How Being a Frequent Traveler Turned Me Into a Habitual Person

I used to consider myself a completely spontaneous person.  I’ve had times I was out at a pub with friends, then suddenly decided to head west to go to Shenandoah.

But lately, I’ve become entrenched in specific habits.  And this is directly due to coping with traveling so much.

date book calendar


I parked at the Amtrak train station today.  Even though the parking garage was pretty empty, I parked near the back of the lot.

Because I always park in those spots.  No matter how tired I am.  No matter how often I’m running in and out of the station.  No matter how crazy my brain is, I’ll be able to find my car.  And since the spots are all the way in the back of the lot, there’s always a spot available.

(I also do this at work, which drives some people crazy).

When I stayed at Westins, I’d always get room service–an order of chicken fingers and a cosmo.

cocktails cosmos

Knowing that I could expect this every time made me feel more at home.

I also always try to book into the top floor at a hotel, even when there’s no “view” to be had.  This is so I can remember what floor my room is on, sadly.  I’ve gotten mixed up going to rooms in the past because I switched hotels so much, I forgot which room was in which hotel.  (And don’t get me started on mixing up hotel keys from multiple Hyatts on one trip).

I always get the same coffee from Starbucks when traveling (which strangely, is different from the same coffee I get when I’m at home), which adds to my “traveling consistency”.

In domestic travel, I stay on “east coast working hours,” even when I don’t have to.  And on days of the week I don’t normally stay on working hours when I’m actually home.

All of these things accomplish a few things:

  • They keep me sane
  • They keep me organized
  • They keep a routine for me

Sometimes, though, when I’m traveling with other people, it can drive them a little crazy (or at least make them think I’m a little crazy).

I honestly did not feel right if I stayed at a Westin and didn’t have my chicken fingers and cosmo!

What strange (or not so strange) habits have you developed to cope with traveling?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Left Handed Passenger

    Oh come on, habitual does not mean “entrenched in specific habits.” Look up the word in a dictionary before you use it.

  2. I used to write the reason for the trip on the bathroom mirror with an expo marker. I didn’t stop deliberately; I just fell out of the habit.

    In grad school, I’d almost always eat at the Burger King in the East terminal at STL (I flew SWA a lot).

    I also pretty regularly leave something in my room, but not intentionally.

    I need to develop more travel routines…

  3. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one that forgets what trip they are on for a given day..and that others rely on repetition to help manage my travels.

    Like you, I park my car in the same spot (as much as I can) at the airport. Same floor in the parking garage, and either row 4 or 5.
    I typically stay in just a few hotels, depending on my city, and so I often get the same room on subsequent trips.
    I often will choose the same seat on my outbound flight and my return flight

    I have even rented the same car 2 trips in a row…

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