Like lots of people, we caught up on some long-delayed travel in the past few months. Two trips to visit family (one at the beginning of the summer, one at the end) stretched our rusty, work-from-the-road skills. Some takeaways:
"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."
In June, masking was pretty universal where we live. It was a shock, mentally and emotionally, to land in a place where zero masks were in sight outside the airport. By September, when we traveled again, it didn't feel so strange to go maskless. Progress? Maybe, maybe not.
Pay extra for the mid-size.
We were pleasantly surprised at the generous size of our rental car — until the Hertz attendant came over and said we'd placed our (heavy) suitcases in the wrong (mid-size) vehicle. Our car was in the next row, and compact is an understatement. It was tiny. Minuscule. A clown car. Next time we'll pay for one that doesn't hide behind all the normal cars in every parking lot. In the rain.
Not every hotel is great for working.
Hilton describes its Tru brand as "energetic, relaxing, yet unexpected." We expected a desk. And a closet. And a comfortable chair. We didn't get those things, but we did get a pool table in the lobby. Next time we'll stick with our all-time favorite hotel for working on the road, Hyatt Place.
A bright spot at ORD
If you're flying through Chicago, don't miss Tortas Frontera (created by chef Rick Bayless) in Terminals 1, 3 & 5. The Smoked Pork Cubana, guacamole, and margaritas make a 12 hour layover tolerable. Ask us how we know.
Both of our trips were working vacations, so we traveled with lots of gear: two laptops, one iPad, two iPhones, one Apple watch, two sets of AirPods. And a bag full of cables and chargers. We planned ahead, but weren't always sure when and where we'd be working on a given day (remember the 12 hours at ORD?). It was essential to have devices fully charged and available at all times to make sure client projects weren't interrupted. Here's the equipment that kept us going: