Post-holiday travel brings its own kind of challenges

January 14, 2018

They say that this will be a banner year for travel, especially after the holidays. According to the American Automobile Association, millions of Americans are expected to hit the road and head south. Now I can understand why you would want to drive; experts tell us the cost of an airline ticket will be similar to the net income of a small Third World country. Not to mention the fear of sitting over a couple of engines at 30,000 feet, rocketing through the atmosphere at 250 miles an hour accompanied by a couple hundred other passengers who have also noticed the pilot appeared to be about 12 years old. And all of that on an empty stomach, since the airlines decided to do away with serving anything that remotely resembled food. This actually might be one of the kinder things the airlines have done for their passengers lately.

What I don't understand, though, is how people dress for travel. For instance, I noticed quite a few of my fellow passengers, when I was recently in an airport, wearing pajama bottoms that seemed to be held together around their waist by a tiny drawstring. I know people like to travel in comfort, but unless you are flying Air Slumber Party, I'm not sure why you would show up looking like you just rolled out of bed and were getting up for breakfast and just happened to stop at the airport to randomly check the flight schedules before you got dressed.

Certainly, this ensemble with slippers makes it easier to get through security. Quite frankly, I'm surprised these people just don't get it over with and simply wear the iPad they are lugging around. Why bother with the pajamas anyway? You could have one nude-a-rama line. This would be a distinct advantage for them, since everyone else would stampede over there for at least a glance.

And who greets these pajamaclad people when they land? I don't know if it is a Serta Mattress convention representative or if it is their own parents, who certainly recognize that the break they were enjoying is now over and that ship has sailed.

Oddly enough, I don't seem to mind or question those passengers who show up wearing track suits. After all, they are the height of relaxation in terms of dress. But for some reason I always feel comfortable with this group. Maybe it's because they give the impression that they have suited up for a game and are awaiting a call momentarily. It does make me feel like I am part of a professional team or at the very least, I am back in the '80s. I can understand them wanting to give the impression that they've just come from the gym with their sweat suit, but I also know the most lifting, judging by the physiques of these people, was from a tray laden with corn dogs, fries, onion rings and a soft drink the size of their head.

I agree, being around an airport can be interesting, especially at peak travel times. I'm speaking as if all goes well. We all know there can be delays, lines and short tempers. And that's just packing the car to get to the airport. But once there, the festivities really begin. There is nothing like hearing the Beach Boys singing, "Help Me Rhonda" over nonstop public announcements for someone named Stu to pick up the white courtesy phone. Obviously, that is why there are bars every five feet in most airports. Well, that and the fact that you are going to visit relatives you wouldn't want to be stuck at a traffic light with.

Yeah, the car is looking more and more like an attractive alternative for travel. As long as you get to spend time with family and friends, why not start those engines? Pajamas are perfectly acceptable attire on the highway.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.