Thursday, February 9, 2012

travel tips - domestic

As you’re all probably aware I travel, a lot. I mean I have major itchy feet. I fly on average once a month and do one major overseas trip a year. I’ve been travelling on my own since I was 18 years old and my wanderlust has never ceased, if anything it’s gotten worse. Here are my tips for travelling domestically, the main crux of it is spending as LITTLE time at airports as possible:

1. Carry on is all you need domestically, even for weeks away. Buy a hard case carry on bag with 360 degree rotating wheels. Seriously. My life has changed a million percent since I bought a proper suitcase. The rotating wheels means you can do anything with it, squeeze through any isle/stupid barricade. I got mine on special at Kmart for $60. Best money I *ever* spent. Don’t fill it to the brim, as if you are like me, you will be bringing shopping home.

2. Check in online and choose your seat. Especially if you travel alone a lot you don’t want to get stuck in the middle. I always choose second last row, aisle seat as the last row has little to no baggage storage. Being at the back of the plane you are the first to get off (flying Virgin). Yeah you’ve got to walk on the tarmac but who cares. Also even if you don’t have a printer STILL CHECK IN and when you get to the airport go up to customer service (not flight check in) and ask them to print your boarding pass. Get to the airport 40 minutes before your flight is scheduled to leave that way you just walk on your plane.

3. Suss out hardcore travellers and walk in their slipstream. They clear the way for you and are efficient, especially in security. Avoid the elderly, families and the infirmed. Get into the secure area as quick as you can and then you can relax.

4. In that vein get your security check stuff sorted out. Don’t wear studded belts (ugh I do this ALL the time), don’t travel with your laptop, pull out your umbrella, take off your hat and get all your pocket stuff into that tray.

5. Don’t drink the coffee at ANY airport.

6. Same goes for food, it’s all terrible. Vegetarian sushi is usually your best (and most of the time only) bet. Don’t buy ANYTHING at the airport $5 for a mount franklin bottle of water just makes me explode.

7. Take snacks with you. Barely anywhere outside of Melbourne is vegan friendly (without lots of proper planning first). I always have a packet of Soyco satay tofu in my bag and some gluten free vegan fruit bars. They feed you in a pinch and give you some time so you can figure out where you can eat your next meal. Hobart has quarantine so don’t take fruit there.

8. Be super nice to all airline staff, they have a really shitty job sometimes.

9. If a parent is travelling alone with a baby and you’re ok with babies and they need help - offer. Sometimes just being able to go to the toilet on your own is the craziest luxury a solo parent could ever have.

10. Get a good frequent flyer program and mine it for all it’s worth. I have enough points to fly to London return business class. That’s going to come in handy one day. I’m not going to be rich all my life.

11. Get into an airport drop off/pick up routine with other people who are also frequent flyers.

12. Clean the house before you go, there is nothing nicer than coming back to a clean house and a freshly made bed (seriously, it's made me cry sometimes after a horrendous trip). Separate all your dirty clothes before you fly home (or better yet if you can, do all your washing and drying) so they're ready to be chucked into the wash/hung up when get home. If you're super organised have a few cooked meals in the freezer so you have lunch and dinner the next day. There is nothing more awesome than being able to come home after work the next day and not have to do ANYTHING.

What are your travel tips?

10 comments:

  1. I'd say ALWAYS buy a packet of Moreish Nuts on Virgin flights. They are amazing!!

    + If I have to take a towel, I have my tiny microfibre towel. It's good enough for a weekend.

    + Make sure you have at least $20 on you before you get to the airport so you don't have to walk miles trying to find an ATM that doesn't sting you a fee only to then have to buy a drink at an inflated price. This would only be if you were running late or your plane was delayed.

    + If your plane is delayed, sit next to a plug socket usually used by cleaners and plug your phone in to get some charge: you know you're going to check your tweets, read some news and play words with friends whilst you're waiting and there's nothing worse getting to the other end and having a flat battery!

    + If you are flying carry on only, make sure you get on the plane first, so be first in line to get on: that way you get the storage above your head and you can shoot straight off the plane at the other end.

    + Musicians - always fly Virgin: they have great baggage allowance and the staff are always super friendly and interested...like they're not out to get you for 5 kilos extra baggage at, oh I dunno, $25,000 per kilo!

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  2. These are AMAZING tips! Especially cash, I never carry cash and always have to pay the stupid extra fee in the taxi.. need to get out of the habit of that!

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  3. I love those tips! I wish I was travelling more often. For me, it's usually only once or twice a year. Hopefully, this is going to change now that I leave in Australia. The domestic flights are so much cheaper here than in Canada!

    I love your blog by the way. I only discovered it a couple weeks ago. :)

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  4. My domestic MO: take cash and a bottle of water, carry-on baggage only, keep your phone charger handy and plug in whenever you're waiting, order an aisle seat and board the plane as late as possible.

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  5. @alexe hello! thanks for the comments, yes internal travel is getting cheaper and cheaper. Welcome to EAVP world!

    @lisa yes charger, cash and water bottle these are all things I am remiss on great tips!

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  6. Thank you for these.. I would love to travel more, but don't - due to a very high maintenance cat.

    I particularly liked the tips about the being nice to air staff - airports are such a stressful area, and we're all stressed - imagine being stuck there, serving stressed people - all day...

    And the tip about cleaning before you go. Nothing worse than coming back to things that need to be done when even unpacking your bag seems too much!

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  7. re: cleaning, I would add that if you don't have time to do a full clean, at least do all of your dishes - a friend of mine left their cereal bowl in the sink, and a three day trip to sydney (for work) turned into a three week trip, and by the time they got back there was growth going on.

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  8. 1. always sit on the aisle
    2. carry on luggage can accommodate a lot of goods if you max it out
    3. those hard polyurethane suitcases are the shit. all air line stewardesses and pilots have them so you know they are hard core
    4. pre-book your meal or you'll end up eating shit
    5. sleeping tablets are your friend, especially for any trip over 8 hours
    6. don't fly budget, it always ends up being more expensive
    7. don't sit near the galley or toilets.
    8. i always ask if the exit row is free, even if you have to pay it's worth it
    9. you can pre book your seats on premium airlines, just do it. there is a minimal fee but it's worth it
    10. be nice to your neighbour but not so nice that you have to talk to them for 17 hours
    11. be nice to the staff as an extra drink here or there might save your sanity

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  9. great Chris! I will also post these in the international comments when I finally do the post!

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  10. nice useful tips
    these have proved quite helpful for me

    travel guide

    tourist guide

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