Just as the monsoon rains are starting in this part of the world, it’s the beginning of summer in the US and Europe, while winter is approaching in Australia. So for those who haven’t gotten a break within that scorching summer season here in Asia, you could still chase the sun and go on vacation elsewhere!
Speaking of vacations, I have just arrived from a week and a half long sojourn, and was reminded yet again of important tips all travellers should abide by to keep flying an enjoyable experience for everyone. Sharing them with you for your next adventure.
- Dress comfortably. When I see girls in stilettos, platform heels or some tight sexy outfit at the airport, I can’t help but roll my eyes. Really? The most important thing you should be thinking of when choosing your travel attire is your comfort. You will, after all, be lugging bags, lining up at the check in counter (yes, even on business class if it’s a full flight), then going through airport screening, not to mention the hours in the air and the waiting for luggage and transportation to the hotel upon arrival. That’s a pretty long time to be teetering in high heels or sucking in your gut in your body-con dress or skintight jeans. For summer trips, wear shorts and sandals or ballet flats/loafers, or a comfy dress and cardigan. For longer haul trips you can wear leggings with a jersey wraparound cardigan or a stylish boyfriend pullover—oh, and don’t forget the large Hollywood sunglasses. Yes, it is possible to look stylish while you are comfortable. No need to try so hard.
- Weigh your luggage. The worst thing is when there’s a long queue at check-in, and some passenger holds up the line because they need to repack their stuff into the carry-on bag to avoid excess baggage charges. Geez! Buy a portable luggage scale and weigh your bags before leaving your house to make sure you are within the allowed limit. And please, easy on the pasalubong. I once saw someone pay 300 Australian dollars in excess luggage for chocolates to bring for extended family and basically the entire barangay. That’s just crazy. Also, make use of the airport carts provided and walk in a relaxed manner instead of looking like a carabao/other beast of burden trying to carry 10 bags all at once. While we’re on that subject…
- Take only one carry-on bag. Many international airlines only allow one handbag and one carry-on bag (usually a duffel or small trolley bag) to be taken in the cabin. It is, after all, utterly unglamorous to be bringing so many bags, scattering things all over the place, using your fingers as hooks just so the bags don’t tumble over, breaking a nail in the process…you get the picture. Invest in a large, medium and small suitcase so you can use either one depending on how long the trip will be. Then use a small trolley bag to house all your carry-on items like an extra shirt, toiletries for freshening up, a pair of socks, little things bought at duty free, etc. That way, you can walk around the airport in peace, much more comfortably and with no hassle. Ladies should never have to break a sweat!
- Bring good reading material. In this day and age, you should always have value adding reading material stored in your iPad or Kindle. I don’t understand how people kill time by playing Candy Crush or Temple Run for hours while waiting for the flight to board or worse, during delays or long layovers. Can’t you feel your brain cells wasting away? Why not use the time to get updated in current events, or brush up on art history (or some other topic you’re interested in), or read an inspiring story? In other words—use whatever free time you have to expand your horizons and make you a better version of yourself.
- Hydrate on board. You don’t realize it, but a long flight breathing stale cabin air and cruising at high altitudes take a huge toll on your skin. So drink lots and lots of water (never mind if you have to go to the lavatory every couple hours), use a hydrating masque and elixirs, and use hand cream every so often. Avoid putting on perfume inside the plane—for one, it will annoy other passengers, and also it will just merge will all others odors, from food to whatever else. So wait until after you step off the plane to spritz on your cologne.
- Don’t be a pest. Seriously–those flight attendants have enough stuff to do, and here are passengers who ring them for every conceivable thing, from borrowing a ballpen or whatever trivial matter. Sure, you should ask when you need something, but please be sensitive as well. Same goes for complying with airport requirements and stuff. You don’t need to roll your eyes and mutter if airport officials want to search your bag or have you undergo a random frisk search or ask you to answer a survey (yes, they do this at international airports). We are all anxious to get somewhere, to get something done, and to do it as quickly, as efficiently and as pain-free as possible. So let’s all just cooperate so that things will go smoothly along. There’s no place for arrogance and impatience when everyone’s so frazzled already as it is.
- Bring travel essentials. Planning your outfits is one thing but don’t miss out on the all-important things: a universal adaptor for example, otherwise you won’t be able to charge the gadgets to which your life is connected (i.e. iPhone, camera, hair iron). Also take with you a spare shopping bag, the portable luggage scale we were talking about earlier, maintenance medication, vitamins, ‘common disease’ meds like Paracetamol (for fever), Mefenamic Acid (for pain), Loperamide (for bad tummy) and a first aid kit. Pack a razor, tweezer, and nail cutter as well for grooming needs.
- Be prepared. For any trip, it’s best to be prepared- read up on the country, plan your itinerary (but leave room for spontaneous adventures), and try everything from exotic food to learning a new dance to riding an elephant or hugging a koala, that sort of thing. The whole point is for the experience to giveyou a wealth of memories to take home with you and to make your world a lot more colourful and vibrant. So take it all in and be grateful for such a great opportunity!
Cheers to many more adventures, girls.
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