Here are some of the things I do when travelling long haul that help me leave for travel less stressed, arrive refreshed and enjoy where I am travelling too.
1: Arrive Early:
It doesn’t need to be like that. I always arrive at the airport at least 2 and a half hours before a flight, It gives you time to check in, get rid of your bags, and get through customs (if travelling overseas) and get into the terminal and relax.
You’ve worked hard for your reward so might as well start as you intend to enjoy your break by making the airport experience as stress free as possible, and the good news is when you get through to the terminal there is usually shopping and a bar, so put your feet up and relax and enjoy a refreshing beverage.
In peak or busy holiday times allow extra time, the airports are full there’s a lot of people trying to move around and giving yourself an extra hour or two will mean you don’t miss flights, which would really suck!
2: Take only what you really need:
Many people think that the plane, especially if you are doing a long haul flight doesn’t have ammenities, they are fully equiped to make your trip as comfortable as possible. They usually have blankets, pillows and extras if needed.
I would suggest a good neck roll however, these things are awesome and have seen some really cool and unique ones on my travels, even blow up ones which wont take up heaps of space in your carry on bag.
Here are a few examples:
3: Upgrade yourself:
Most airlines have a loyalty schemes these days and most major banks have air miles or airpoints credit cards that while you spend you earn air miles that can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and sometimes even airline lounge passes and hotel room upgrades, to name just a few perks.
You will arrive at your destination so much more relaxed after a good sleep in a flat lay down bed, rather than having the kids behind you kicking the back of your seat for 8+ hours, the drinks cart being slammed into your elbow every time the flight attendants coming past you, or being stuck in the middle seat of the plane with neighbours you wish you could get away from.
Every airline is different, so check out your airline of choice as to how and when their upgrades work, remember loyalty gets rewards so stick to a few or less different airlines, this will help you get to the front of the plane easier.
The last point to make about upgrades is also back to point 1, arrive early. If you have requested an upgrade arrive early, and ask nicely what your chances are, or if there are still available upgrades, be polite, use the persons name who is checking you in and you may get lucky, people love to hear their own name, it shows you care, and are a nice person, it goes a long way.
4: Things to remember:
Take a camera, you’ll want to take good holiday snaps to post to social media accounts and share with your friends.
Get some good headphones and adapters for the plane. Airline headphones are usually pretty crap, I prefer Bose Noise Cancelling headphones, they are light, comfortable, and block out all the unwanted noise you get on a flight.
Spare batteries, for your camera (and spare USB cards), headphones, and charging cables for your phone and computer, also rememebr to take a power adapter for charging items and plugging in things like hair dryers, phone chargers etc. It is best to get a multi one, that can adapt to any socket around the world.
Your credit card, as American Express used to say, don’t leave home without it.
Organise Local currency of the place you are going too before you leave, this is really handy if you need to get a taxi from the airport to your hotel, not every country has Uber or other ride sharing systems.
Get travel insurance, its going to save you heaps of headaches if you end up getting sick, or lose a credit card, or your luggage, but check with your policy wordings that it covers you for where you are going, or what you are going to do, especially if you are into sports travel such as skiing or scuba diving. It may cost you something now, but it will save you if something goes wrong.
Pack only what you need. I am probably the worst at this, but getting better!
You don’t need 5 pairs of shoes, and 3 different pairs of jeans surely?? Most places your travelling too have shops, if you need something more than you packed you can always buy what you forgot to pack.
Take photos of your your passports, credit cards, and other important documents you need for your travel. You can store them on an online system like Dropbox, which you access anywhere they have wifi, and most countries do, and even in a locked app on your phone such as Photo Vault, it will be really handy for you if something goes missing or gets damaged, or you need a voucher to check into your hotel or an Eticket for your flight.
5: Have Fun!!
You’ve worked long and hard to take a break, so enjoy the holiday, if you are employed and on holiday turn your emails off, no-one wants to be on holiday with the person constantly checking into the office or working on emails, its not fun for you, and its not fun for the people you are travelling with.
If you are self employed and need to check emails or phone messages, block out a certain amount of time a day, I usually spend 30 mins – 1 hour in the morning and the same in the evening, set up an out off office and if you have man assistant or team members ask people to get in touch wiht them if possible. The last pint here is if you are travelling with other people, mention to them that you have to check in on your business occasionally, they are most of the time pretty good with it I have found, at least there is clear communication.
Following on form Communication, if travelling with other people, I always make a rule wiht the group I am with, and it’s pretty simple.
If you want to do something and I don’t want to do it, I wont do it (sounds arrogant, but it saves you the time of doing something you are not interested in). And likewise if the people that you are travelling with don’t want to do something tell them its ok to not do it, no hard feelings, and no going to places you are not interested in.
And the Final Point……..
Until next time, Safe Travels.