A 14 hour stopover at Singapore’s Changi Airport has allowed me some thinking time about my venture to London and some realistic travel tips from your Airport junkie author:
Your baggage shouldn’t be emotional…
1. The Handbag. Make your handbag small to medium sized only. You only need space for your wallet, phone, passport (if intl.) , boarding pass and lip balm/glasses/keys (if any).
NB: Men use a messenger bag or backpack. Leaving your wallet, phone and keys in your pants for hours can wear them down quicker than you’d like. So man bag it up!
2. Hand Luggage has always been a struggle of mine. Take a small suitcase or a medium tote. Leave space in your hand luggage for any delicate, valuable or necessary items you don’t want to be potentially damaged or lost (worst case scenario). I always put my medication, Phone Charger and jewellery in my hand luggage.
– Book / Magazine / e-reader / IPad / iPod
– Pair of socks (good for chilly feet or hands!)
– Water bottle (take a big empty one through intl. customs and fill it in the terminal. Voila. In-flight hydration!
– Face/baby wipes (for that in-transit refresh/’shower’, some face/body moisturiser (Nivea do some great smaller size face/body moisturisers). Maybe also an emery board, I tend to be tempted to chew and bit my nails on long flights.
– A neck pillow.
– A comb.
– Pen and small notebook – always helps to have your own pen on you!
– ALWAYS. Have something to cover your arms. Cold flights are torture.
– Something Chewy to help pop your ears/ freshen your breath.
3. The Suitcase. The suitcase is never perfect, but little improvements can be made:
– Account for shopping. You will do a LITTLE; you know what you’re like. Don’t go over with a brimming suitcase.
A family member packed less for a 6 month global trip than I did for a week over East. That was a low point(!)
– Downsize your large toiletries ladies (and gents if this applies!); shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair product. Take a mini, decant it into travel bottles or buy it at your destination.
– Shoes; I took 4 pairs of shoes to London and wore 3! A pair of black flats, pair of Cons (casual shoe), go to red ankle boot (casual) and a pair of low heels. I didn’t wear the heels. Bear in mind, if your feet swell (like mine!) can I wear all these shoes comfortably? your feet might need 24 – 48 hours to get back to normal.
Keep it minimal according to what you know you need shoes for. Pack them in the bottom end of your suitcase closest to the wheels, same with your toiletries.
– 2 pairs of Jeans (1 dark denim one lighter), 1 pair of shorts, 1 black skirt, 4 pairs of shoes, 6 tops, 1 black blazer, 1 waterproof jacket, socks and undies, 1 pullover, 1 smart casual dress, 1 dressy skirt – I could have cut out items from that easily now (because of my shopping. Ha! Who was I kidding..) This felt really minimal for me, but it helps to set a limit on yourself.
(Semi) Pro Tip for Packing: do it a week/day or two before, then come back to it before you go. If you struggle to pack, this REALLY helps you to remove stuff.
– A microfibre towel of some sort. From a sports or adventure shop. Takes up a tiny amount of space , dries quickly and is easy to wash.
4. Coco Chanel says that you should always take off the last bit of jewellery / or accessory you put on. Take one thing out of your suitcase before you leave. Bag tag all your bags with your contact details, suitcase and hand luggage.
5. You have everything you need, and what you don’t have you can find easily. Let this be your mantra.
6. Don’t wear anything restrictively tight – this applies for both genders. Nothing even slightly uncomfortable – no belts or tight waistbands. You can always put your belt on before descents you take it off for the flight.
7. Pick your seat when you check in online. Sleepers get the window, readers in the middle, and the restless/taller get the aisle. I can’t think of an airline where you can’t pick your seat at any stage between booking and boarding. This makes or breaks your commute, get on it – the earlier the better!
Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing,
See you soon Perth.