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The Best and Worst Airports in the United States

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The Best and Worst Airports in the United States

I’m not proud of this fact, but I have earned elite status on three different airlines. And virtually all of that travel is domestic. Trust me, I know U.S. airports much better than I’d like to.

I rate the airports on overall experience: Location, flight choices, shopping and dining, sprawl, seating, facilities and general comfort. Here are the best and the worst.

THE BEST

Seattle-Tacoma

Convenient location to the entire Puget Sound area. Spacious and aesthetically pleasing. Great food and shopping. Plenty of room at the gates. And despite the constant rain, the flights generally run on time.

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    Minneapolis-St. Paul

    Like the nearby Mall of America, the Minneapolis Airport contains shopping, dining and services like nowhere else in the country. Of course, severe weather can make traveling through Minnesota difficult, but the airport experience itself is pleasant.

      Denver

      People give Denver a bad rap for its location (some say the airport is technically in Kansas), but the airport itself is quite beautiful. There are plenty of choices both before and after the security lines. Easy to get around via consistent trains. Great amenities. Plenty of seating and food choices.

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        Indianapolis

        This entry might surprise people, but Indy definitely steps up as the nicest airport in the Midwest. Clean, friendly, easy to get around, and a relaxed atmosphere. There is plenty of elbow room in the spacious gate areas.

          Washington – Reagan

          Unlike the sprawling and unwieldy Dulles airport, Washington-Reagan allows for a great in-and-out experience. The location near downtown is tremendous, the food choices are decent, and the airport has kept up with an ever-increasing demand.

            THE WORST

            Washington – Dulles

            Impossible to get to during rush hour, and impossible to get around once you’re inside. A massive rebuilding project is underway. So,for the time being, I avoid Dulles whenever possible. The C-D terminal is one very long and ugly building. It’s a marathon for connecting flights. But at least the concession choices are awful.

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              LAX (Los Angeles)

              It starts with the idea that if you have to get from one airline to another you must leave one terminal and pass through security at another – just for a connecting flight. That maneuver means you have to rely on shuttle buses. Oh, wait – that should be shuttle bus; it appears they have just one. Inside you’ll find tight spaces and dated interiors. But at least the employees are unpleasant.

                LaGuardia (New York)

                My advice: tear it down and start over. LaGuardia is a hodge-podge airport that started with a poor design and went downhill from there. Choppy, depressing, dated, tiny bathrooms. But at least it’s not Dulles.

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                  O’Hare (Chicago)

                  I give them an “A” for effort, but at some point the sprawl becomes unbearable. Try getting from an F gate to a C gate in time for your United connection – I dare you. Horrible on-time record that causes major headaches. Fortunately, the terminals are PACKED with bodies to make it even more pleasant.

                    Phoenix

                    I know they’re trying to class the place up with a revamped Terminal Four, but all the snazzy concessions are outside of security. If you want a good meal near your gate you can forget it; it’s all fast food once you clear security. The terminals were dated in design when they were built; the desert flair did not age well. Great location in the city; otherwise, no thanks.

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                      This is just one traveler’s opinion. Do you agree with my choices?

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                      Last Updated on December 2, 2021

                      The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

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                      The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

                      Camping can be hard work, but it’s the preparation that’s even harder. There are usually a lot of things to do in order to make sure that you and your family or friends have the perfect camping experience. But sometimes you might get to your destination and discover that you have left out one or more crucial things.

                      There is no dispute that preparation and organization for a camping trip can be quite overwhelming, but if it is done right, you would see at the end of the day, that it was worth the stress. This is why it is important to ensure optimum planning and execution. For this to be possible, it is advised that in addition to a to-do-list, you should have a camping checklist to remind you of every important detail.

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                      Why You Should Have a Camping Checklist

                      Creating a camping checklist makes for a happy and always ready camper. It also prevents mishaps.  A proper camping checklist should include every essential thing you would need for your camping activities, organized into various categories such as shelter, clothing, kitchen, food, personal items, first aid kit, informational items, etc. These categories should be organized by importance. However, it is important that you should not list more than you can handle or more than is necessary for your outdoor adventure.

                      Camping checklists vary depending on the kind of camping and outdoor activities involved. You should not go on the internet and compile a list of just any camping checklist. Of course, you can research camping checklists, but you have to put into consideration the kind of camping you are doing. It could be backpacking, camping with kids, canoe camping, social camping, etc. You have to be specific and take note of those things that are specifically important to your trip, and those things which are generally needed in all camping trips no matter the kind of camping being embarked on.

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                      Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next camping trip.

                      1. First off, you must have found the perfect campground that best suits your outdoor adventure. If you haven’t, then you should. Sites like Reserve America can help you find and reserve a campsite.
                      2. Find or create a good camping checklist that would best suit your kind of camping adventure.
                      3. Make sure the whole family is involved in making out the camping check list or downloading a proper checklist that reflects the families need and ticking off the boxes of already accomplished tasks.
                      4. You should make out or download a proper checklist months ahead of your trip to make room for adjustments and to avoid too much excitement and the addition of unnecessary things.
                      5. Checkout Camping Hacks that would make for a more fun camping experience and prepare you for different situations.

                      Now on to the checklist!

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                      Here is how your checklist should look

                      1. CAMPSITE GEAR

                      • Tent, poles, stakes
                      • Tent footprint (ground cover for under your tent)
                      • Extra tarp or canopy
                      • Sleeping bag for each camper
                      • Sleeping pad for each camper
                      • Repair kit for pads, mattress, tent, tarp
                      • Pillows
                      • Extra blankets
                      • Chairs
                      • Headlamps or flashlights ( with extra batteries)
                      • Lantern
                      • Lantern fuel or batteries

                      2.  KITCHEN

                      • Stove
                      • Fuel for stove
                      • Matches or lighter
                      • Pot
                      • French press or portable coffee maker
                      • Corkscrew
                      • Roasting sticks for marshmallows, hot dogs
                      • Food-storage containers
                      • Trash bags
                      • Cooler
                      • Ice
                      • Water bottles
                      • Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives
                      • Cups, mugs
                      • Paring knife, spatula, cooking spoon
                      • Cutting board
                      • Foil
                      • soap
                      • Sponge, dishcloth, dishtowel
                      • Paper towels
                      • Extra bin for washing dishes

                      3. CLOTHES

                      • Clothes for daytime
                      • Sleepwear
                      • Swimsuits
                      • Rainwear
                      • Shoes: hiking/walking shoes, easy-on shoes, water shoes
                      • Extra layers for warmth
                      • Gloves
                      • Hats

                      4. PERSONAL ITEMS

                      • Sunscreen
                      • Insect repellent
                      • First-aid kit
                      • Prescription medications
                      • Toothbrush, toiletries
                      • Soap

                      5. OTHER ITEMS

                      • Camera
                      • Campsite reservation confirmation, phone number
                      • Maps, area information

                      This list is not completely exhaustive. To make things easier, you can check specialized camping sites like RealSimpleRainyAdventures, and LoveTheOutdoors that have downloadable camping checklists that you can download on your phone or gadget and check as you go.

                      Featured photo credit: Scott Goodwill via unsplash.com

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