A CHECKLIST FOR TRAVELLING 24h+: HOW TO PREPARE« Back
By Katarzyna Majchrowicz-Dolińska
There’s travelling… and there’s travelling. A 2h flight needs hardly any more preparation than getting into your car for a weekend trip out of town. However, summer is coming, and some of you might be tempted to take advantage of a break from college or work, and plan a trip to the other side of the globe. Nepal? Vietnam? South America? If you are from Europe or North America and are planning to embrace volunteering abroad and perhaps combine it with tracking, you may be in for a bit of travelling. Counting time for door-to-door, you may find yourself on a trip anywhere from 8 to 16 hours…. or even 24h+ in some cases, especially if you have to switch planes in the process. In order for everything to run smoothly – it won’t hurt to prepare a few things in advance for a more comfortable and free from unwelcome surprises trip. So – what should you remember about when travelling long distance? Check out our list.
Especially if you will be in transit and travelling through countries with different currencies. Of course, most probably you will find exchange currency points at the airport, but 1 – most of them will have higher fees, 2 - you may be in a hurry and not have time to look for one. Credit card payment is most probably accepted at shops at airports… but still, take some money with you, just in case.
For your phone, laptop, camera, tablet, or any other device you deem necessary. Imagine not having any connection with the internet and ability to communicate or verify information – the horror!
In case you spill some coffee, water, feel you need to freshen up a bit or get a bit sweaty (sorry for being so direct, but that’s part of the reality of long distance travelling) take an extra one with you. It doesn’t take much space, it’s not heavy, but it may make a big difference for your comfort and the way you feel.
4. Book or magazine?
For those endless hours in travel, something to read may be your best friend, even just to take a break from electronic devices.
For those who are more creative, it may be a good idea to take a notebook and something to write on the go. The traveler's notebook is ideal for this purpose.
5. Something to keep you warm
Often air-conditioning at airports may seem a notch too cold, especially if you feel sleepy and tired, and have to wait in one place for a longer time. We admit that a pillow may be a bit of an extravaganza, but a warm blouse, or if you can arrange the space for a blanket, might be just what you need. You may thank yourself later for this blessing.
6. Clothes adjusted to temperature and weather
If you are focused on your final destination, which usually means some warm, nice place like e.g. Nepal or Peru, you might forget that the countries you will visit on your way have different climate or just bad weather during the short time of your transit flight. Sometimes you may have to peek outside, so don’t forget to be prepared in terms of clothing. Even 15 minutes of chattering teeth simply isn’t worth it.
7. Water & food
It won’t hurt to have some small water bottle and an energy bar stashed somewhere. You will be independent from shops, air-line service, and fulfil your need to eat or drink whenever you feel like it.
8. Keep time on your side
You wouldn’t like to get stuck somewhere and be late, because the rest of your travel plans will suffer from the domino effect. So, you will need a watch, or be sure to keep your phone charged. But the important part? Keep in mind that the time zones may change, so better stay on top of that.
9. Schedule plan
Times of arrival and departure, how much time you have, what time you need to board etc. When you are tired or stressed by some unexpected event, it might be more difficult to think clearly. If you are prepared earlier, and have everything worked out on a piece of paper or in your mobile devices, it will be easier to reiterate your plans.
10. Travel lightly
In other words, find the best compromise between being prepared and becoming overloaded.
You will be looking forward to the occasions when you can catch some sleep. As you surely know, it is very important to keep an eye on your luggage at all times – which you won’t be able to do when you sleep. So – keep your hand luggage secured with a padlock, so that nothing goes in our out with your knowledge.
Because of airport air-conditioning and maybe sudden changes of temperature, it’s not all that uncommon for passengers to suffer from a sore throat or slight fever. So be sure to have some basic medicine – including some disinfecting tissues and plasters.
13. Choose seats
Again, what may be bearable on short flights might be a little too much when you are on a 24h+ streak. If you prefer to sit at the front, by the window, far away from the bathroom – when possible try to make such arrangements earlier. If you switch planes for the second or third time and find yourself in unfavourable conditions again – believe us, you will wish you had done something about it earlier.
Plan on listening to some music or watching a film? Take your headphones with you to avoid bugging your fellow travel mates. Besides, it will be easier for you to cut off from what’s going on around you and concentrate. Summing up – it’s worth it.
These small things matter when you feel exhausted and as if this trip is never going to end. Make yourself a favour, and include the things from our list into your preparation schedule. We promise, you won’t regret.
Do you have something to add? What is your experience in this matter? Let us know in the comments below!