This is the first Thursday Traffic entry of June, and I must say that I am starting to see vacation traffic. That's right, readers. It is tourist season in the city. Cue family trips, foreign visitors, screaming babies, sweaty people and completely clueless venturers—voila! you have DC in the summer. However, that's not the point of my post for today.
When you go out in your own car, you can carry as much as you'd like. You could bring the kitchen sink with you if you really needed to do so. When you ride the bus or metro, the same isn't necessarily true. Carrying items on your commute can be annoying, but here are a few tips to help you out:
Backpacks/book bags: As helpful as they are, you need to keep your eye on book bags. When metros get busy, your bag can be in the way (or get stuck in the train doors). Try not to over-stuff it. Don't put important items in there—they might be stolen on a crowded train.
Laptop bags (non-rolling): Most of these have a handle that you can carry your laptop with comfortably or a strap that goes over your shoulder. This is a great way to keep your important items nearby without taking up much space. You can find some really stylish ones in stores and online.
Rolling bags: The epitome of evil. These helpful items cause users to forget that there is a distance between themselves and others. When using these, remember that it does not turn the moment you do.
Messenger bags: One of my favorite materials to carry around. These stay close to the body and are space savers.
Tote bags: Compact when out of use. Good to have handy in case you stop into a store or something. You can store your materials in it, and it can be stylish and sustainable.
Purses: Women, be certain that you keep your purse near you. Larger purses could be a hazard to other guests if you are running and allow it to slap everyone along the path. Keep your eye on it—nothing sucks more than a lost purse.
Fanny packs: An absolute fashion faux pas. Don't even think about it. Leave them in the 80s where they belong!
Strollers: No matter how cute your kid is, strollers are bulky and dangerous. Always be mindful of other passengers and remember to set your breaks on the metro. You might be able to collapse it for bus rides.
Luggage: Since it takes up a lot of space, try to avoid overcrowding doors with your luggage. Attempt to stand near the center of train cars or sit at a completely empty seat to remove your materials from the walkways.
Cake trays and containers: Since you've put some work into making your confection, hold it carefully. Try to find a seat so you can minimize the chances of dropping said sweet (or savory treat).
Loose items: Books, newspapers, jackets and other objects should be held close to the body. You don't want it to be knocked away or damaged during a crowded ride.
Instruments: Best carried in a case. Try to keep your instrument close to you. Avoid playing music on metro trains in DC as it is not allowed. Do so in NY or Paris or something instead.
Image via Wikimedia Commons