Friday, September 22, 2023

Best Travel Tips of All Time

I started out my work life in the Airline Industry and often refer to myself as a five star hippie. In all the years of travel experience, there was an education that your professor did not mention to you in college, this information comes with the experience of mistakes, learning to be travel smart and getting the best deal(not necessarily monetary) during your wanderlust.

From things to carry along that will make your trip easier to handle, foods that will provide instant nourishment and to tips that will help ease the pack, unpack, and repack routine and keep you from wasting time in your hotel room and letting you dive straight into the feel of your destination.

With all travel restrictions opening up slowly yet surely, this is a good time to reboot and get ready for your next travel plan without getting nerve wracked.

: Choose hotels/rental properties carefully especially the cleaning and disinfection protocols. I would go a step further and carry disinfectant wipes to wipe down commonly used surfaces in your room. After all a lot of hotels have been used to quarantine people worldwide.

: Flight Measures: Check the airline’s website for information about the safety measures being taken at terminals and on airplanes. Choose non-stop flights, avoid transit its more people, more checks more risk of infection. Avoid airport delays by catching the early morning, first flight, airplanes are usually on ground waiting for you. The best way to avoid contamination on a flight is to opt for a window seat and remain seated for the entire course of the flight. After landing, avoid crowding or standing in line to wait for the door to open. Remain seated until you can maintain a safe distance from fellow passengers. What’s the rush to exit an airplane?

: On a road trip, switch of the air-conditioning and roll down those    windows when on the freeway, you will inhale much needed oxygen. Your car caddy should include  sickness bags.

: Travel clothing is an important consideration, cover as much of your body as possible, glasses with no prescription can protect your eyes and definitely wear socks to avoid walking barefoot through security checks.

: Documents folder: With the number of security checks, airport health declarations, rapid tests, immigration, customs and forms to fill and your luggage in tow you can very easily leave some important documents at a counter. Keep a section of your hand luggage for only travel documents such as your passport, vaccine certificate, ID proof and any other documents required by your destination country. Email yourself screen shots of all the documents  — just in case. Not forgetting two pens too — I have been a victim of this circumstance.

: Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 protocol, unfortunately, this virus doesn’t care about your travel plans.


-Wear your mask to protect yourself and others, wearing a mask is simply the right thing to do for your entire travel.

-Keep six feet of distance between yourself and others as often as possible —
keep a safe distance and away from crowds.
-Most airlines have implemented impressive safety measures onboard their aircraft, such as plexiglass dividers between aisles, keeping middle seats vacant, sophisticated systems used to circulate and filter air in a plane’s cabin prevent most viruses from spreading.

-Carry hand sanitizer 60% alcohol

-Avoid touching your face.

– Carry disposable toilet seat covers, wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom.

_ Also carry an eye mask, a neck pillow, a shawl, disposal socks, ear plugs for flight comfort.

Covid safety is all-important and the new norm for travel, it will be a while before we can go back to pre-Covid travel times. Once you have reckoned with this part of the travel plans, the fun begins with the surge and fall of travel plans and you learn to go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

Handling your laundry, all hand washed clothes can take a while to drip dry and if you are on a roll and the clothes are not totally dry they can stink.
know-how to dry your clothes:
get a towel from the bathroom
lay it out flat on the floor
lay your wet clothes out flat at one end of the towel
roll the towel up, starting at the end with your clothes
walk all over the rolled up towel
unroll the towel
move the clothes to the other end of the towel and repeat
This technique will remove most of the water from your clothes, allowing them to dry in record time.

Must includes: Toiletries: a cake of velvet soap can double up as shampoo and body wash and lasts a good ten days. The Kerala towel is another must have for travel, its 100% cotton, super absorbent and dries in a jiffy. With Airbnb accommodation or even hotels, using your own towel in these times is a better option. A foldable bag as an extra, a reusable, re fillable water bottle or mug, a tiffin box with a fork and spoon, a folding toothbrush, a razor with an extra smooth handle, a travel steamer for a splurge night out, and carry a universal sink stopper it will let you do laundry in the sink or use a bathtub that otherwise won’t fill — these all seem trivial but you will remember I told you.

Take a compass, a key ring one works too, nothing is harder than getting your bearings, be it when you are gazing at your map and trying to figure or exiting the subway with multiple exit signs, especially in New york and Paris. Save yourself time and energy, getting lost is no fun.

The smart phone cameras’ do work for selfies and close by pictures, but if you are on a cruise, you will need a camera with a good zoom which can capture a good shot in the distances well as serve as binoculars.

Choose a world adaptor that works for all countries.

Digital Luggage Scale will help avoid transfer of stuff at the airport. Airlines are milking it with excess luggage charges.

With all of these ‘little things mean a lot’ items don’t forget —

– Your travel instincts to remain safe
– Build flexibility into your travel itinerary by planning less and leaving room for spontaneity. You’ll have more fun and be less stressed.

– Carry some cash, cash is king, it will serve you when ATM’s and card machines let you down.

So, get that spring back into your step, start before you are ready, travel makes you stay forever young.


Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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