|This is #nofilter. I know, right?!|
Have you ever lost your passport? Mr. BK once lost his. Two weeks before our honeymoon to Zanzibar. Yowza. You can imagine my relief when we found it, several days later, having been carefully dropped down the back of his bed.
I am a worrier by nature, so travelling used to be a huge stress for me. I like to know EXACTLY what’s going to happen and WHEN EXACTLY that will be – which is just not how any kind of travel actually works. I’ve thought long and hard about things which have really helped me to chill out about going away.
Make the most of your hand luggage
I used to be so rubbish at actually making use of hand luggage allowance. Maximising your hand luggage use can make such a huge difference to your airport hanging-around time. Mini and travel-sized bottles are your friend, and you’d be amazed how much you can fit in to your liquids allowance. For most trips less than a week (unless going to do a sport or going horse-riding somewhere) I can fit everything I need in my hand luggage, which means NO WAITING AT THE CAROUSEL OF DESPAIR. Just get on your way at the other end. Goals.
Importantly – always pack any necessary medication in your hand luggage, and it’s a good idea to pack some paracetamol in there too. That way, if anything happens to your main bag, you’re at least covered for a few days until something is sorted out (and covered for the inevitable headache this will incur!).
Double-check your travel arrangements
This sounds like really stupid common sense, right? Well, maybe it is. But the number of times I’ve done a double-take at a flight time, realising that it leaves in the early hours of the day (therefore necessitating a late-night trip to the airport the day before, technically) or the other way around, is embarrassing. Perhaps this one is just me, but if your flight is at a funny time, double and triple check you have booked hotels or onward travel accordingly. It’s a really easy mistake to make!
Leave LOADS of time
Getting to the airport has got to be up there with the world’s least favourite first world problem. You’ve heard it before – but leave loads of time to get to the airport and get through security, particularly if you’re travelling to America, as security does tend to take a bit longer to clear.
On the return journey, particularly if travelling in a less developed country, roads can be horrific heading in to a city or to a big international airport (I’m having late night taxi through Colombo flashbacks writing this). Do not assume the country you are travelling in runs on time!
- and keep said photocopies in a different bag pocket to your passport. It’s worst-case scenario stuff, but if you lose your passport, this is worth its weight in gold. It also means you have all reservation numbers for hotels in hard-copy form, should whichever electronic device of choice decides to die just as you need it most. Let’s face it – we’ve all been there.
Also, if you’re travelling in many parts of Africa, you are required to carry an “authenticated copy” of your passport or travel documents with you at all times, or else you may recieve a fine. Be aware of this, keep a copy on you, and you’ll save yourself a LOT of hassle.
Get a snazzy travel folder
All these photocopies basically mean you need (read:want) a travel folder to keep them in. Stationery freak win. Honestly, I tend to use this more before departure to keep everything together and avoid leaving anything behind. They also tend to be big enough that you can reach for them easily in whichever bag you are carrying - no rummaging around for bits of paper. I’ve got my eye on this lovely little Paperchase ticket holder currently.
If you’re not a fan of flying – make it as pleasant for yourself as possible. Bring a sheet mask, and some good moisturiser (pick up some Clarins Hydraquench samples) to use mid-flight – there is nothing quite like recycled air for sucking the life out of your skin. Don’t forget to pop travel sickness tablets (or anything prescription that’s needed, if flying really isn’t your cup of tea) in your hand luggage. Drink lots of water, and try not to go too crazy on the ol’ booze – you’ll really feel the effects (and the weird post flight hangover) afterwards!
|On a tiny boat, in the very warn Indian Ocean. worth 26 hours travelling.|
Have a plan
Make sure you’ve arranged your onward travel before leaving, and have details of an emergency contact both in your travel wallet and in your phone. Things can, and do, go wrong, so if something happens – don’t panic. Life doesn’t always go to plan. Find someone, explain calmly that you need help, and if possible return to somewhere international (such as the airport, or a bus or train station) to find a phone.
Most importantly – most of us are travelling for pleasure. Relax. A little organisation beforehand can save you a ton of stress in the long run!
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