take a deep breath

& relax

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Finally, Jess and Jackie made it safe to DC. After many interactions with the airlines they arrived safely. Every time Jess comes to DC something happens with her flight, it’s either delayed due to weather or trying to locate the aircraft or sometimes a mechanical issue but without skipping a beat Jess always makes it. Yesterday, was no different–she received a call 5 hours before take off saying her first flight was delayed, which then would make her late for her connection. After spending 45 minutes on the phone with the airline everything was taken care of.

I want to give you a few tips and ticks in the case of your flight being delayed (or cancelled). After hearing the news you might have some extra time at the airport. Of course, there many totally unpredictable circumstances that are totally out of your control. But there are some things that you can do to help the situation.

1. Be early- Just be early. It’s better to be early than late especially when flying is involved.

2. Know your rights- It could be a massive storm or maybe your flight is overbooked and you’ve been left at the airport. In cases such as these, it is vital that you know your rights. Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to claim what you deserve and hopefully find a solution to your problem with a few aces up your sleeve: from getting refunded for all your food and drinks expenses to getting a hotel or some alternative transportation.

3. Always buy the insurance- This one is a no-brainer, but it’s also something you don’t think you’ll need until you do. Travel insurance is a guarantee that whatever trouble you might encounter it will be easier to solve. This ‘extra’ cost will prove a worthwhile investment if the unexpected happens. However, it’s a common holidaymaker mistake to not get insurance that covers every possible need or problem you might have.

4. Don’t check a bag

5. Get on the phone immediately– If the flight has already taken off without you or you know you won’t make it to the gate on time, get on the phone with the airline immediately. They should reschedule you on the next flight at no cost if the connection time was unreasonably brief. Ask for compensation, such as a flight voucher, if you feel you’ve missed your connecting flight through no fault of your own.

6. Explore the airport- Entertain yourself- This one is my favorite because more than likely you have something with you to  kill time, book (or an e-book reader, with lots of titles in its memory), your laptop or a tablet loaded with films the options are endless. When in doubt you can always create a music video like this guy did.

As we’ve learned from many situations short airport connections can be a blessing, but only if you actually make your flight. Remember when it comes to tight connections, every second counts. Knowing your rights really help you to rebook your flight. Good luck and happy flying.

a guide to hosting guests

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After moving to DC, I expected to get a million visitors. I like guests! I like getting to be a tourist in my own city and of course I like hosting friends. This past January, Matt made the move to DC, too and since, our apartment has been a revolving door that never seems to stop. I complied a list to help you get through every last guest who’s on vacation. After many visitors Matt and I have gotten used to having our apartment be a breeding ground for travelers. Check out my handy guide to staying sane while hosting because no one wants a cranky host.

1. Get off the beaten tourist path

2. Go out on the cheap 

3. Cook at home

4. Get your visitors to hit all the tourist things you don’t want to do

5.Allocate space for your guests’ luggage, most apartments in the city are cramped as it is when you add your friends luggage to the mix things start to get cluttered. Offer a closet for them to put their items or a corner off to the side, it will help the flow of traffic in your apartment

6. Fill them in on the basics, ie, show them how to work the metro, download a transportation app on their phone, give them your Uber referral code

7. Have a SmartTrip card for them that they can load money onto

8. Communicate the duration of their visit

Some of these items might sounds a little COD, but to ensure that both you and your guests have fun I would stick by these guidelines. Remember, they are coming to visit you but also to explore the city you don’t need to feel obligated to do everything with them. Be sure to show your visitors your favorite places that are both on and off the tourism paths.

location, location, location

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Folks, I am talking about the 4th of July in our Nation’s Capital. No, it’s not “too far” away to start planning the best holiday known to mankind. Fourth of July in Washington, DC is something special. DC is crawling with tourists who infested the city like a bad flu, but even with them around nothing can stop me from enjoying the birthday of my nation.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty. Where are you watching your fireworks? After a long discussion with my friends we finally found the perfect place! No, I am not telling you where we are going, but I will tell you a few gems for suggestions. Spectacular views of the fireworks can be seen from the following:

I hope you use one of these locations for fireworks or find an even better hidden gem!

giving directions

struggling looking at a map

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Trapped in a foreign city with a language barrier– there you sit feeling helpless. You stare at the map, trying to make sense of all the winding streets, and you cannot even find your location. There are a thousand thoughts in your mind.

Getting lost in a new city is one of my favorite things. I love being a tourist. When tourists come to DC, sure, I have that same loathing emotion towards them that everyone else does becasue they clutter the city and walk unbearably slow. At the same time, I love them. I am so happy when people come to my city, The National Capital of the US. It’s so awesome that people want to explore my city, so of course I am more than welcoming and more than helpful when it comes to directions.

With my Midwest roots, it is incredibly hard to tell someone off and to walk past them while they are asking you something. My love for helping out tourists is abnormal. If I can show one person that everyone is not rude in this city, I feel that I did my job to instill hope in their heart.

Let me tell you a story.

Monday, I was walking to work and naturally I had my headphone in, granted this time I was talking on the phone and not listening to music. Anyway, I get to the crosswalk and this woman starts frantically talking to me. As she realizes I have my headphones in, I take them out and speak with her. Basically the jist of the conversation was her asking for directions and explaining to me (a local) that there a no metros where she needs to go. Once, she finally tells me all of her details, I explain to her if she keeps walking 8 blocks south she will run into the building she needs. This woman was beyond thankful. As the light turned, she booked it and was off to her destination waving to me.

Little things like that, make me feel good. I just made someone’s day. To me giving directions isn’t a nuisance, I truly enjoy it.

You could add something in about asking if anyone has ever given directions in their city or if they find it to be an annoyance when people ask them for directions.