This article offers handy tips and tricks to survive (and thrive) the often gruelling game of overseas travel. Whether you’re going from international office to office, meeting overseas clients or simply jetting off for the adventure of a lifetime, I’ve put together my list of top tips.
These are the pearls of travelling wisdom that have allowed me to kick back and enjoy the journey. I hope you find my hard won lessons from racking up thousands of air miles each year helpful.
Pack ‘lean’ not ‘light’
Pack like a seasoned traveller. These handy tips help you pack exactly what you need, in a way that allows you to get to your stuff, when you need it.
Make a packing list
It sounds so obvious, and I’m sure most of you do this already, but I’m always amazed at how many travellers neglect making a simple plan for their packing. For peace of mind, and an organised time packing, make a list of all those holiday essentials or business assets that you’re going to need for the trip. Good old fashioned pen and paper still does the job, or there are lots of great apps like PackPoint travel packing list on iTunes or Packing List on Android
Use a hybrid backpack / travel bag for your carry-on luggage!
For many years, I was a devote exponent of two wheel suitcases as the optimal carry on solution. However, on my last trip I discovered a relatively new entrant to the carry-on luggage market – the hybrid travel backpack and shoulder bag. Incredibly, the fact that the bags have no wheels is actually my big selling point for preaching the virtues of hybrids. ‘No wheels!’ I hear you exclaim, here are some of the benefits that I enjoy with my wheel-less carry-on bag:
- With no wheels, I can swiftly haul my bag over my shoulder as a holdall or shoulder carry bag. I opted for a backpack / shoulder bag hybrid, so I can wear my bag snuggly strapped on my back for longer walks.
- No wheels keeps me under the gate attendant’s radar when they’re on the hunt for bags to check-in
- It leaves both of my hands free, at all times
- More packing space! The biggest benefit of a wheel-less carry-on bag is that no space is lost to the wheels or a retractable handle.
Make sure you’re all packed and set to go the night before
Never leave your packing to the day of departure as you’re putting yourself under unnecessary duress. Not only are you so much more likely to forget something, the morning of departure should be a time of anticipation (and perhaps an early tipple) not a mad scramble to find your sunglasses. If you do happen to check-in overweight, moving heavy jeans into your carry-on luggage is a quick and easy fix, so I like to pack jeans on top so I can get to them easily.
Cube your clothes
Packing cubes are an ingenious packing solution that help separate your different items and help you to access your stuff more easily. The packing cubes that are part of the modular adventure luggage sets by Leanpac are a great solution for organising your packing.
Streamline your airport experience
Breeze through the airport with these top tips to save time, money and headaches at the boarding gate and beyond.
Bring UberX into play by hopping to the nearest off-airport hotel
If you’re looking to take an Uber from the airport, bring UberX, the cheapest option for Uber, online by taking a free shuttle at the airport to the nearest hotel. UberX isn’t available from many airports. However, if you hop onto the airport shuttle and hitch a ride to the nearest hotel that’s just outside the airport, UberX will be online and available.
Book the second last row on the plane
If I can, I prefer to book seats at the rear of the plane. The second to last row is my location of choice when it comes to minimising time without compromising comfort. If you don’t have priority boarding, the second to last rows tend to board first. They’re also the first rows to empty if the plane isn’t full. Crucially for those of us who like to get some refreshing shut eye time when flying, the second to last row seats recline whilst the last row don’t.
Print, cut and store your boarding pass inside your passport
To save fumbling around time when I get to the boarding gate, I print and cut-out the boarding pass as soon as I check-in online. With my boarding pass neatly tucked away in the photo page of my passport, I can simply whip it out when needed.
Use luggage that makes it easy to get hold of what you need
If you’re looking for travel luggage that enables you to get quick and easy access to what you need, when you need it, I highly recommend checking out Leanpac and their range of modular adventure travel luggage.
Sit back and enjoy the flight
Enjoy a better flying experience with these handy tips to ‘fly’ through the flight.
Go ‘nonstop’ not just ‘direct’
Understand the difference between ‘direct’ flights and ‘nonstop’ flights and always try to book the latter. Direct flights can stop at intermediate airports on their way to the final destination. Although the stops are scheduled into the total journey time, the potential delays that intermediary stops can cause aren’t.
Use your official name when booking tickets
Be sure to book your tickets under the name that appears on your ID. It may sound obvious that Betty is a nickname for Elizabeth to you, but it may not be so clear to the gate attendants or passport control.
Triple check document requirements
Triple check foreign documentation requirements. Be sure to check whether your destination country requires a visa, for example Kenya, India or Chile require a visa to enter. Other countries have specific documentation rules that you may not be aware of unless you check in advance, for example South Africa requires you to have at least two blank and unstamped pages in your passport.