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Sep 29, 2015

Welcome to New York - Tales of Turbulent Travel

I've traveled to NYC four weeks in the last five months for work. Big news - I'm finally Silver status on Delta and I'm not sure what makes me feel more grown-up, that or my Costco card. Anyway, every time I think I have this business trip thing figured out, the city that never sleeps finds a way to bring me back to earth.

Travel for work can be incredibly draining, often with 12-14 hour days. I feel like I need to remind myself to reflect on what I accomplished, but I'll take a look back now on faux pas from this last trip.

One Step at a Time
I had to be in business casual or dressy casual three of five days, something I rarely have to do in the tech industry. I spent the Friday night before I left planning out my outfits for the week and tried to narrow down the number of shoes I was bringing - I landed on heels (comfortable pumps I wear any time I need to dress up), nice sandals for my casual days, and flippy flops for a foot vacation during walks/subway rides on my days in heels. Flawed, very flawed. I went to a conference 8am-4pm then ran (and by ran I mean subway-ed) across town to a meeting and then out to drinks with clients.

Walking to the rooftop bar (how amazing is this view btw?) I had that moment where I tried to convince myself that the bark must be worse than the bite, that my feet had hurt way worse than it actually was. Wrong. It was bad, aka I may have to throw away my blood encrusted heels since last I checked that was not a trend for fall. 

When I got back to my hotel, I got patched up with some band aids from Duane Reade and then laid in bed unable to sleep with a throbbing foot, telling myself that I would either wake up and sandals would be business appropriate or magically my heel would be healed. Instead I woke up and needed to fit in a shopping trip before an 8:30am meeting. Thankfully this wasn't my first rodeo. I had a broken boot zipper incident at a conference in 2013 so I knew at least some of the stores in Times Square would be open by 8am. I somehow managed to comb through a conveniently located Loft and Gap with no luck by 8:10am. In a mad sprint to Nine West a few blocks away I walked by an Aerosoles, a store I had heard of but had never shopped. I basically grabbed every comfortable looking flat, shoved them toward the sales woman and asked for my size. Bless her heart because I had comfy shoes and a sigh of relief as I left the store at 8:23, just in time. Needless to say, flats will always be in my bag now whether I think I need them or not. 

Password Doomsday
I can't be the only one who feels like password change day is actually doomsday and it always catches you at the absolute worst time. I have stories from doomsday past when I was locked out when I needed to check something for work at midnight because I didn't update my email password on my phone, rookie mistake. Of course I procrastinated until the last day I have to change my password this time and then end up on the phone with IT three times in one day before heading to the airport terrified I would get locked out again mid-flight. I still don't know what my computer was doing to lock me out, but I'm thankful for the IT guy who was stuck dealing with it. 
In addition to not procrastinating on password doomsday and being realistic about footwear, I learned another important lesson this last trip.
Round Trip Runaround 
I had a personal weekend trip planned to San Fransisco with flights already booked when I learned I had to go to New York for the week. Being as clever as I am, I realized I could save a whole trip to the airport by flying right from New York to San Fransisco by just skipping my flight I had booked and flying right. I had a minute of down time in New York and decided that I would call Alaska Air and let them know I wouldn't be on the first flight on my itinerary with the high hopes of getting some sort of flight credit, maybe even just $50. After explaining the situation and mid-day dream about what trip I would justify booking knowing I had some flight credit, I snapped back into reality when I was asked for my credit card number. Fact: if you do not show up for one leg of your round trip flight the airline will cancel your second half of your trip.News to me.
I guess I should have grabbed out a magnifying glass to read the fine print. I ended up paying $125 to change reservation, but I  got a $75 credit (the difference in the cost of the flights) in this nice email with the subject line "You have received a gift of travel." Thanks Alaska, maybe it was time I bought myself something nice like spending more money on a flight I already paid for in addition to emergency shoes in Times Square. Fail.

Anyway, I made it to San Fransisco and had a fabulous time. I should have a break from work travel now so I can finally do things like start reading the fine print... and of course blog!

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