Afternoon Inqueery

AI: Flying

Thanks to going to undergrad roughly a thousand miles away from my family, and now to having more friends on the west coast than I do on the east (where I live), I have flown/fly relatively often.  Over the years I’ve gone from being terrible at packing for air travel and otherwise generally clueless to having a very specific, detailed modus operandi for flying that works well and keeps me from having to do much thinking about it, beyond “what book am I bringing, and how many pairs of underwear do I need?”  I even have a specific pair of pants I wear (lightweight cargos with large pockets that zip).

What are your air travel rituals, if you have any?  What are some of your other travel rituals/preferences?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.

Featured image is from Tundra Comics

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Dae is a chemical engineering graduate student who aspires to become a mad scientist, but is prepared to settle for being a professor. Her extracurricular academic interests are an ever-shifting list, but currently include temperament psychology, philosophy, transhumanism, and pre-modern literature. She identifies as a bisexual cis-woman, as well as a feminist, humanist, atheist, and roleplaying game enthusiast.


  1. June 21, 2013 at 12:56 am —

    I don’t fly often, but I travel by bus, train, car, and sometimes by foot. I am rarely in the same city for more than 14 consecutive days and almost never in the same bed for a whole week. Packing depends on where I’m going, for how long, and how self-sufficient I need to be when I get there, but my primary ritual is that I bring Clif bars EVERYWHERE. I have tried a lot of types of food bars and other snack foods but I strongly prefer Clif bars for size, taste, price, and nutritional value. They made my recent trips to NYC with my fiance and DC alone bearable.

    • June 21, 2013 at 1:00 am —

      I just thought of another thing. I also bring my teddy bear, Scotty, nearly everywhere. He has served as traveling companion, comfort object, pillow, and friend-maker. People are enormously more friendly to me when I have a well-worn teddy bear sticking out of my bag or in my lap. While nearly nothing else in my life is very consistent, Scotty is always close at hand.

  2. June 22, 2013 at 11:34 am —

    If going through airport security in the US, I always wear slip-on shoes (thankfully other countries don’t enforce this bit of theatre), and wear pants that fit without a belt. Since I normally travel for too long to actually live out of a carry-on sized bag, I only bring my laptop case on the plane, these days with my Vita pre-stocked with downloaded tv shows and games to last the flight (for some reason I can never successfully read or sleep on a plane–something to do with the background noise, I suppose). I also empty the contents of my pockets into the bag before getting in the security line.

    One of the funny things about flying a lot is how it allows you to easily differentiate between other passengers who fly a lot and those who fly only rarely: these are the people that hold up the security line by fiddling with belts, shoes, coats, pocket change, phones, etc and spend about twenty minutes trying to stuff their clearly oversized bags into the overhead compartments (a problem only made worse my carriers’ new policies to charge for checked bags). But whenever I feel tempted to get annoyed with these ultimately insignificant hassles, I try to remember that Louis CK bit: flying is a total miracle! How can I possibly be upset with a system that can get me anywhere in the world in under a day?

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