Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

by Lisa Rosen on October 11, 2011

October is always busy (not sure why; we just always seem to have lots going on at this time of year), but this year it’s even crazier than usual.  I’m turning the laundry around and headed back to New York–not tomorrow, actually, but Thursday, which might as well be tomorrow given how much I have to get done between now and then.

For her fourteenth birthday, which was back in April (world’s worst slacker mom), Delaney asked for a trip to Paris.  Sadly, Paris really wasn’t in the budget this year, which is too bad, because I’d have loved to have gone myself.  But it wasn’t an option, so as an alternative I suggested . . . Hoboken.  Delaney, being the flexible soul that she is, jumped on it.  There’s a bakery she wants to visit, so here we are, six months after her birthday, finally making her birthday present happen (poor kid–her birthday always feels like a bit of an afterthought, but I swear her actual birth was totally intentional).  —sigh

Anyway.  Because I’m in travel-to-New-York mode, I have several travel tips fresh in my mind, and am now going to share them, because I’m thoughtful like that.

1:  Lee has convinced me that checking luggage is a thing of the past.  I hereby vow to be a carry-on-only traveler for the rest of my life, or at least until teleportation becomes a reality.  We didn’t check bags last week, and when we got to the airport, the flight ahead of ours had been delayed, and we were able to get on it as stand-by passengers (which wouldn’t have been an option if we’d already checked luggage–the TSA doesn’t want you and your bags on different planes, which is understandable), thereby completely eliminating that hour of waiting-for-the-flight-because-you-have-to-get-there-so-early.  And carry-on sizes are so generous these days that I had room to spare in my bag.  Dear Lee:  I’m convinced.  Thank you.

2:  Air BNB.  If you aren’t familiar with this service, you should be.  It’s fabulous.  It started with the idea that people with spare rooms (or even just spare air mattresses–thus the name) could use the site to connect with people who needed somewhere to sleep.  It has exploded, and now you can find a place to sleep almost anywhere in the world.  The choices range from air mattresses to lavish apartments with private pools.  Lee and I loved the apartment we found in New York; I’m looking forward to going back with Delaney.  Staying in a private apartment instead of a (much more expensive) hotel is a completely different way to experience the city, from the foundation of an actual neighborhood, rather than the touristy parts of town.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.

3:  Sit or Squat.  I downloaded this app to my iPhone (yes, at Lee’s suggestion–he pretty much gets credit for this whole post), and relied heavily on it.  New York is notoriously low on public toilets, and sometimes you really need one.  Sit or Squat uses the GPS in the phone to determine where you are, and pulls up a map pinpointing all the accessible toilets in the immediate vicinity.  It’s brilliant.  Everyone needs this app.  YOU need this app.  Bonus:  it’s free!

Question:  What are YOUR favorite travel tips?  If you have any suggestions that’ll help my next few days go even more smoothly (that’s my optimism speaking), please leave them in the comments.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Amelia October 12, 2011 at 8:04 am

this is so timely since I’m going to the City next month. I had already discovered Sit or Squat, which is an excellent app.
I had been contemplating not checking a bag, but you have helped me embrace the idea. Now, I just need to buy some travel sized toiletry bottles..

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