Travelling? Here’s your pre-flight check list to make the sharing of such confined spaces means we need to be considerate – and we want our fellow-travellers to be respectful too.
It starts at home – before you left home or hotel you put comfortable clothes on and soft socks to wear during the flight and then, items you will need during the flight have been put in a little bag (for inside your carry –on) for at your seat – notebook, pen, e-reader/ paperback, moisturiser, lip balm for instance.
Of course before you approach the check-in desk you will have your passport/photo ID, and tickets handy and, of course, you will only have the number of bags you are allowed on the flight and they will be the weight permitted.
Once you have your boarding pass, now is the time for a pre-boarding check and some reminders about how to be a considerate passenger. I’m sure you follow these ideas, so pass this blog on so the people you have to travel with are pleasant to sit beside too!
Head to the lounge in plenty of time – you don’t want to start your flight flustered by racing against the clock.
And, before you get to the security check – step aside, let others go past and . . .
Take your laptop out of your carry-on bag
Everything out of your pockets
No prohibited items (depends on airline/country) but no knives, scissors, inflammable items
No ‘funny’ jokes about terrorism, bombs, hi-jacking, or explosives
Once in the lounge:
Board in the sequence you’re called: they do that for a reason!
Have your in-flight needs handy so you don’t hold up others in the aisle as you rummage for your e-reader or MP3 player before you put your bag in the overhead locker and finally take your seat.
Now, sit back and enjoy your flight – and I hope you sit next to someone as considerate as you are!
Friends tell me I take less for a year of travel than they take for a long weekend. So, what have I learnt that they haven’t?
Well usually I use a backpack and carrying that ensures I look after my back – I want to keep travelling so health is important. I also love a backpack as it leaves my hands free for everything else and there is no way it can be left unguarded as a suitcase can.
And, whether I take a case or backpack, my carry-on luggage is a small wheelie-backpack as that has all my valuable documents, medication, camera and electronic gear in it and fit airlines weight and size regulations.
However, even I make mistakes; this blog entry could be called ‘packing confessions of the kiwi travel writer’ as on a recent road trip to Northland, New Zealand I took many items I didn’t use!
What are my usual ‘rules’? First is “take less” – way less than you think you will need.
First in the bags are the non-negotiables – underwear, sleep-wear, toiletries, a pair of shoes to wear, and one to take.
I then lay all the possible clothes out – I cover my bed with a white sheet for this sorting process – and make sure there is a colour theme that will mix and match –and remove anything that doesn’t fit the theme.
Work on a good balance between dresses/ skirts/ pants and tops that are interchangeable for most of them.
Eliminate anything in your pile that’s there for ‘just in case’ – I find most of my just-in-case additions are rarely used.
Of course as a writer, I also need pen and paper – a journal for writing, and a tiny notebook for notes, plus a thick book to read (and my Kobo e-reader). Just have a few pieces of jewelery and cosmetics to decide on closer to the date, iron some of the clothes and I’m ready.
Depending on your destination, and the length of it, you may want to add a net bag for your laundry and a small cake of laundry soap and . .
Couple of zip-lock bags – one for receipts
Guidebook if necessary
Camera, laptop, phone, plus leads for electronic gear, batteries, and chargers
Passport and tickets are a given!
Don’t forget airline carry-on limits are for safety reasons (& when flying internationally, or using different airlines, check their webpages and take the one that allows the least so you don’t get caught with an overweight bag by one carrier.
As a travel writer, I get angry at other passengers AND the airlines who take/ allow overweight and extra bags on-board. I really hope that eventually someone will sue an airline (and the passenger) for taking an over-weight bag on board – the overhead lockers can spring open in turbulence, bags shift, and can hurt fellow passengers when they fall out.
Once that court-case happens travel will be better for all of us – no more heavy, or extra, bags being bought on board – and even better, we will all be able to put our bags in the locker directly above us – as often the area is full of bags that belong to someone a few seats away or across the aisle.
So, please be considerate when flying: I hope you sit beside someone as considerate as you!
Q. What travel packing tips would you add to this?