Friday, January 16, 2009

Tips for the international traveler...

Back by popular demand...
Tips for the international traveler..written from one unexperienced traveler who's no better for the experience

1. Wear a nice, preferably all black or brown outfit to travel. It shows less dirt and it looks classier. Plus, bright colors are loud, and you might often notice your clothes. For example, if you choose to wear bright pink you will frequently be distracted and reminded that you have been wearing this same outfit for a few days and you might also notice that the only other people wearing bright pink are small children under the age of 10.
2. Have dark and or neutral colored luggage so you blend in with the ultra fashionable Europeans at the international airport terminals. This might seem trivial but your luggage can either help you or label you as a bag lady when you travel.
3. If possible, try not to spend the night at the airport. You will feel hung over the next day and you will probably spend just as much money buying snacks and coffee with no sleep to show for it as you would have spent getting a taxi ride and a cheap hotel room.
4. Sometimes, it's okay to travel alone, especially if your friends think it's no problem to sleep at the airport and if they are also more liberal concerning punctuality. In fact, in this situation, you should just travel alone.
5. While you travel, it's okay to read mindless entertaining books that you might otherwise never read. Flying is a little stressful so the least you can do is give your mind a break.
6. Pack an empty Nalgene bottle that you can fill up with drinkeable water at airport terminals.
7. Just exchange small amounts of currency at the airport because the rates aren't usually very good.
8. Brush your teeth a few times and put on make-up. It will help you feel awake when you look in the mirror.
9. Bring extra plastic airport bags. You can never have enough of these.
10. Write down all booking and confirmation numbers from internet flights. These come in handy if you wish to change any flights or get reimbursed for any missed flights.
11. It's good to pack a little travel size deodarant and reapply once or so during the 2 days of travel. However, as I discovered on my recent flight, a lot of other people on your flight might not ever wear deodarant, so you have some flexibility with this tip.
12. If you start to feel bored while waiting at the airport, you can make up little games. For example, I watch people and try to guess which country they are from. I never know if I win the game, but I just assume I do, and that's also good for my self-esteem. Or, you can make yourself stay in different locations at the airport before relocating. I tried to stay in one spot and read for an hour or two, and then I would let myself relocate and buy a coffee. It's a perseverance game really.
13. If they're are places at the terminal to look over and watch people, try to sit there. It's better for playing games (see previous tip).

No comments: