy and they may not work for you.
This is something I have done for years! Whether I’m traveling to Europe, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or I’ve arrived early for an appointment, I always bring some essentials. Sometimes I use them and sometimes not, but rarely am I disappointed when I bring them. Here are my must-haves:
At least a little bit. I admit that I did not do this for many years. I would arrive in the evening, order room service or go to the hotel restaurant, spend the next day (or 2 or 3) training or attending a conference, head back to the airport, and fly home. Now, about 80% of the time, I walk around the area, visit a specific place (I recently went to the Oklahoma Bombing Museum), or get out of the hotel for dinner. If you are not comfortable eating alone, it’s a must that you learn to be! Many times, I listen to my audiobooks or bring a magazine to dinner also. If you can, stay the extra night! I find that most of my clients and conferences will pay for the hotel the night before and the night after my speaking or training. I try to get there early on the first day or stay later so that I can visit the area or other attractions or, maybe shop.
I realize that sometimes it just doesn’t make sense and that you might miss out on the closest hotel to your destination and/or in finding that extra nice Airbnb or bed and breakfast or take extra flight time. However, once I became loyal to Marriott and Delta, my points have grown exponentially. I get upgraded (in hotels or on flights) about half the time or more, and I pay for my tickets or hotel when on business so that I can travel more personally on my rewards. The more rewards you earn, the more points (maybe 2 or 3 times the regular rate), the more benefits, etc. I also have a Marriott VISA and an American Express Delta card, which adds to my points as well.
I know this one will be tough for some of you. I caution you that once you have sat in upgraded seats, you will never go back! So, be careful. It works the same way as hotels, though: the higher the status you are, the more multiples of points you can earn. And the rewards come with it. So, I find it well worth it to pay the higher price. Again, you earn more points, you have a MUCH nicer seat with outlets, phone chargers, headphones, water at your seat, etc. Typically, I find this upgrade to be $100 – $200 more for domestic travel, and then I can travel personally on points OR upgrade to first class with the points/miles. Try this one; I promise it makes a significant difference in comfort and/or gives you more room to get out your computer or knitting or sleep easier. Upgraded seats and hotel rooms are where I find the most joy!
If you haven’t been to one, you have no idea what you are missing. This one might sound really “foofoo” but might come free if you have upgraded seats, a certain mileage status, or a particular credit card. This one is a game changer (like the upgraded seats). You might have to meet a certain rewards status to join, for example, Delta Sky Club or the American Admirals Club, but I’ve noticed more American Express and Priority pass lounges as well. The lounges are significantly more comfortable and private; the bathrooms are luxurious compared to the “regular” ones in the terminals; many more charging stations and outlets; the food is free (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks/desserts, non-alcoholic drinks); and might have showers, printers, and champagne!
These are ways I find joy in traveling, but I’d love to know, how do you find joy in traveling?