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Each year on New Year’s Day we do a purge, we’ve done it for the last 10 years. In recent years folks call it KonMari’d after Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While we don’t go to the extent of folding clothing a specific way or thanking an item for its service we do have the AmVets stop by each January to pick up the casualties of our purge.
Four areas get my attention – office, closet, nightstand, and luggage.
My office is painless, all those abandoned hotel room keys get thrown out along with receipts from long ago filed expenses reports. I’m a fan of fountain pens, but somehow I end up with a fair amount of hotel-branded pens, those are gathered up and I give them to my local dry cleaner.
Next is my closet, and my biggest contribution to the AmVets. This takes a bit longer as I have to decide if I need 6 blue dress shirts or can I get by with 5.
Onto my nightstand aka, the dumping ground. After trips, I typically unpack as soon as I get home, and all the odd stuff from my suitcase ends up in my nightstand. This year I found 4 decks of cards, numerous charging cables, a few local hotel magazines, and of course more hotel room keys.
I finish with my luggage, specifically my DOP kit and any other zippered pouches. The DOP kit gets restocked with fresh Harry’s razor blades, my cologne is replenished and a new container of dental floss. My medicine bag is next. Band-aides are restocked and expired medicine is thrown out. I swear by AirBourne, Pepcide AC and Benydryle so I check their quantities and expiration date. I’ll also make sure I’ve got a week or two supply of my vitamins. The last pouch is my catch-all, collar stays, chap-stick, extra headphones, etc. Then it becomes, do I need to add anything, or remove anything and stash it in my freshly cleaned nightstand drawers?
I also do a purge of my phone. The apps that have a cloud next to them indicating that they haven’t been used in a while get deleted. I also look for duplicate type apps. Seriously you really only need one letting you know what gas stations and restaurants are at the next exit.
As far as 2020 travel resolutions I have a few.
Get out a bit more in the evening, especially when traveling alone. When you traveling with someone, it’s easy to head to the local brewery or sports bar and kill a few hours in the evenings. Traveling solo and spending a few hours night after night in a brewery is possibly the first step in a twelve-step program. Currently, I rely on Yelp and Google reviews but I did install Eventbrite on my phone the other night, so I’ll see how that pans out. Combine that with asking the hotel staff for the local happenings, and this should be a resolution that’s easy to keep.
Create and post at least one travel themed video. That should be simple, yeah not for me. I got a GoPro and everything, and I have lots of content, all of which are stored on the SD card inside the GoPro. Same goes for my Drone, want an ariel video of my neighborhood? Well, I’ve got it, but I’ve never taken it on a trip with me. Who knows, possibly a Casey Neistat moment in my future.
We’ll be adding a bit more to our family trips. Normally we take a few tours as well as incorporate a road adventure branching out a few hours from our basecamp. The plan this year is to do something new on each trip. For instance, we have a cooking class scheduled during our next visit to Savannah.
I’ve been issued a cease and desist order from upper management. It states that I am no longer allowed to bring home souvenirs from my trips. We found maple syrup from Buffalo, deer sausage from Mississippi and BBQ sauce from Memphis during this year’s purge. I was put on a similar restriction a few years ago, except the restriction was no more t-shirts. This happened during the summer purge it was discovered that I had 20 plus t-shirts with various cities imprinted across the front. These are the same shirts that you see for sale at the airport….. thank you Hudson News. The exception to the order is if I’m accompanied on the trip by the CEO.
The biggest travel resolution for 2020 is to a better job of monitoring my travel reward programs. I started 2019 with the American Express Hilton card. That card provided a few perks, first was 12 points for every dollar spent at Hilton properties plus 150,000 points if I spent $4000.00 in the first 90 days and also a free weekend night at a Hilton resort. My goal was lifetime Platinum with Hilton so I knew I’d spend a bunch of nights at Hilton properties so those 12 points were going to total up quickly.
Well, that card came back to bite me. My Hilton card was the default card on all travel profiles, except for Southwest. I forgot to swap back several travel profiles to my Southwest Chase card and it was late summer by the time I realized that. As I’ve said many times that Southwest card exists for one reason….. the companion pass. Thankfully I was able to hit the companion pass number early December. What remained was maintaining my Southwest A-List preferred status. This required 50 flights or 70,000 points. The best benefit of A-List preferred is double points when I fly, that’s it…. plus free WiFi. As of December 5th, I was sitting at roughly 65,000 be points, I knew with the holidays my December points deposit would/should be well over 5,000. On December 28th I checked and my point balance was 69,586. Damn 414 points short. No problem I’ll phone the exclusive Southwest A-List preferred phone line and plead my case for 414 points. A quick call and I was told there were only two ways to get points, a flight or with my Southwest credit card. With 3 days left in the year, I wasn’t about to do that.
So I did the next best thing, I took to Twitter for a quick “Bitch Tweet” aka… plead my case. Southwest came through, thanks.
What are your travel resolutions?
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