Sunday, April 3, 2016

Some Travel Tips When Fleeing the Country

Merely a compilation of things I knew and others I have learned prior to going to France.

If you have a replacement joint, ask your doctor for a little plastic card that says which joint is now faux (getting my French up-to-speed) for Passport and Security.  I'm taping mine to my passport back or front.  Decisions, decisions...

Unless you are in 1st,  Business or Jumped-Up Coach (and I wouldn't trust that latter too much) bring a little something de manger (to eat.)  Try to keep it classy such as Trader Joe cookies or cashews or similar.  Potato chips crunch! and flavored ones crash!  Like gnashing your teeth.  A grabbed pizza before you board is a very bad idea.   Why be so discreet?  Other pax may not have planned ahead and have nothing to eat.  Hungry fellow travelers can turn savage in a heartbeat.  Word.  Don't tease the animals.

Find a sleep mask -  and store it  in your take on bag so you always have one..  They are wonderful for jet black inkiness in which to sleep as opposed to "subdued lighting" and never more so than in a daytime flight.  Sometimes the airline provides them.  Go online and find one.  I had a dandy that had a reversible Velcro patch - one side was red with a simplified line drawing of a stick figure reclining; flip it over and there was a green patch with a crossed knife and fork.  This means "Wake me up at feeding time."  They were good-sized and easily visible to any roaming FA.

Specific to Air France our airline of choice to Paris.
Michelle flew for them and said that it's the FAs that hold the power after you board.  She carried a nice box of chocolates to reward them for an upgrade in class.  All I want is for us to be able to occupy two side-by-side seats on the aisle/window so I downgraded a box of Godiva to a box of Trader Joe's dark chocolate almond laced cookies.  I will hand them off when (or if) appropriate with a smile and say, "I thought you might be tired of airplane sweets..."

I would advise you never to do this on, say, American.  They consider themselves (and rightfully) there to save you not serve you.  Friendliness, not creating any kind of a scene and general good manners may get you a bottle of wine or champagne slipped to you on deplaning..  We've (Americans) got it right!

But I've GOTTA pee!  The plane is bouncing around like a big-breasted woman in a singles bar, the captain has come on and not only ordered us to belt up but the FAs to flee to their seats as well.  This is not the time to rise and head for the bathroom.  Women of prudence will be wearing an adult diaper.  Men will have stashed the upchuck bag and a blanket within easy reach.  Be sure to seal the bag before transporting it to a bathroom in calmer climes. 

Dry Nose - airplane air is notorious and deeply maligned by every flyer evah.  Swab your nostrils with a Q-tip laden with petroleum jelly.  Holds the moisture in. 

A relatively quick trip from Charles deGaulle (CDG) in to Paris is to use the Air France Bus (pronounced "boos".)  These are fancy coaches with reclining seats, a big screen TV up front and since they are much higher than a car, you have a very good introductory view of Paris.  Usually from 50 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic, and 17 Euros per adult.  They run every half hour so God only knows how many of them there are. 

A light-weight raincoat or smash-down umbrella are good ideas year 'round in France (or London or Dublin.)  Layer as needed underneath.  If it gets hot, take off the raincoat and tie the sleeves around your waist.  I really like mine because it has the right-sized pocket inside to hold a passport and a little button hole loop to keep the pocket shut. 

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