Now I am by no means what people would call a wanderlust, and I’m not someone who travels often, but when I do, I try as much as possible to travel efficiently in comfort and convenience. I’ve got a few small trips planned this year, and thought I’d put together a small list of travel tips that might help you on your next trip.
Roll your clothes when packing to fit more
Just like in your wardrobe, clothes aren’t fully flat and the more you stack the more wasted space you’ll have around your bag. Next time you travel, try rolling your clothes up one by one and fitting them in, you’ll find you can fit much more in your bag and less chances of your clothes getting wrinkled. You’ll be surprised!
Don’t be scared to ask at check-in for a row to yourself
Depending on the time of your flight or time of the year you are travelling, chances are that it won’t always be a fully packed flight (unless you’ve grabbed those ridiculously discounted airfares). Make friends with the check-in personnel and see if they can position you in an empty row for yourself. Yay to lying down on your long flight!
Always go for the aisle seats
Yes, in the past being excited to have a window seat is cool, and it is. …for the first 1 minute of take off. You’ll find that most plane window seats have less leg room than aisle seats as the sides of the aircraft naturally curve in. On long flights, for me having leg room is a big factor to allow me to travel in comfort, have my legs out in the aisles and not have to worry about sleeping neighbours if I need to get out to the toilet or call a flight steward for any reason. I’d rather arrive at my destination well rested and not grumpy from an uncomfortable flight.
7/11 doesn’t sell mens undies.
Do your laundry! In my recent travels I was strapped for time (including drying time) and was hoping to get my washing done at the next hotel, only to find there wasn’t any laundry or washing services nearby. The 7/11 right downstairs had everything for women including womens panties but nothing for men. Lucky the luxurious shopping mall located about 15 minutes walk away was open and had to splurge on some fancy $60 underwear. Also, don’t believe your friends if they tell you they sell mens undies at the 7/11. (looks at John, Mark and Paolo!)
Hotels and motels normally provide shampoo, soap, conditioner etc.
Most hotels, especially larger hotels will provide you with all your toiletry needs. Not only is it complimentary, but take them home with your for your next travels and simply refill them. Problem solved!
Invest in noise cancelling ear phones
The loud noise of the plane’s engine, neighbours snoring, and crying babies isn’t a pleasant site for any traveller. Do yourself a favour and invest in some decent noise cancelling earphones or headphones. This will help block out the outer noises and enable you to zone out, chill out and relax on your long flight. I suggest trying out the headphones that they fit your head well and comfortably. Nothing too bulky and nothing too tight with a long enough cord.
Sunnies make good eye patches for overnight flights or if you want to sleep onboard.
Yes eye patches aren’t expensive, and normally complimentary onboard your flight, but I’m not sure if it’s just me, but they are quite uncomfortable to wear. For any flight I just keep my sunnies on me at all times, helps block out the light and also helps you check out any good looking girls from across from you in the plane. Or not..
Don’t be one of those people who stand up straight away
In the excitement of landing at your destination, or landing back home. Don’t be one of those people who rush to stand up in a hurry to get up as soon as the seatbelt sign is off, because in 99.9 cases out of 100, chances are you will be left standing up, awkwardly amongst a sea of other hurried passengers and probably in a low head height area if you are on a side seat. Just sit down, relax, and chill, the flight staff and ground staff have certain protocols to follow before doors can be opened, and even then, it will probably be awhile til its your turn to get up and go. Use this time to turn your phone on if you haven’t already, and write a status about these people awkwardly rushing to stand up and go. #awkward
Pack light, essentials can be bought
Don’t grow into a habit of bringing an excessive amount of ‘just in case’s’. Bring what you know you will definitely need, anything else can be purchased locally including mosquito repellent, facial cream, etc. Your heavy boots can stay at home. Plan out your outfit for the days if you can.
Invest in a handy weigh scale
If you’re flying a few domestic flights with strict baggage requirements, there are a heap of handheld weight scales that can be purchased for about $10 and can be brought around with you. Having atleast one in your travel group would be enough, and will help save you from any financial headaches at the check-in counter.
If your accomodation provides laundry, take advantage.
As above, I can’t stress this enough. Get your clothes washed when possible, sometimes you won’t know when or where you’ll be able to get your clothes washed next.
Beware of pasalubong
When flying in as well as coming back, especially to and from the Philippines, you’ll find it a regular occurrence for your bags to be half full of gifts for your family and friends. Not saying not to accept them, but just keep it in mind incase your baggage is jam packed with those 17 pairs of fake jordans you purchased from Green Hills for your cousins.
(EDIT: Pasalubong (Tagalog, “[something] for when you welcome me”) is the Filipino tradition of travellers bringing gifts from their destination to people back home. Pasalubong can be any gift or souvenir brought for family or friends after being away for a period of time.)
Ask accommodation to arrange transfers and transport.
Depending on where you are staying, you’ll find that the front desk has many trusted options for transportation to shops, airport or just down to the main part of town. This will save you the hassle of going out to the street and trying to find a cab or jeep. Just let them know what time you need a cab there and they’ll notify you once it’s ready. If taking several types of transport, such as bus, shuttle, boat, van, again your hotel will be able to suggest the best way to have it all arranged for you. In my case, I’d rather pay for convenience than put up with headaches guessing and finding ways to commute. One less thing to worry about!
Buy one universal adapter and one power board
When you’re traveling with a group or what not, you might find yourself sharing your universal adapters to fit your local adapter shaped plug, charging your phones, tablets, laptops, adult toys and other electronics. Do yourself a favour and bring a power board with your adapter. Thats 4-6 power points for the price of one! You can thank me later.
Sometimes its good to have no plans. Spontaneity is always fun!
If you don’t have much planned, or don’t know what to do, spend your day making decisions on a whim. You never know what you’ll discover this way.
Relax on your flight
For most people, catching a flight means going for a getaway, a vacation, a break from every day life. Start off your trip by ‘switching off’ and starting on the right foot. Let go of your responsibilities, leave them at home or at work if you can, it’s time to enjoy yourself and relax. Boarding your flight and leaving your worries behind will help you get into the right holiday mindset. You can worry about it all when you come back!
So that’s it, you can probably tell I’m the type to spend my time abroad worry-free, hassle free, relaxed and as comfortable as possible. The way it should be! Organise as much as you can before your trip and do your research!
Let me know what travel tips you might have!
Until next time, safe travels!
– Dj Xcentrik