1) If your GPS tells you it will take 20 minutes to get somewhere, expect it to take 30. And plan ahead for that. The difference between arriving at 8:28 and 8:30 are astronomical on your stress level. Or maybe that’s just me.
2) Get used to eating breakfast and lunch in the car. It’s rare you get a half hour to just sit in an eatery that just so happens to be conveniently located two blocks from your next school (see: never).
3) Napkins, napkins, napkins. Drinking coffee or eating a sandwich with delicious spicy mustard while driving a car usually ends in what my aunt describes as “blapping.” A white shirt with a noticeable stain on the front isn’t the greatest first impression.
4) Bring your running shoes. I sprinted through Charlotte airport to make a connection on my first day. (They closed the doors 90 seconds later.)
5) But pack a nice outfit on your carry on. (Although I made it to my connecting flight, my suitcase with all my clothes did not. That came six hours later.)
6) Be adventurous! The restaurant in the hotel is fine for a night, but these are cities I’d likely never be in otherwise. There’s a reason I watched all those episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. This is that reason!
I know I’ve only scratched the surface of travel experiences and blunders. With a season under my belt, though, I think I’m a little bit wiser.