Monthly Report by Tamsyn Moana-Veale
Travel Tips and Tricks
(For the inexperienced, from the slightly less, almost-but-not-quite hopelessly inexperienced.)
OK, so Travel “Nightmares” may be a slight exaggeration, but “Kinda Annoying Travel Moments” didn’t quite have the same ring to it. I’m sure all of you have had times when traveling, be it flying, driving, boating or train-ing, that firmly stick out in your mind as;
“Wow, that sucked. I hate this, I hate that and I certainly hate you; person blocking the only damn exit outta here. Seriously?! ‘excuse me, Sir, Please, I have to get through. Hello? Sir, excuse me. Sir? ….ah, MOVE.”
So, let I, a well-known Stress-Head, let you in on a few things I’ve learnt from my travels abroad. Please note, I haven’t had anything seriously go wrong so if you’re really in trouble when traveling and you resort to this as a guide, then wow, ain’t nothing going to help you now…
1. Keep Calm, be polite, patient and do things in steps;
- What’s my next best option? E.g. Should I wait for the next train coming in 5hrs or pay an arm and a leg for a taxi to get me there in 20min?
- Where are my bags? Preferably not in a different country. Has happened, will happen again.
- What have I arranged that I need to change? E.g Transfers. Four phone calls to China and three emails in 10 minutes to the same person is a guaranteed way to make friends! Also, pronouncing someone’s name incorrectly multiple times is a good way to get disconnected. It, ah, happened to friend…
- How long do I have to wait and if it’s overnight, where’s the nearest place I can sleep properly? Plastic airport seats? Um, no.
- Where’s the food at? I’m hungry, and tired and grumpy and hungry. Feed me.
2. Recovery is key
Keep hydrated, find somewhere to lie down, get wifi and sit your butt down. Running around like a headless chicken in compression socks, helmet flinging wildly from a backpack and dragging around a bag with wheels that doesn’t roll properly just looks stupid, and is only amusing for everyone else. Again, it ah, happened to a friend…
3. Pack essentials with you.
Toothbrush (or go buy an overpriced plastic gum stabber), spare clothes, essential training kit; shoes, goggles, cap, race suit and watch, wallet, phone, phone charger and hair straightener.
4. And if all else fails…
Look distraught and panicked. Works best for young females but your average male could probably make himself look pathetic enough. Umm… yeah, so this last one is terrible advice. Has been known to leave you alone, at midnight, on a bus in the back lots of Charles de Gaulle airport trying to figure out, that if it came down to it, how effective a bike shoe would be as a weapon (conclusion: probably messy and unreliable). And it goes without saying, that happened to that, um .. friend…
So that’s my travel tips for you! Would love to hear other people’s stories, even if it’s about the time you used a perfume sample at an airport after a travel ‘nightmare’, dropped the lid under a display stand and then tried to casually (and beautifully smelling) stroll away.
Brought to you from Hong Kong International Airport terminal after a misread flight table,
unplanned overnight stay and the lingering smell of a now, missing- presumed broken- lidless