I bet some of you are getting ready to take your annual vacations. If you are like me, chances are that a little part of you is freaking out and thinking ‘what if I forget something?’ Checking passport and all documents for the umpteenth time and going over your checklist over and over is the norm.
However, since I have travelled long haul many times, I try to follow some simple rules to address my anxiety to some level. I have put down some tips below to help make life easier, feel free to apply what works.
1) Organize & Prioritize:
Prioritize packing. Make a list of the most important items and eliminate the less important items like towels, shampoos and soaps, because most hotels provide toiletries or may be easily purchased from a store nearby.
2) The smaller the better
All liquids like lotions, sanitizers, shampoos, perfumes etc should be carried in small bottles. Maximum allowed limit for travel is 100ml. Exceeding it will only subject you to unavoidable checking at customs and security.
3) Ziplocs are your best friend
When travelling Ziploc bags or similar transparent Baggies are your best friends. Be it travel size sanitizer, lotion, toothpaste or your lip-gloss, put them in Ziploc bags to make your travel easy and security checks simpler.
4) Munch on
Carry small snacks to ensure your energy stays replenished during travel. Granola bars and other energy bars are the best carry-on snacks. Carry them in transparent Ziploc bags and munch on them when you don’t have time to stop for a meal.
5) Make security checks simple
Dealing with security checks can be traumatic especially if you are not prepared. You will need a few things to make this process simple:
- All liquids in travel size (under 100 ml), taped (at the cap) and in transparent Ziplocs.
- Don’t carry food or drinks apart from packed granolas, chocolates or biscuits, that too in transparent Ziploc bags.
- Wear slip on shoes (without laces or buckles). I personally prefer sneakers even, if I have to keep tying laces, they are comfortable.
- Wear or carry as few metal items, like belts, chains and other embellishments, as possible.
During security take out your Ziplocs put them in the security trays, along with your gadgets (phones, tablets, laptops etc). Take off your shoes jackets, belts, watches or any other metal items and put them in the security tray before passing through. Keep your passport; hotel reservations, and boarding pass all in hand, when speaking to the security unless specified otherwise.
6) Keeping Hydrated & Dealing with Jet Lag
Drink plenty of fluids, like water & juices, and avoid carbonated drinks and coffee. The dry air of the airplane and the disturbed sleep cycle can make you tired, so drink up. Since Jet lag can be a major source of pain, adjust your watch according to your destination’s clock as soon as you’re in the plane and try to sleep according to the clock timings. Avoid foods that cause gas or stomach bloating.
7) Be Calm and Comfortable
- Wear lose fitting comfortable clothes. But be presentable. Many airlines have a dress code for different classes.
- Make sure the shoes are cushioned, comfortable and the right size, as you will need to walk long distances.
- Carry a jacket, as some airports are overly air-conditioned. I always freeze at UAE airports!
- In your handbag you must have an extra pair of clothing, socks, slippers, some munchies and a sanitizer.
- If you take any medicines, do not forget to take your prescriptions to avoid any extra questions at security checks.
- Avoid taking too many gadgets, as all of them will need to be taken out during the security checks. I personally hate this process, so usually just end up keeping my fully charged laptop with me.
- Lastly don’t leave your bags or possessions unattended at any time. And I mean at any time!
These may seem like a long list of to-dos but they are just tips to ease the worry associated with travel. You may already be doing many of these anyway. So all the best and bon voyage!
Photo credits: http://www.buzzntravel.com/