We did it! As a family, we covered 32 cities in the last eight months, including two trips to Canada. Wow, was it ever exciting to watch God open doors for ministry to parents and teens all over the nation. This year’s Acquire the Fire tour is done, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Truly, it was a dream of a lifetime.
But looking back, I can see a few places we could have made some improvements. Oh well, in most sports they give you a rookie year to work out some of the nervous kinks. Maybe we can retire these travel no-nos with ours. What do you think?
1. If you buy your luggage at a yard sale and the former owner did not provide a key, do not forget to disable the lock. Unless you can also find a way to pack a box knife in your carry-on to cut your suitcase open after the TSA official helpfully locks your case during the inspection!
2. Correction on that last idea. Do not bring along anything that the TSA considers dangerous. Leave ALL knives, even the bread knife used to spread peanut butter on the way to the airport, in your car.
3. Never overstuff your carry-on with so many heavy books that you nearly knock out the passenger under the overhead bin, and cause other passengers to leave their seats to help you heave your bag up.
4. Don’t book your ticket in a name different than the one on your passport, even if you have a legitimate reason to do so, such as getting married. Even if you get out of the country, you may find yourself enjoying an extra layover in while the border officials debate whether you can come back to America.
5. When traveling to Canada with books you are planning to sell, don’t leave home without a typed, itemized invoice and nerves of steel.
6. Never fail to check in for your flight the night before, unless you don't mind getting a "seat request" instead of a boarding pass and spending an extra night waiting for your new flight since yours was overbooked.
7. Even when you are trying to convince a ticket agent that you need the last seat on the plane more than the other folks, never forget that you are always representing the Lord.
8. Avoid visiting an airport "Religious” Meditation Room unless you are prepared to do spiritual warfare over the strange spirits lurking in there.
9. Don’t forget to remove last week's hotel key card from your bag. Telling the desk clerk in Richmond that a key card from Houston will not work in your room door can really make you look stupid!
10. Try not to walk through the lobby at peak shuttle pick up time while dressed in your swimsuit and wrapped in a towel. It can ruin your image with fellow tour members.
11. If you need a luggage cart, don’t ask the bellhop if you can borrow his. He most assuredly comes with his cart, and will expect a tip.
12. Never pack a zillion little bags and a cooler if your hotel has valet parking. Heaving that cooler up through the main lobby is just not cool.
OK. We may do some of these again, just not with the same naive innocence.