Travel can be stressful so Ian, the CEO of Etikora, has put together some of his top travel tips to help make life easier so you can enjoy your holiday and get the most out of stay. Ian has travelled extensively and thought it might be useful to share.
Top Tips Before You Leave on Holiday
Before travelling, make a checklist of all the things you need to do before you leave. This could be to turn the lights off, give the keys to the neighbour with the instructions to water the plants and feed the cats etc. It is easy to forget something when the taxi is late, and you are under pressure.
It’s always a good idea to check prior to your departure whether where you are going has a laundry service (along with Wi-Fi). If there is a laundry service it means you can pack less, making life easier, as well as giving more revenue to your destination.
If possible, pack your luggage at least 24 hours before you leave and check its weight. Do make sure that you know your airline limit as they do differ. Trying to deal with excess baggage at the check-in desk can cause embarrassment and could lead to a missed flight. An easy way to check the weight is to stand on your bathroom scales with and without the case and deduct one from the other. Balancing the case on the scales is both difficult and often results in a false reading. Some airlines will give you the benefit of around 1kg overweight but don’t rely on that!
Put a sticky note on your suitcase with a list of items you can only put in at the last moment, so you don't forget anything.
Remember to leave a bit of space/weight allowance in your luggage if you are intending to bring back souvenirs, which is often the case!
Packing your Main Luggage
When packing your suitcase, fill your shoes with socks or other soft items as it keeps the shoes in shape and maximises space.
Put a coloured strap/unique tag on your luggage to be able to quickly identify them as many people have the same suitcases. It will avoid you or someone else picking up the wrong bag.
Remember to get multi-purpose electrical adaptors (the ones that click into each other are good). Check which plugs are used where you are going. For example, South Africa use round pin plugs that you won’t find on the standard adaptors.
Packing your Hand Luggage
I try to carry minimal hand-luggage in a small bag so I can put it under the seat in front of me. This means I have easy access to it during the flight and avoids me having to fight for space in the overhead locker.
Here are a few things that I like to pack in my hand luggage to make travelling a bit more comfortable:
- Rolled up sweater and spare change of shirt etc. if possible (I have been stranded for 3 days at an airport with no access to shops or my luggage)
- A buff or scarf which can be useful as flights can be cold when cool air is blown at you and you cannot turn it off.
- Ear plugs and eye-mask (the masks used to be provided by most airlines but less so now) – personally I have invested in customised ear plugs; they don’t fall out and they reduce noise considerably better than the foam variety.
- Reading material either on a Kindle or paperback.
- Anti- bacterial wipes (essential!)
- Pen - useful to complete landing cards/forms. Keep your boarding card and passport handy so you don't have to rummage around in your bag to find them.
- Money – I think it is best to split any cash into two or three lots and store this in different places. Spend any coins/put them in charity collection boxes.
- Medication and a small first aid kit with basics.
- Water purification tablets - these take up precious little room but can save unpleasantness!
- A universal plug for wash basins – especially useful at public conveniences.
- Small bottle of water (once you’ve cleared security).
- Inflatable neck support.
- Rolled up waterproof.
- I always remove batteries from my devices and carry them separately. This avoids the appliance being switched on inadvertently and draining the batteries. Legally batteries must be in your hand luggage.
We hope that you have found these useful and if you are thinking about a holiday then why not look at our exclusive and green holidays and adventures which we have put together for you.