Monday, October 31, 2016

Notes to future Jo re travelling

Below are notes to self next time I am planning to travel:


  • you hate early starts so avoid early flights,
  • you don't sleep well in planes so avoid overnight flights too,
  • you don't much enjoy airline food so eat before you board,
  • you are perfectly happy to watch 4 movies on end so just relax and enjoy a whole day sitting on butt in a plane,
  • you don't enjoy reading on an ereaders,
  • take several disposable books; the trashier and chit-litty the better,
  • you will not want to read nonfiction while on holiday even though you think you do,
  • you like moving to a new place every 4th or 5th day,
  • you like meeting new people and crave human company and conversation after about a day so make sure you build in opportunities for human interaction eg tours,
  • tours are a great way to see a lot in a short period of time - and to talk to people,
  • trip advisor and viator are great,
  • google maps is brilliant for negotiating public transport,
  • eat fresh vegetables every day because you will feel shit after about 3 days otherwise,
  • you have never been let down by Uber or had a bad experience,
  • 'checkin' regularly on twitter or facebook to leave digital footprints especially when going somewhere a bit off the track.


  • use; it helps you find hotels quickly, use the filters, you can cancel without penalty, it managers all your bookings and their contact details in a handy dandy list, sends you reminders, has information about the best way to get there,
  • you are perfectly happy in 3 star hotels,
  • 'chic, 'designer', 'urban', 'modern' are all ephemisms for 'tiny', 'uncomfortable' and 'high tech',
  • you hate high tech rooms where you can't turn on lights or operate showers,
  • old hotels don't generally have lifts and you hate carrying luggage up lots of floors,
  • you don't much enjoy hotel breakfasts so don't pay for them,
  • you prefer to sleep late and miss breakfast then have a great brunch / lunch and then eat again at teatime,
  • get a hotel close to a metro station,
  • pay more for a hotel close to major sights you want to see, 
  • remember to always ask for a room on a high floor, not facing the road, away from lifts,
  • only book rooms with free WiFi,
  • you like room service,
  • post your photos on facebook in case you lose your phone,
  • buy sim cards in each city rather than use roaming data.


  • Pack everything in luggage organisers and use them fanatically: tops, bottoms, underwear,
  • Unpacking / packing time if you do so: 5 minutes,
  • Pack 2 white and 2 black bras so you have 1 to wear when the other is in the laundry,
  • You are really good at doing hand washing every day so you will reuse the same clothes over and over and over so don't overpack,
  • all of the clothes should go together in different ways,
  • the long sleeved Swazi top is the one to take; forget about the short sleeved one: you either need a Swazi layer or you don't,
  • you will not wear sandles no matter how hot it is because you don't like slippery, sweaty soles,
  • 2 really comfortable pairs of walking shoes - one of which can double as formal shoes,
  • you love your Swazi coat; it is not too hot if you wear a light layer underneath, it is a great snuggly blanket on flights so carry it on board and it has huge pockets which can take about 10kgs of luggage if you need them too,
  • find a source of lightweight silk underwear rather than cotton; you love wearing cotton but it takes ages to dry and you hate synthetic underwear, 

Accessories and stuff

  • forget jewellery - you are too lazy and only wear your gold chain,
  • take 1 multi coloured scarf that goes with everything; you like them when its cold and it changes an outfit,
  • pack a light coloured collapsible umbrella in your handbag; use for shade when its hot and for drizzle protection,
  • pack a woolly hat and gloves if you are going somewhere cold,
  • forget about a sunhat and sunblock; the only country you ever get burnt in is NZ,
  • forget about makeup - you are too lazy to put it on,
  • except for lipstick - you like lipstick,
  • and perfume - one 50ml or 75ml bottle of great perfume,
  • hair plucking tweezers,
  • liquid laundry soap,
  • toothpaste and brush are great stain removers,
  • a bathroom with inroom temperature control and humidity extractor makes a great overnight drying room if you set it to 30 degrees,
  • a heated towel rail will dry clothes overnight,
  • knicker liners are the best invention,
  • pack your own personal hygiene products because you will not be able to find the right brand when you are away and having your period is NOT the time to figure this shit out,
  • you hate hotel shampoo so take enough special shampoo for the entire trip,
  • forget a toilet bag; pack everything in ziplock bags and double bag shampoos and deoderant,
  • you will not be arsed blow drying your hair so just embrace your lego-lady look,
  • eyeglass cleaning wipes,
  • ear plugs,
  • multi-zone power adapter, multi box, usb charging box and corded usb cables,
  • a mouse for your computer
  • a soft across-the-body bag that can be thrown in a suitcase is better than a formal handbag,
  • a nice wallet doubles as an evening bag.

First aid kit

  • Berrocca is your go too drug - pack 1 for every single day,
  • pack diarrhea, anti-naus and electrolytes for 10 days, 
  • pack cold sore ointment and patches because if you don't pack them you will need them,
  • strepsil throat spray because your throat is your weak spot when you are run down, 
  • cough drops,
  • 10 days of Coldral cold tablets will get you through 2 bouts,
  • blister gel pads and plasters - and use them before you need them,
  • toe nail clippers.

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