For women going places

Woman Road Warrior Checklist: Packing to Prevent Problems


One of the top Woman Road Warrior rules to live by is to NEVER check your luggage. That way you don't have to waste time at baggage claim and you never have to worry about it getting lost by the airline. But sometimes, checking is unavoidable: You're going on a longer trip, you have to take work products along or you're just packing-light challenged. Never fear. I have some simple tips to help make sure your bag makes it to your destination plus how to avoid trouble in the security line with your carry-on.


1. Be sure proper identification is attached to luggage both inside and outside. You can affix a business card so that you're not revealing your home address. You'll also want to put some kind of unique identifier on the outside of your luggage, such as a ribbon, sticker or handle wrap. I learned my lesson the hard way about the identifier. I once picked up what I thought was my bag one Easter weekend and when I got to my destination, I opened it to find my Easter bonnet had been replaced by chocolate bunnies.

2. Always place a copy of your itinerary on top of your clothing in your checked luggage. If the destination tag goes missing and a baggage carrier has to open your bag, he will know where you are going and be able to get it to you much more easily.

3. Double check your packing list to be sure you have included everything you need. I know some colleagues who swear by a list because they've forgotten something important (underwear or hose) one time too many.

4. If you're traveling with someone, exchange outfits in your checked luggage. That way if one of your bags is lost, you will still have at least one change of clothes.

5. Put all your critical items in your carry-on. This includes:
     - Prescriptions or any over-the-counter medical items
     - Personal hygiene items (those that can't be easily replaced if lost)
     - Passport or identification documents
     - Important documents such as birth certificates or legal documents (anything considered difficult to replace if lost)
     - Valuables such as jewelry, cameras and computers
     - Cell phone and cell phone charger
     - If possible, anything for which the airline is not responsible if it gets lost or stolen in your checked luggage
     - If possible, whatever you need to get by if your luggage is lost or stolen

6. That being said about keeping critical items in your carry-on, you should review the TSA website to determine if any of them are on their forbidden items list.

7. Always take a photo of your luggage. You need a description of your luggage when you file a lost claim report. A picture may make your bag easier for airline personnel to identify. Use your smartphone to take a photo so you always have it with you and can easily pull it up if you need to show it to anyone while you're on the road. 

8. Make sure your checked bag is prepared for being searched:  It should not be locked; if you do, someone may open it forcibly and ruin it. And your toiletries and other non-clothing items should be in clear packaging so security personnel can inspect them easily.

And one more tip: If you are checking a bag and your carry-on will not hold a change of clothes, travel in clothes you will not find embarrassing if your luggage is lost and you have to wear them to a business meeting. It's never fun having to meet a new client in a t-shirt and yoga pants.

See you on the road,

Kathy Ameche

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Sweet Hotel Dreams: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep



No matter how great your hotel room is, it still isn’t your home and your own comfy bed. So to help ensure you get the best night of rest you can when you’re on the road, here are some easy tips:

- Check the room alarm clock. It sounds so obvious but when you first get to your room, check the clock to be sure it shows the right time and that the alarm is off. You don’t want to be rudely awakened before you need to be up.

- Combat dryness. Hotel room air can be very dry which can affect your skin and sinuses.
   1. To increase moisture, keep the window open if you can, always remembering your security comes first.
   2. Limit the heat in the room; make the room a little cooler.
   3. Bring a humidifier with you. There are some small portable humidifiers that don’t take up much space in your luggage.
   4. Request a humidifier from the hotel. Some hotels keep a supply of portable humidifiers for guests.
   5. Run the hot water in the shower with the bathroom door open. Though you shouldn’t run it all night long, you can run it right before you turn in to help you get to sleep.
   6. Place a few glasses of water on top of the heater or radiator to add moisture to the air as it evaporates.
   7. Use a saline nasal spray and water mist. The saline keeps your nasal passages moist. And you can use the water mist for your face or other body parts that need moisture.

  - Combat noise. If you are sensitive to noise try the following:
   1. Use earplugs
   2. Keep the TV or radio on low to provide white noise.
   3. Use the fan on the air conditioning unit or a portable humidifier.
   4. Find a white noise app for your phone or laptop or tablet.
   5. If noise if coming from an adjacent room, complain to the front desk. If that doesn’t help, ask to change rooms.

 - Combat light. If the curtains won’t close or light is coming in under the door, here are some simple tricks to try:
  1. Bring a black binder clip and use it to pinch the curtains closed.
  2. Prop a chair or table against the curtains.
  3. Stuff a towel in front of the door to block the light.
  4. Wear an eye mask.

