How to Travel Like a ‘Zen Monk’.
For years now I have been flitting across the globe, either on a yacht or on a plane and more commonly, on a plane to join a yacht and I have to say that I have seen my fair share of airports/airline travel disasters, I’m sure a lot of you can identify with the following:
- Airport delays
- Airports snowed in
- Passengers waiting in the sleet and rain for hours… (yes HEATHROW you should hang your head in shame)
- Airline strikes,
- Ridiculous and sometimes invasive security checks,
- Rude airline personal,
- Lost/damaged luggage
- Absurd transfer times either too long that you can read a whole novel in the transfer lounge or way too short that it becomes a sprint from one terminal to the other.. (Qantas at Frankfurt airport, you can put your hand up to that one)
- And finally in the last 10 years we have seen the emergence of the budget airline, where the airline lures the passengers in with next to nothing prices only to find out on check in that you have to pay for your luggage, your seat, a glass of water and more; which all comes to the same amount that the premier airlines were charging in the first place!
But I have a tried and tested way of beating the travel woes
- First thing, READ YOUR TICKET… I know that may sound like an obvious thing to do but so many people that I’ve seen yelling the customer service staff have missed their flights because they didn’t read their ticket properly.
- After having read your ticket, know the difference between a direct flight and non-direct flight, I say this only with the foresight of counting on any delays that may occur with the stop offs.
- Make sure your passport and visas are all in order….. I have had a few discussions with customs officers regarding my passport as it looks more like I was a drug runner than a professional seaman. OOOOOOOHH and I was even taken into that “little white room” in Fort Lauderdale” as the custom’s girl told me I had the wrong visa… Of course, you can’t argue with a “box Ticker” so I had to use all of my might to keep my mouth shut… (yes I can be a mouthy Aussie) after a few hours of waiting and me POLITELY pointing out the differences with the visas I was on my way.
- If you do have a short transfer time and you haven’t been to the airport before having a look online and know the difference from terminal 1 – 5, it may help you get to the gate those few precious minutes earlier.
Now for the cool part, you’ve navigated the airport obstacle course like a professional, and you’ve made it to your (previously paid for) allocated seat of your choice(aisle or window).
or if you the poor sucker that is stuck in the middle of the middle aisle then CLAIM YOUR SPACE as soon as you sit down;seriously! especially on long haul flights’ it took me years to figure, you can only be nice for so long about being sat next to a weird or some space invader that thinks half of your seat belongs to him.
Now I’m sure you’ve heard people saying “pack everything and then you will be prepared, ”Well that is great advice if you were travelling on a boat, car or train and the hefty “excess luggage” $$$$ is kept to a minimum.
In fact you can pay up to $50 per kilo in excess baggage fees, so make sure you check with our airline before you start packing, you do not want to have to pay $100’s in excess or have to face the embarrassing “repack” at the check-in counter.
- Always roll your clothes, this saves on space and eliminates creases.
- Prepare what you think you need on the bed, then half it, (those ‘glam’ 6 inches going out shoes, won’t be needed for your island getaway)
- Use a pashmina as a lightweight cardigan, it can always double as a light throw or scarf.
- Depending on your length of stay, always pack underwear for at least 1 week.
- Rely on the basics, that can be dressed up or down depending on the situation.
- Always pack a swimsuit.
- Always pack a pair of good walking shoes
- Always pack a light jacket
Travel Tips – What to Pack in your Cabin Bag:
- Always pack a change of underwear and a spare shirt, you never know when delays may occur, or if you want to take a shower during a transit period
- Always put your toiletries in a small clear plastic bag
- Liquids should always be under 100ml, per bottle or customs will take it off you
- Make sure all of your duty-free is in a sealed bag when you go through security
- Pack a good book, and music
TIPS FOR AVOIDING JET LAG:
- HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE. internally and externally. Drink water and have a good moisturizer on hand. I also find eye drops are handy to have as the air pressure in the cabin can really dry you out.
- Exercise or move as much as you can during the flight. taking short walks down the aisle and doing small ankle circulations and waist twists whilst seated can really make a difference to the discomfort of swelling feet and legs
- Take a shower in the transit lounge when you stop for a refuel. This can ease muscle cramps, freshen you up and give you a mental boost washing away any anxiety associated with the plane travel.
- Finally ! you‘ve arrived at your destination, try to stay awake, go for a walk, take in some sights or book a meeting, these simple tips help you to get in the RIGHT Zone (a time zone that is).