My mom is what you can call a frequent traveler. She often tells me about her recent travels or her plans to go to a new exciting destination for work. Her job allows her to travel to many interesting places, including Australia, Oman and Beirut. She even went to Las Vegas for a conference once. That particular travel destination was responsible for some hilarity, of course. My brother was still at school then and needed a permission slip for some activity or other. This is an almost verbatim quote from his school:
The teacher: “Did your mom sign the permission slip?” (my father was not allowed to get involved in any school-related issues).
My brother: “She didn’t. She’s away.”
The teacher: “Oh really? Where did she go?”
My brother: “Las Vegas.”
Hilarity ensues. Also, my brother gets a mention in the class records for making fun of the teacher. Except that our mom really went to Las Vegas. No, not because of the gambling but because of science and education. You wouldn’t believe where people hold conferences sometimes.
Now my mom travels even more because she has to come to see us in the Netherlands. She sometimes mentions the things she does when preparing for one of her flights and I thought her advice is very well worth sharing. My brother has been to China, Africa and several other countries, and came up with even more great tips for a fuss free flight. And, of course, being a travel-experienced family, we have travel tips and tricks on our own.
- Travel as light as possible
Plan in advance what you’ll need during your travels and what will have to stay at home. Some countries require you to be very prepared with special medicine, creams, but if you’re going to a Western country, chances are big that you’ll be able to buy anything you need. Most hotels have soap, shampoo, towels, and other necessities available so you don’t need those either. Travel with hand luggage whenever possible. Have a special case for travel-sized cosmetics ready at all times so you’ll just have to put in into your luggage. Weighing your t-shirts may sound crazy but it’s actually not such a bad idea at all. Remember, you’ll have to carry everything yourself so be smart!
- Dress smart during your travels
You should wear weather-appropriate clothes- and have some prepared if changing climate zones. But if the temperatures allow it, dress in layers so that you’ll have more space in your luggage. Also, you’ll be prepared for every kind of weather. My mom has started wearing a dress over her pants while travelling and has more room for gifts for us that way. Smart accessories include a handbag and a shawl that you can wrap yourself in and that will also serve as a pillow if necessary.
- Choose the best flights
Choosing a flight is not only a matter of money. It can also be a matter of time preferences – some people prefer to travel at night, others like to leave early in the morning. And of course, take time differences and travelling duration into account. Remember that you can either plan your trip way in advance or simply wait until the last minute. There are many travel agencies that can help you to get your best deal. For example, if you want to go to Spain, check out Spain flights. And while we’re talking about flights, check out these really cool travel hacks.
- Be a pleasant traveler
Always remember you’re not travelling alone. There are fellow travellers going about their own business so please don’t be the person who makes travelling a living hell for others. You know what will happen during your security check so you can take off your jacket, and put your things in the boxes way before you’ll get checked. Don’t get angry over or annoyed at security rules even if they sound ridiculous. These people are doing their job which is keeping you and your fellow passengers safe. Don’t call the flight attendant without a good reason. When travelling with kids, don’t hand out sweets and letters to the other passengers, just do your best to keep your kids entertained and relatively well behaved. You don’t need to feel bad for travelling but you’re not the king of the world either.
- Enjoy your trip!
My mom is usually a very chilled person but she gets extremely nervous when she travels. My father is even worse- when I asked him whether he’d come to visit us soon, he even told me about a nightmare he had which involved flying. Although they’ve been married for more than 40 years, when flying together, my parents are a Molotov cocktail ready to explode. However, they either travel separately or have my brother to take care of everything.
Another idea is to get help: whether you get annoyed by having to book the tickets or looking for the best flights, let a good travel agency help you out so that you can relax and focus on what’s most important: your journey.