1. Travel Light
Over packing, why do we do it! Ask yourself, do you really need those 10 pairs of shoes, 7 different handbags and the ball gown? What about the set of golf clubs?
By putting a little thought into the process of packing for business or leisure travel, there exists an opportunity to save yourself the hassle of dragging around 3 suitcases full of 'stuff', most of which will not likely be utilized during the trip.
Prior to packing for a trip away, consider the following questions:
- How many days will I be away from home?
- What is the climate?
- What activities will be undertaken during the travel period?
- Is formal wear required, or will casual/smart casual suffice?
- Is the hairdryer, straightening iron or curler set really a necessity?
2. The Philosophy Of 3
Many travelers rely on the philosophy of 3 when it comes to deciding what to pack for travel. Here's an example of a packing list.
- 3 pairs of trousers, which can include – 1 x jeans, 1 x stretch pants, 1 x black trousers.
- 3 pairs of underwear – 1 x to wear, 1 x in reserve, 1 x washing.
- 3 pairs of shoes – 1 x joggers/walkers, 1 x smart casual closed in shoe (black), 1 x sandals.
- 3 t-shirts – short sleeved, with and without collar.
- 3 long sleeved shirts, including long sleeved t-shirt, any combination.
- 1 casual jacket – windbreaker that is waterproof, for use in cold/wet conditions.
- 1 formal jacket – for use indoors, when dining at restaurant (black).
- 1 dress – black, full length with sleeves, suitable for any climate, day or night.
- 1 Small day pack.
- 1 Travel Pillow
- 1 Packet of Ear Plugs (for travel on the aircraft)
- 1 Small make up bag.
It's really only possible to wear one outfit at a time. By carefully considering color schemes, light weight and crease free fabrics with a quick drying capability, a traveler can have a range of different options and combinations during a trip away.
When selecting luggage choose light weight, compact and flexible luggage. I personally use a duffel bag, its dimensions are compliant to international carry-on luggage standards. My luggage is always carry on and weighs when fully packed approximately five kilograms – leaving me approximately 2 kilograms spare for the trip home to include gifts. Take the challenge, if you dare!
3. Seat Allocation V's Seat Reservation
If you are able to accommodate additional funds in the travel budget, you may want to consider choosing your own seat at the time of booking the airline reservation. The benefits of seat selection are many, and depending on the flight duration it may well be a good investment if comfort is a high priority.
Selection of an aisle seat is a good choice should you be so inclined to move around the cabin often, or prefer an extended view of fellow passengers along the aisle (people watching). Alternatively, if you prefer the window seat the advantages include somewhere to rest your head, coupled with the fact no-one needs to step over you to get to the aisle.
Best of all, in nominating a preferred seating allocation a traveler won't succumb to 'middle seat syndrome' - restrictive, no elbow room and at the mercy of others either side who are likely to doze off and slowly creep into your personal space. Awkward indeed!
4. Sleeping And Resting On Board
Long flights can be exhausting so its important to get some rest, or better yet a few solid hours of sleep. Ways in which to do this include having a comfortable travel pillow to rest your weary head and minimize neck pain.
Ear plugs minimize noise disruptions from others. An eye mask can be beneficial for blocking out the light. Try some relaxation and breathing techniques to assist you to unwind before closing your eyes. Removing your shoes and wearing travel socks also assists with relaxation prior to sleep.
Keeping hydrated is paramount during long haul flights. The human body dehydrates significantly faster than on land. Take small continuous mouthfuls of water every 30 minutes or so to ensure the fluid intake is maintained over the duration of the flight.
Alcohol in small quantities can be beneficial to unwind, however too much can cause many problems on your journey by air. Alcohol can accelerate dehydration, air sickness, aggression and inconvenience to you and those around you. Alcohol consumption during a flight can affect people differently from when they are on terra-firma. While a glass or two of wine may serve to make the journey a more pleasant experience, too much can literally land you in hot water.
7. Ear Pain
Compression and decompression of an aircraft during take-off, landing and mid flight can cause pain and irritation. A simple but effective way to alleviate this experience is to have something to chew on such as soft candy, which by the very action of chewing, engages the jaw releasing pressure in the ear. Another alternative is to simulate a large, wide mouthed yawn to engage the jawbone by extending it to its maximum capacity, resulting in ear 'popping' relieving the build up of pressure in the inner ear.
8. Jet Lag
Defined as disorientation and fatigue caused by changes to daylight hours’ time zones, jet lag can be experienced to varying levels by passengers. Jet lag is generally caused when crossing two or more time zones on a single flight. Some ways to overcome jet lag include getting sufficient sleep at home before departure, sleeping as much as possible during the flight and on arrival at the destination country and to exist solely on the new time zone without reverting to the previous one.
Stick to the schedule as much as possible, for example if you arrive at your destination at 6:00am have breakfast, leave you luggage with the hotel and go sight-seeing. Align meals and activities around the new time zone. Some have suggested not eating 24 hours prior to arriving at a destination can reset the body clock, which contributes to feeling less tired on arrival at the destination.
9. Flying With Children
The enemy of children in an aircraft is 'boredom' and 'hunger'. By planning ahead and including a few well selected items, flights with children can be an almost pleasant experience. Pack some snacks including chewable items to combat ear pain. Small lightweight toys, coloring books and puzzles are a good choice. Bring along their favorite pillow or blanket, familiar things from home that evoke comfort and security for a child.
10. Sanity Retention
Remember it’s not just about the destination. Enjoy the journey too. Allow plenty of time between flight legs to avoid problems in the event a travel leg is delayed. Sit back, keep calm as once in the terminal building you are no longer in control. Enjoy the experience have fun, and remain vigilant.