- Check the pillows and linens. If you have allergies, this is a priority.  Don’t be afraid to ask for an acceptable pillow or more blankets or some new linen if you don’t like the ones on your bed.

Don’t be shy about pursuing what you need to be comfortable. You may need to be creative but it’s worth it to get a good night’s sleep and stay healthy. As I always say, you are the one footing the bill and are entitled to your rest and comfort.

See you on the road!

 Kathy Ameche

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My Experience with Frontier Airlines


After a year of traveling extensively for my 52 Weeks of Worship project, I found myself status-less on United, my go-to airline for years. All of my travel had been done on Delta, which was great for using miles (I was Platinum), and wonderful for going to Atlanta, where my family lives. But not so good for traveling anywhere I had to pay for, or flying anywhere but Atlanta ... unless I wanted to fly through Atlanta, Cincinnati or Minneapolis. And I really, really, really do not like having to take connecting flights.

So when I was faced with a business trip to Denver, I found myself booking a flight on Frontier Airlines after doing an Orbitz search. I did not do it with any level of confidence. I had never heard of the airline and had to text two friends and ask if they had ever flown on the airline before I did. One of those friends traveled Frontier to Denver often and gave it the thumbs up. The other was Kathy Ameche, our fearless Traveler-in-Chief. After consulting with both of these ladies, I decided, “Why not?” I might as well try something new, and promised to report back to Kathy to share my experiences.

So the report is: My experience with Frontier was surprisingly delightful! The planes were new with inviting leather seats; the flight attendants were friendly and useful, and all aspects of the flight were smooth. In the spirit of total disclosure, I must say that due to the last minute nature of my travel, I was able to book in Frontier's “Classic Plus” category. That meant I was in the first four rows of the plane, was able to board first, had a little extra leg room, received a snack (chips and salsa! peanut M&Ms!), and free TV ("Real Housewives of Atlanta!" "Gnomeo and Juliet!").  If it had been a pleasure trip, I would have gotten to check two free bags (but of course I had one small carry-on. I am, after all a Road Warrior).

Frontier helped me to smooth the transition from flying on my trusty two favorite airlines as much as possible (Delta and United) because of high status to purchasing tickets based on price and convenience.  I would happily fly them again.

See you on the road! 

Guest road reporter Pamay Bassey 

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Run for the Roses Update - Part 2


It’s official:  ‘Uncle Mo’ has been scratched from running in tomorrow’s race.  That leaves us with the following:
  •  We still like Dialed In – unfortunately so do the odds makers so a bettor won’t make much even if he  wins.
  •  We can’t discount Brilliant Speed and Santiva
  •   Calvin Borel, who is a hometown favorite as a jockey, is riding the number 3 horse (Twice the Appeal). Calvin’s nickname is ‘Bo Rail’ because he stays so close to the rail (the inside of the track, where the distance to the finish is the least) while riding at the Derby. Since he’s starting so close, he will find it easy to get to the rail and look for an opening down the backstretch—which is what he likes to do anyway. So we’re kind of inclined to bet on his horse.
Twinspired is not only our ‘grey horse’ pick, but he is also a long shot, 30-1 as of this morning.  If you are feeling lucky, consider betting him to show (3rd place).

The Mint Julep is the classic Derby drink.    


Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 32 fluid ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish

1.      Combine water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour. Pour this mint syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves.
2.       Fill eight cups or frozen goblets with crushed ice and pour 4 ounces of bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. (Proportions can be adjusted depending on each person's sweet tooth). Top each cup with a mint sprig and a straw. Trim straws to just barely protrude from the top of the cups. Serve juleps on a silver platter. 

See you in the winner's circle!

Kathy Ameche
Traveler-in-Chief and Derby Enthusiast

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Run for the Roses Update


Hold your horses! Don't put any bets down yet. The favorite for the Derby, 'Uncle Mo is questionable. A decision will be made Friday morning and we'll report back.

Kathy Ameche

Traveler-in-Chief & Horse-Racing Enthusiast

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Woman Road Warrior Diary: Flying after Osama Bin Laden's death


Just a quick post as I get ready to fly out of Chicago this morning. 

Passengers at O'Hare are in a serious mood. Passenger traffic is light and it took no more than 5 minutes to get through security. I even checked a bag - something I rarely do. What has your experience been?

More later on my travel experience today.

See you on the road,
 Kathy Ameche

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