Here are a few notes from seasoned travelers to make your travel experience just so much more enjoyable (based on actual experience. Do not try some of these at home):
1. Make sure you have your flight info and license, but...
If you arrive at the airport and have a confirmation number, but no airline listed on your itinerary, don't worry. Simply type the number in at every kiosk you find. You'll eventually figure out which airline wants you.
If you lose your driver's license on Friday while on tour, do not panic when it is now Tuesday and your flight is the next morning. Pray to St Anthony, and be glad when your previous hostess searches the snowy parking lot at Applebee's and meets you at the airport an hour before your flight leaves with license in hand.
2. Make sure you arrive at the airport at least two hours early, but...
If you set your alarm's time, but do not hit 'enable,'thus missing your flight, sob hysterically to all airline representatives you meet until they rebook you at no extra fee.
If you are staying 1.5 hours from the airport, tarry over a long breakfast, enjoy long farewells to your host family, and drive slowly to the airport. Arriving 17 minutes before your flight leaves gives plenty of time to check four bags, go through security, and buy Cajun snack mix.
3. Bring as little on board the plane as you can, but...
If you are me, whatever size bag you bring on board will not be big enough or small enough. Which is more full: an overflowing book bag or an overflowing purse? And yet neither have what you want when you want it, and neither is small enough to be out of your way.
If you are Mary, your bag is always the same and always perfect.
4. Be prepared for any emergencies, but...
If you get a bad cold on tour, simply accept the entire contents of your host's medicine cabinet, from entire packages of sudafed, to homeopathic drops, to bottles of dimetapp, to stacks of tissues.
If your rental car is not provided with a scraper while on a Northern tour, use your tough Florida hands to do the trick. And do it with the car door open so that your seat gets covered with snow.
If you are in a hotel room without water, don't despair. Your tongue will sooner or later unstick from your throat.
5. Always know where you are going and who you are staying with, but...
If you are following your handy-dandy GPS,be aware that it does not discriminate between driveway A and driveway B. You may end up unloading your multitudinous bags into the wrong house, with the wrong people looking on.
If you are staying with Mr. XYZ and Family, be aware that there might not be a family. This could be indicated by the presence of a single milk carton and a bottle of mustard in the fridge and an absence of anything else.
If you forget where you are, just lay there in bed until your alarm goes off, at which point the hazy particulars of your life will return to a sharp focus.
If you cannot remember whether Charlotte is in North or South Carolina, don't bring up the subject of connecting flights.
If a show is cancelled and you are going home a day ahead of time, be aware that this may throw a kink into your boyfriend's proposal plans, who has flown in from Florida to surprise you in Illinois and is waiting for you in a chapel with flowers and candles. (Don't worry, it worked out!)
6.Try to follow a healthy eating and sleeping schedule, but...
If you have an evening show, you will be forced to have fast food for dinner and go to sleep with a fatty burger in your belly.
If you don't want to risk taking a risk at a local joint, you will start frequenting the same big name places all over the country and after a while Panera and Ruby Tuesdays aren't so cool.
If you start getting snobby over the taste of one place's ice water over another's, its time to let go.
If you get tired, you will need to take naps in strange places, such as in parking lots and on floors of parish halls, and in strange positions, (who knew your neck could bend like that, or that your legs could fold into such a small space?).
Ah, yes. Just some of the wisdom of travelers.