Friday, 6 March 2015

Travel Tips Part 1: Before flying

Travel bunny

It has now been 10 years since I'm back in South Africa so I've done quite a bit of travelling to and from the UK to see my family who still lives there, so I've created a Travel Tips series to share my ideas for making travelling a little easier, starting with the lead-up to your date of travel...

Super hydrate yourself from the inside - In the week leading up to your flight, make sure you stay on top of your fluid intake:

  • Drink your 8 glasses of water a day
  • Compensate for any caffeinated tea and coffee you have by drinking an glass of water for each cup you have 
  • Remember herbal tea also counts towards your daily fluid intake
  • Try to drink as few caffeinated, alcoholic and sugary drinks as possible before flying

Super hydrate yourself on the outside - If you're not doing so already, start moisturizing every inch of yourself in the lead up to your date of travel because all that air-con in planes and airports majorly dehydrates your skin and you don't want to arrive at your destination looking and feeling like a fish out of the water. Dehydrated skin is also more sensitive and prone to breakouts, which is not ideal when you're travelling to a different climate and may be using different products on your skin than usual.

Boost your immunity - It's so easy to become ill from travelling with everyone's germs circulating around you for several hours, plus our immune systems are more sensitive when travelling due to disruption of sleep patterns, different climates and . I boost my immune system well before flying by eating healthily and taking some vitamins and herbal supplements such as Vitamin C, odourless garlic oil capsules and Echinacea.

Make lists - Travelling gets me all flustered and if I don't write stuff down I forget it because my brain turns to spaghetti when I'm stressed:
  • What you need to pack
  • What you need to do before you can leave the house, such as remember to pay outstanding bills, put the trash out, water the plants, etc.
  • Remember to cross things off your lists as you do or pack them. Besides helping you stay organized, it's surprisingly satisfying to tick or cross off lists

Choose your luggage wisely -  If you need to buy a suitcase, there are a few things to take into consideration to make sure you buy the right one for you. A good quality suitcase lasts forever so you want to get the right one from the start. Here's what I look for in a suitcase:
  • Weight - make sure you go for the lightest one possible that is still sturdy because they can be so heavy and take up loads of your weight allowance before you've even put anything in them
  • Material - in my opinion, it's better to go for hard suitcases than canvas ones which can get slashed and don't protect the contents as well as hard suitcases
  • Wheels - even though those pretty vintage suitcases are gorgeous to look at, wheels are what will keep you sane when travelling. It's best to go for wheels that swivel all the way around for optimum mobility
  • Handle- some suitcases only have a short handle on the side and this type is usually pulled along lengthwise. These are incredibly annoying because they topple really easily, especially if you're moving quickly or in a busy space. Rather go for a suitcase with a solid and comfortable flat handle that extends out from the top and pulls the suitcase along its width, like the one shown in the picture above 
  • For your carry-on luggage, try to go for something with wheels. Some airports are absolutely massive and you end up doing a lot of walking, especially if like me, you often have the misfortune of departing from the furthest possible terminal 

I've found the best possible suitcase - it has four wheels that can swivel in any direction so the suitcase can be pushed along in a normal standing position (perfect for those endless rows at check-in) or you can pull out the handle and drag the suitcase behind you.

Pack like a pro - I always need all the space I can get, especially for the return journey, so use your available space and weight limit wisely:
  • Fold everything up as neatly as possible and 'build' the contents of your suitcase like a puzzle, don't just pile everything in
  • Try not to take massive bottles of products, such as shampoo, as these can really weigh you down. Rather buy travel-sized miniatures or smaller versions of the stuff you usually go for or decant into smaller bottles
  • Streamline your make-up bag to include only the essentials plus a few colour variations

    Happy packing!

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