Top Ten Things Not to Do Returning From a Long Trip


Top Ten

The inspiration for this list was my return from a ten-day trip. Just in case you wonder I am entirely innocent of any of these incidents. Hope you enjoy.

Top Ten Things Not to Do Returning From a Long Trip

10 If you are returning from a long trip, do not forget where you parked your car. If you do, at best security will help you find it. At worst, you’ll have to catch a cab home convincing your family that you need a physical intervention. (That brain MRI was a pleasant experience right, Bosco?)

9 If you are returning from a long trip, do not argue with the parking attendant about the price of parking. If you do, at best he will call the police. At worst, the attendant is Tiny the WWF champ who is working nights to pay his fine for the last criminal assault charge.(Looks like you had better use your feet to avoid this one, Buford.)

8 If you are returning from a long trip, do not arrive in the middle of the night and expect a warm welcome. If you do, at best you will be disappointed. At worst, your pit bull who is especially protective will confuse you with an intruder. (Good thing you have that tall tree in the front yard huh, Putz?)

7 If you are returning from a long trip, do not think the hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles count as souvenirs. If you do, at best the only one talking to you right now is you. At worst, you’ll have to find an alternate sleeping arrangement. (That couch is as lumpy as you thought isn’t it, Buster?)

6 If you are returning from a long trip, do not dump your laundry on the floor and declare, “No rush.” If you do, at best the pile will stay there forever. At worst, you may wonder why the Goodwill receipt is on your bureau. (On the plus side you can deduct the donation, Ferd.)

5 If you are returning from a long trip, do not make comments at dinner about how good the food was on the trip. If you do, at best you will be eating out for weeks. At worst, you will be invited to prepare the meals according to your taste. (That includes menu and shopping, Bunky.)

4 If you are returning from a long trip, do not think everyone you meet wants to hear about your experiences. If you do, at best people will avoid you. At worst, you will have to listen to the experiences of others. (It really gets to you when their trip sounds better than yours doesn’t it, Tex?)

3 If you are returning from a long trip, do not think everyone wants to hear you speak in the language of the place visited. If you do, at best most will believe that you are affected. At worst, you will meet someone fluent in the language, and you’ll be stumped. (A little hard to keep up after hello don’t you think, Pard?)

2 If you are returning from a long trip, don’t keep saying,”It’s good to be home.” If you do, at best people will think you had a lousy time. At worst, most will wonder why you left in the first place. (Of course, they may also see through your desire to answer the question, “Where have you been? Leroy.)

1 If you are returning from a long trip, do not think you won’t have to resume helping out around the house. If you do, at best you will get a gentle reminder. At worst, you may find your suitcase repacked and ready for another trip. (That one-way ticket is sobering don’t you think, Cousin?)


  1. Anyone who argues with Tiny must have stopped by the duty-free shop on the way to parking and consumed a whole bottle. Unfortunately, in that condition, it’s hard to run. Good list, John. 🙂 — Suzanne

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. Tiny’s da man. 😀

  2. Gwen Plano · ·

    Couldn’t help but chuckle, as some of your points are a little too familiar. 🙂 Great cartoon!

    1. I’m glad a chuckle was the result. Thanks, Gwen

    1. Thank you for the reblog, Michael.

  3. Brilliant, dear John! True summer notes to remember. I guess you should publish a guide with your ‘things not to do’…for they are the best recommendations in life. 🙂

    1. Ha ha ha. Thank you, Maria. You are very kind.

      1. Any time! 🙂

  4. Great list!! I know a few people who can benefit from someone’s (not yours of course) experience.

    1. Thanks, GP. Yes I’m above all this. 😀

  5. These are hilarious, John! I’m curious which one were written from personal experience. 🙂 Great cartoon!

    1. These were all made up. I am innocent. Thanks, Jill 😀

  6. I might print this out and lesvf it on a fee desks, John. It’s a great list. When I flew from Boston, I didn’t realize the parking lot distance from the departure terminal and the arrival terminal. I remembered where I parked, I just wasn’t sure how to get there.

    I don’t know when you got home but I’m sure Lucy and Baily were happy to see you…until you took their bed.

    1. They ran down the stairs and did a wiggle dance. They seemed to be okay with another body in the bed. Thanks, Dan

  7. Wiggle dance! I love it! Hope you got it on film. Another great list – well done, good sir!

  8. As per #2…its good to have you home, Captain.

  9. Let’s add, do not forget where you parked your car in the Minneapolis airport in January when the temp is -20F. I have done that.

    1. Did you have an engine heater? I can imagine parking a car till spring.

      1. John, you haven’t lived until you’ve laid under a car in the snow and replaced the starter at – 20 below

  10. I know people who have done all of these. Especially the food one. Not a good topic to have with a person who just slaved over a hot stove to make a welcome home dinner.

    1. Right. My wife made a welcome home cake and there was no comparison. It was terrific.

      1. How happy were the dogs?

    1. Glad you liked it. 😀

  11. Yeah, that laundry one doesn’t go over too well.

    1. Ha ha ha. So true.

  12. Nice compilation, John. Glad you had a wonderful trip — I’m still amazed you were able to keep posting to your blog the entire time you were away!

    1. I know right? I had hours in the night. I don’t sleep a lot so I filled the time with blogging.

  13. Hah, some good ones for sure, John. I know it takes some used to being home again, but now you are home with some new good memories.

  14. Welcome back, John. #6 always gets me. I always kick myself for not taking an extra day off just to do all the laundry.

  15. dlfinnauthor · ·

    Made me laugh… Loved the cartoon. I don’t think we are too far off from paying for the oxygen:)

  16. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Here’s another great top-ten list from John Howell’s blog. I’m on long trips almost every week, and I’m sure I’ve done some of these things at one point or another.

  17. So much #6 – from personal experience very recently.

    1. A lot of #6. Ten days of #6.

  18. Welcome back! I’ve been out with computer woes the last several days, but just caught up with the pics too. Lovely place, Scotland. I hope to visit someday 🙂
    Glad to have you back and thanks for the humor. Loved these as always!

    1. Thank you, Mae. 😀

  19. Brilliant John. 6 and 5 had been really laughing. My husband is currently in Kenya and will be back late on Saturday evening. All I can think about is the huge pile of washing he will bring back with him [smile].

    1. I’m sure that smile is genuine. Thanks, Robbie.

  20. Admit it, you came home with a new accent. 🙂 And tried it out on the neighbors. Haha

    1. Ah, so you caught me lassie. Tis a hard rood to walk. 😀

      1. I have one word. Haggis.

      2. Does the word Haggis carry the weight of never wanting to leave or get me home, please?

      3. Means it is time to go home. 🙂

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