Wednesday, 28 March 2012
First off, you want to be as comfortable and as compact as possible. I am well known in my intimate writing circles as one of those crazy authors who likes to edit. It is a good principle to apply when packing for international flights. Edit, edit, edit.
Folks, hotels have everything you need in terms of hygiene, and if you require something specific, budget a trip to the local pharmacy when you get there. Seriously. you have to check all those liquids, and why take the chance they'll end up all over your carefully packed evening wear and cute pj's? Use what the hotel has, or buy it. Because I promise you, there is nothing quite like opening your suitcase and finding your clothes are covered in shampoo. It's a special moment of discovery, I promise you.
Pack your purse and put all your essentials in your laptop bag. One carry on, one suitcase. Trust me on this one. Sooo much easier.
As for comfort, dangling jewelry? Pack it. Don't wear it. Tight belts? Same. Doc Martins? Comfy? Yes. Convenient? um...NO.
The girl operating the x-ray thingamagigy will laugh her ass off as you struggle to unlace the 14 hole Docs and get those stinky suckers off your feet. The guy in line behind you? Will be much less amused, believe me.
Next, if at all possible, and if it's necessary, caffeinate yourself before you get there, even if it means getting up a half hour early to brew a pot or stop on the way. Trying to juggle bags and tickets and passports and a hot cup of coffee is, shall we say, less than fun. And if you haven't injected enough of the elixir of life into your bloodstream by that point, it's also bound to end in disaster. Once you're on the plane, if you're still desperate, they will give you coffee for free. Just ask for extra cream and sugar, because, um, yeah, best to mask the actual taste as much as possible.
When boarding, best get yourself through all the line ups first. Once done with the paperwork and bag checking, you're better off to have an infinity of time at the gate, where you can eat, drink, read and/or write at leisure than to, say, look at your ticket as you're sitting down to a bagel and coffee and realize our plane boards fifty minutes sooner than you remembered it did, and that you have less than half an hour to get to your gate. That scenario sucketh. (Which also brings up the point: Remember to actually look at your boarding pass as you are planning your arrival at the airport, so the above scenario does not occur in the first place.)
So I hope a few of these hints and tips will be useful to you. I can tell you, they would have been useful to me before the fact. Now? I'm keeping a list.
Happy travels, y'all! Pop in on your way out and share some of your better airport moments, won't you?