Read Time: 5 Minutes
Guest Author: Trish Smith
Travel can take you out of your comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory, and while this is one of the reasons we love to travel, it can also make some of us feel a little anxious, especially if we are embarking on our first big trip. I have had a couple of bad experiences (missed flights, lost tickets, iPad left behind on the plane) so even the thought of going on a trip fills me with a unique combination of excitement and terror! I have learned to reduce some of those pre-flight jitters and in route nerves with careful planning and organization.
With modern technology you hardly need to take anything more than your passport when you travel. Your smart phone can handle your tickets and boarding passes, itinerary and hotel confirmations, so traveling light has never been easier. But with technology there is always the risk that something could go wrong so it’s a good idea to keep copies of everything.
Scan and photocopy your passport, print out airline booking details and hotel confirmations, and make a note of important phone numbers. Keep one set of copies in your carryon, another in your checked luggage, and another in the cloud (ie in Google docs). As you fly into another country, the immigration form will ask for the address where you will be staying, so make sure you know the name of your hotel or your Aunty Dorothy’s address – this will also be handy to give your taxi driver.
Let your bank know that you will be traveling and using your credit card in another country in case they flag your first purchase as a possible fraudulent transaction and cancel your card. Losing your credit card overseas is massively inconvenient, not just during your trip but also when you get home again – think of how many direct debits and auto payments are linked to that card, that you’ll need to update if a new card is issued. If you can get a second credit card, just for travel, you will save yourself a lot of hassle.
Carrying a small amount of cash in the currency of your destination can also help your arrival go smoothly. It might not be easy to find a bank or ATM where you are going, so be prepared with a little cash for your first taxi ride or tipping the concierge at your hotel.
Almost everybody has a nightmare story of that time their luggage went missing, including me. Whether it’s gone for a day or forever, it is one of the most inconvenient things that can happen when you travel. Be prepared with a ‘lost luggage emergency kit’ in your carry-on bag.
Your kit should include a change of clothes and a couple of days’ worth of spare underwear, plus any toiletries and medications you can’t go without. Include everything you need to recharge your electronic devices (I learned that one the hard way, when my flight was delayed ten hours). Anything particularly valuable that you would be devastated to lose should go in your carryon – if you bring it at all. And if you’re traveling for business, make sure you have everything you need for that first day of meetings, including the right outfit. I learned that one the hard way, too!
No matter how frequently I travel, arriving at the airport on departure day makes me feel excited and nervous and a little bit overwhelmed. I take the airline’s advice to arrive with plenty of time for checking in and getting through security. When packing my carry-on bag, I make sure that my laptop, liquids and gels are all easily accessible, so I can take them out and pop them into a tray for scanning. I like to keep my travel documents all together in a travel wallet, so I can find them quickly when it’s time to check in. And I triple-check the departures board to make sure I go to the right gate at the right time; bear in mind that airlines can change gates between the time you check in and the time you board, so keep an eye on the board and listen carefully for announcements over the PA system related to your flight. Once I’m through security and at my gate, I can relax with a cup of coffee and crack the spine of a new book.
The combination of exhaustion and excited anticipation can muddle my brain, and on finally arriving at my destination I have been known to suddenly forget what I am supposed to do next. So, I put together a landing plan, and a Plan B just in case, and write them both down.
If I am being picked up from the airport by a friend or relative, I’ll have their phone number written down and saved in my phone. If I am staying at a hotel that offers a shuttle service, I make sure I know the names of each so that I can find them amongst all the other shuttle services. If I intend to use public transport, I find out beforehand how to pay for the fare – will they take cash, or will I need to purchase a ticket from a machine? And if I’m jumping in a taxi, I’m ready to provide them with an address.
If I arrive and the trains have been cancelled or the shuttle service doesn’t come for another hour, I can take any of the other options without skipping a beat or losing my cool.
About the Author:
Trish Smith is Airpocket’s Creative Director. The inspiration for the Airpocket came to Trish as she was boarding a flight and saw a passenger stop in the aisle beside her seat to rummage through her bag for her iPad and headphones, magazine and makeup bag. This gave Trish a great idea. It would have been so much easier for that passenger – and quicker for the people waiting to pass and get to their own seats – if she had been able to take all those things out of her bag in one go, and put them straight into the seat back pocket. Trish pictured a slim, compact bag with a range of pockets and partitions to organize any combination of in-flight essentials, that could be kept within reach during the flight, and easily retrieved when disembarking (without leaving anything behind in the seat back pocket). The name ‘Airpocket’ came to her in the same moment. Airpocket was launched on Kickstarter in 2015 and today ships all over the world from Australia and the USA.
Airpocket's US online store, click here.
Our Australian online store, click here.
To read "Travel Security Tips For Personal And Business Trips", click here.
To read "Why Use Faraday Products", click here.
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