Start building your summer reading list now…

I just returned from a magical 11-day trip to California and Hawaii. I have always enjoyed combining my personal travel with business travel, as it affords me the opportunity to see more of “my people.” It also makes efficient use of my travel time. And let’s face it – travel is not exactly a glamorous experience.

I experienced first-hand some of the new rules of travel during a pandemic. You might be planning your summer vacations and cannot wait to get out of the house (and have been fully vaccinated, also). Hope these are helpful.

A crowded United counter at Dulles International

Here are five things I observed regarding the new travel landscape

  1. Airport crowds are unpredictable. Lines can build and disappear at a moment’s notice. While passing through San Diego on Sunday—ostensibly a busy travel day–the TSA agent told me that I had just missed the rush hour. I was one of three people in the entire TSA line on a Sunday afternoon. Expect to arrive at the airport early, just in case you face massive lines.

  2. Our fellow passengers talk a lot less. There’s a tremendous advantage to wearing face masks. People are not screaming across the aisles. They are not barking into their speaker phones at the moment before the flight crew closes the cabin doors. Your summer travels are a great time to catch up on your reading and sleeping with fewer distractions.
    Speaking of reading, here are the five most popular posts from the past year. Add these to your list and enjoy them while you’re enjoying some silence:

    Here’s why delivering rapid customer value isn’t working
    Three ways to make friends with transition
    7 Business and Career Boosters for 2021
    Rock Your Productivity and Reduce Your Stress (Podcast)
    Managing Mental Health: Address Team Engagement Dips and High Turnover

  3. Be extra courteous when making calls or watching videos. Speaker phones are the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Wear your AirPods or headsets, and honor the silence.

  4. COVID testing and eligibility rules can change on a dime. When I arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii, I was very organized. I had paper copies and QR codes ready for arrival; however, the state of Hawaii changed the COVID testing rules the night before my flight. This forced me to stand in another line and get tested again. Government agencies and the affiliated “vendors” are creating a complex and inefficient COVID testing value chain, but it’s not worth destroying your travel experience.

  5. Expect fewer amenities from hotels and airlines. While flying to Hawaii — a five-hour flight from San Diego — Alaska Airlines only served pretzels and cookies. My Airbnb was lacking several basic kitchen items, and I needed to contact the property managers. The Westin offered “bare bones” meals at a lobby kiosk.  In any case, it will be interesting to see whether hotels and airlines deliver edible, or plant-based foods when the pandemic is over. I would love them to help us address our national obesity epidemic!  My concern is that management may get used to he higher r profit margins and continue to serve processed, sugary foods. Bring your own healthy snacks wherever you can.
My fast swim camp friends at Kauna’oa Beach

Those are my travel notes from the road. I hope you find these useful. When done safely and calmly, travel can be the greatest therapy of all.

P.S. Are you a high flying marketing leader who feels like your career and post-pandemic digital strategy have stalled? Contact me about our upcoming “Digital CMO” session, June 8 at 10 am ET and reserve your seat.

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