Things to Know When You Are Traveling

Rule #1: Be flexible. During our pre-departure meetings with students, we stressed the importance of being flexible while traveling. Turns out, this was one of the first things we needed to do ourselves! We met James, one of our students, at the airport in St. Louis. We had plenty of time to spare before our flight. Too bad the weather did not want to cooperate.

Rule #2: Remember that you cannot control the weather. Our flight was delayed because of storms in Chicago, which meant that we would miss our connection to Paris. We spent an hour with a very nice ticketing agent who did her best to get us to Europe on schedule. She tried routing us through London, Madrid, Dublin, and other cities. Finally, she got us flights from St. Louis to Houston to Frankfurt to Paris—except that we had to fly out on Thursday instead of Wednesday.

Rule #3: Make sure your luggage is easily identifiable. Since we were not going to fly to Chicago, the ticketing agent had to call to remove our bags from the plane. It helped to be able to distinguish them from the hundreds of other black, blue, and gray suitcases.

Rule #4: Pack essentials (including extra clothes) in your carry-on. We were fortunate enough to get our bags back before they flew off without us, but this is not always possible. Last summer, Dr. Fogg made it to France a week before her suitcase did!

Our ticketing agent gave us meal vouchers and a hotel coupon. We took a shuttle van to La Quinta Inn, in Hazelwood, Missouri. Our excitement for the evening consisted of going out for dessert at Denny’s and catching up on email. Alas, no breakfast in Paris Thursday morning. But with a little flexibility and good humor, any trip can be an adventure and a story to share.

Pics to come!