10 Travel Tips – Part 1: Chicago

Greetings from the Windy City! First, what a cool place this is! The food, the jazz, the Palmer House…totally fab. Glad I got to tag along with my husband. Off to New York City next week! 

10 travel/life lessons I learned this trip: 

1- Never book a “doublebed room” if you are traveling with more than yourself and a carry-on. Those “hip” and “cozy” rooms advertised at a reasonable rate? They are approximately 9x9ft plus bathroom. Bed is a full size. So my husband and I were “cozy.” And it was definitely a unique week of work from the hotel room for me! 

2- Book a morning flight. The security lines seem to be insanely long during evening travel. Maybe because we flew on a weekend evening? But unless you have TSA or loads of patience…which I don’t, I’d suggest flying morning. Could be I’m also getting old and my bedtime is usually 10:00p. 

3- Learn how to take the “L”, apparently this is a “no brainer” and way cheaper than getting a taxi. Which cost us ~$50 just to drive 15 miles from airport to hotel. Or be even smarter, and use Uber. Maybe I will brave the “L” next time….

4- Download the Starbucks app. There are not many places to get your fix in rural Oklahoma. But here, you can pass 5 Starbucks within a two block radius. There aren’t even lines in the morning because there are so many Starbucks to choose from. It’s a caffeine lovers paradise! Be able to pay from your phone, and you get a free drink for signing up! 

5- Hit the gym before you travel. That way when you’re overwhelmed by a large Chicago style pizza on your trip, you can eat that extra slice (or two or three) guilt free. Also helpful when your husband suggests dressing up and going out (after you have gorged yourself on Chicago pub food for 3 days). That little black dress you packed might actually have still zipped up, if you’d just put in that mile or two you promised yourself last week. 

6- Sign up for the hotel rewards program. The sign up is typically free. That way you don’t panic as you read the outrageous wifi rates. And of course, working from the hotel you HAVE to have wifi. Plus, you can’t miss GOT. Sign up, earn rewards, use the free wifi. 

7- Google map your hotel and search nearby places. Plot out the nearby restaurants, shopping, landmarks, etc. If you are nervous about finding your way around, this is a great way to plan after you get to your hotel. (This is how I found a two-story TJ Maxx). You can take a girl out of the clearance aisle, but….

Oh, and here is Miller’s Pub. I love Frankie! 


Frankie ate here!

8- Stop at a drugstore and buy some Airborne. Trust me, even if you use hand sanitizer religiously, that many people = tons of germs. Take some preventive measures against getting sick. Pretty sure Airborne saved my life this week.

9- Download movies from Netflix. They’re great for the car ride, they’re great for the airport, they’re great for the plane, and they’re great at the hotel (because that free wifi is going to buffer). 

10- Get out of the room! Do something fun! Dine local! Work and travel can be stressful especially when mixed together. But find a couple fun things to do in the evenings! At least go walk around and see some of the city near you. Be smart, be safe, but get outside your comfort zone a little! Chicago is awesome, big and beautiful! Especially the parks and Lake Michigan! (Maybe I just like grass and water and wide open spaces….) 

That being said, it’s time to head home!! I am sooo ready to be back in my bed, in my house, on my lake, with my dog. Okahoma here we come! 

-Traveling Okie

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