Have passport, will travel…

Tuesday, 2 June 2009 | Tags: , , , ,

I've been traveling a lot. Seriously, I mean A LOT. For either work or personal, I've been away from home - in different places - every week for the past six weeks. I'm getting really good at it, in fact. But my cat is lonely...

I’ve been to Toronto more times than I can count. Then there was the visit to Alinea Restaurant in Chicago (I highly recommend it)for an upcoming episode, a ranch outside of Kamloops BC, salmon fishing near Campbell River, a conference in Banff, and then Whistler and LA. Every time I pass through my house, there’s another layer of dust on the furniture.

And while the last month has been especially busy, over the last 7 years I have traveled a good chunk of the world. I was filling out my Nexus application today and it requires a list of countries visited over the last five years. Off the top of my head: UK, Netherlands, South Africa, Myanmar,British Virgin Islands, USA, Bahamas, Thailand, Italy, France, Switzerland.And many of those I’ve seen many times.

Oh and last summer I went to P.E.I. While my friends were building families, I’ve been building my air miles account. 

So as you can imagine, I’ve learned a few things about travel and how to doit efficiently and more importantly, what to pack for your journey:

An eye mask
This is an extremely important item. An eye mask will help you sleep whether you’re on a plane or in a hotel room, day or night.

Ear plugs
See above. But I do not recommend the ones they give out on planes. They don’t fit the ears and can cause discomfort (which will seriously affect your sleep). Experiment with different kinds from your local drugstore to see what works for you.

A re-sealable plastic bag from LAX
This is the era of no creams, gels or liquids in your carry-on unless containers are under 50 ml and packed in a re-sealable plastic bag. Most airports give these out free if you don’t have one, but the bags at LAX (Los Angeles airport) are twice the size of bags from other airports. You can carry more stuff! I need the LAX bag if I’m not checking luggage. I have a lot of products!

A pashmina
Most airlines charge for blankets now, which I find despicable. Those blankets are thin and scratchy. If you’re on a long flight you need a few comforts from home. A wrap or familiar sweater will make you feel much more relaxed. And always remember to dress in layers.

A picnic
Seriously. Unless you’re traveling in business class, you have to buy your food and the garbage most airlines serve – business or economy glass – is so laden with sodium you will arrive at your destination feeling bloated and disgusting. When I’m on a flight of more than a few hours, and especially when I’m traveling at the back, I pack a picnic. Before the flight I stop at a favourite deli and pick up a selection of sandwich, nuts,salad, black licorice and dark chocolate. This will give you something to look forward to on the flight.

They block out all surrounding noise, they can double as earplugs, and bringing your own ensures you’re not reliant on the ones they give out on board, which often don’t work in one ear.

And, of course there’s the obligatory hand cream (under 50 ml remember), lip balm and reading material.

Oh, and don’t forget your passport. As of today, you can’t get anywhere without it anymore.







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