Need to get away? We all do. Sometimes. Like many people, I love to travel. But my travel needs may be slightly different. This could be a result of living in an extremely stimulating environment .

Things move fast in New York. It’s a place where your senses fire on all cylinders, all the time. It’s almost like a rush. When I’m here, I never want to leave. When I leave, I don’t want to be gone for too long (3 or 4 days tops). I don’t know, maybe I’ve become fascinated. Or dependent. It all varies by perspective.

I used to dream of long vacations on exotic islands, then reality set in. And bills certainly don’t pay themselves so I can’t always get away. That said, I squashed my travel bug by relocating to the island of Manhattan. Not exactly an exotic location, but close enough. And it’s not like I’m stranded. When I feel cooped up in my little apartment, a subway ride to Yankee Stadium, or a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge can feel like a vacation in itself.

Getting Out of the Big City:

True story. And it’s a bit embarrassing, but everybody takes a few lumps in the Big Apple. I was living in Midtown around the time of Hurricane Sandy and had a teaching engagement in the middle of the country. Trying to avoid inclement weather, I booked my flight out of Allentown (approximately 90 miles west) instead of one of the city’s airports. Not the best idea (as it turned out).

In a penny pinching maneuver, I waited to get (cheaper) gas in Jersey instead of filling up beforehand. But because of the impending hurricane, all the gas stations were closed. As a result, I ran out of gas and had to park my car on the side road. “Luckily” for me, I found a “car service” and got to Allentown just in the knick of time (literally).

My experience was anything but pleasant when I returned home. This particular “car service” attempted a “price gouge” because of my dire needs. When I failed to comply, a “Jersey mob boss” (I wouldn’t know how else to describe this gentleman) appeared out of thin air and threatened to “torch” my car (those were his words). But I negotiated him down, and cooler heads prevailed.

As challenging as the situation was, I learned a couple lessons that day. For one, I no longer do “car services” (for obvious reasons). And two, pinching pennies usually ends up costing more in the long run. In this case, it almost cost me my car, but that’s just life on the east coast.

Travel Tips:

The following tips may reduce the chances of unwanted incident while traveling:

  • Go Early (or late) – Early morning (and late night) flights reduce time spent in traffic.
  • Stay Ahead of the Clock – Factor in some wiggle room for untimely delays.
  • Travel Light – Or pay for checked baggage.
  • Pack a Snack – Few airport food options are healthy (and cheap).
  • Prep Those Downloads – Maximize your smartphone to function in airplane mode.
  • Calm Down – Long flights can be stressful, but the right mindset can get you through.
  • Know Where You’re Going (once you get there) – Proper research will result in a better understanding of your destination.

For Your Eyes:

If you keep the following advice handy, an eye problem should be the last thing on your itinerary.

  • Keep an Eye Care Bag – A small plastic bag should work. Fill it with preservative-free artificial tears, eye ointment (maybe Refresh PM), and allergy drops (possibly Zaditor). This will help with minor issues such as irritation, dryness, and/or itching.
  • Use Daily Disposables – Consider a small supply while traveling. This will eliminate the need to lug around contact solution and keep track of cases.
  • Pack Your Glasses – Remember to limit your contact lens wear to 12 hours per day. Also, try to factor in one full-glasses day per week.
  • Pack Your Sunglasses – An ocular sunburn will ruin your vacation on the spot. Sunglasses help to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering.
  • Remove Contacts – Always remove your contacts before going in the water (unless you’re wearing goggles).
  • Rest Up – Our eyes function best on 7 – 8 hours of sleep.
  • Limit Digital Devices – Traveling is important to our overall health and well-being. It may even be a good time for a digital detox.