My Travel Routine

A terminal in Baltimore-Washington Airport. October 5, 2013.

A terminal in Baltimore-Washington Airport. October 5, 2013.

My first air travel took place a few weeks after my birth, when my mother and I flew somewhere to meet up with my father.

As my parents moved to Houston from Indiana before I entered the scene, we traveled by air a few times a year to see their families. My dad’s brother moved to Colorado, so we’d fly there every six months to see him, his wife, and my cousins. Also, we’d take flights to vacations across the United States, Mexico, Canada, and a few islands.

I’ve flown all my life.

Air travel has changed considerably since my childhood—most particularly in the realm of security post-September 11, 2001.

And over time, my routine has changed as well. These days, I travel for work more than for any other reason. As a kid, I packed a carry-on filled with books, toys, and games. Today, I pack a briefcase as minimally as possible.

I’ve developed a pretty set air-travel routine:

  1. After I pass security, I head to the nearest Peet’s Coffee and Tea or Starbucks and buy a large hot green tea and a large bottle of water. (I wish they’d dump drink carts on domestic flights. They never have good tea and I deem the two-gulp cups of water worthless.)

  2. After locating my gate, I visit the nearest newsstand until boarding time. I enjoy seeing the books these places sell—evidence of what most readers consume in that moment—and the wide variety of magazines.

  3. Once in my seat, I read a book or doze until I can turn on my computer or tablet.

  4. With my electronics humming, I write. (In fact, I’m seated on a flight from Houston to Baltimore as I write this post.)

  5. Once the flight attendants require me to shut down my electronics, I go back to reading.

  6. After I disembark, I buy another large hot tea and another large bottle of water. (As do planes, hotels provide miniscule water glasses and charge exorbitant rates for bottles. And convenience stores are only convenient in dense, walkable urban areas.)

What’s your travel routine?