Three Things Thursday: Travel Gear!

Once again it’s time for [Three Things Thursday](http://www.nerdinthebrain.com):

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

My husband and I are preparing for a trip that will take us walking over slippery, uneven cobblestones throughout Europe. I need new hiking boots, so off we went to the REI store to look for some. And while we were there, we found a couple of other travel goodies as well.

one

These are my new hiking boots:

my new hiking boots

Since I have weak ankles, I wanted boots with a high top to provide extra support. The fact that they are also a pretty color is an added bonus.

two

Travel ponchos, which my husband is displaying in the feature photo at the top of this post. They fold into a small carrying pouch:

packable poncho

Here’s the pouch, with a regular small post card next to it to give you an idea of the size. These won’t take up much space in the suitcase but may come in handy.

three

This is my new sun/rain hat:

my rain hat

It has a wide brim in front to shade the eyes and an even wider brim in back to prevent sunburn on the neck. The hat will pack easily because the head covering will lie flat in the suitcase.

I hope everyone will have a good week!

No, You Probably Can’t Check in Online for Your International Flight

We felt lucky that we could get a direct flight to Amsterdam via Delta Air Lines for our European trip. When Delta contacted us by email, my husband followed the link to the Delta web site and filled in preliminary information such as our address and passport numbers.

The day before we were to leave, he got another email telling him that we could check in online for the next day’s flight. Again he followed the link to the Delta web site, filled out all the forms, and printed our boarding passes.

I thought it all sounded too easy for an international flight. Nonetheless, we had boarding passes with assigned seats. When we got to the airport, there was a sign at the Delta counter saying that you could get in the “check baggage only” line if you had a boarding pass. I even asked the Delta rep standing at the sign if this applied to international flights, and she said yes.

So we stood in line. When we finally got our turn to check bags, the agent looked at our boarding passes and passports, and said, “Oh, you two are in trouble.” She pointed to the top of our boarding passes, where very tiny letters said “document verification required.”

Fortunately, she was very nice. She sent my husband over to the self-check-in kiosks and told him to scan both passports and print out new boarding passes. She put our bags aside and let me wait near the baggage check area while he did this. When he came back, the new boarding passes said, in the same very small letters, “documents verified.” She then checked our bags and we were on our way.

But what I want to know is this: Why did the online check-in process never indicate anywhere that we would have to scan our passports at the airport? In fact, why did the online process even allow us to print out boarding passes, since they weren’t valid boarding passes anyway and had to be replaced at the airport? Why did Delta put us through the whole online check-in process and lead us to believe we had checked in properly when we hadn’t?

Next time we’re flying out of the country, we’ll know better.