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Top Tips for Travellers

Tip 1. Proper Packing

Start with the suit jacket. Lay it bottom-first into one half of your suitcase, leaving the upper half of the jacket hanging out of the case. Next, place a piece of tissue paper on top of the jacket. Lay your suit trousers or skirt at a 90⁰ angle to the jacket with the waistband in the case and the legs or bottom of the skirt out. Place a piece of tissue between every item of clothing. and build up layers till everything is packed. Finally, fold the upper half of the first suit jacket over the pile. There  are no sharp folds in your suit and the tissue paper will prevent creases from forming in your clothes.

Tip 2. Keep expensive electrical items in your hand luggage

Sadly, there have been many instances of theft from luggage in transit. As suitcases are now X-rayed at multiple points of the journey,  the risk of your expensive gadgets being taken is higher than ever – and  most insurance companies won’t cover the loss.

Tip 3. Pack a multi-way power adapter

You’re bound to be carrying more than one electrical item that needs to be recharged once in a while. Take a multi-way power adapter. This means you need access to only one electrical outlet, which can be in short supply in hotels, coffee shops and airports.

Tip 4. Don’t forget plastic bags

Never go on a trip without packing plastic bags in your suitcase. Gym bunnies take note – for the smelliest of reasons. If you put any dirty washing in your suitcase, pop it in the bag, if only as an insurance measure against making your clean clothes less fresh.

Tip 5. Use TSA-approved locks

The US Transport Security Agency (TSA) is authorized to open any luggage and if their inspectors want to search yours they will, whether it’s locked or not. To avoid the risk of arriving at baggage reclaim to find your suitcase cut open and wrapped in clingfilm because it as selected for a random check, use TSA-approved locks. TSA security staff have a tool that allows them to open those locks – sparing you the ignominy of carrying a vandalized suitcase for the rest of
your journey.

Tip 6. Start a collection of small  plastic containers

Decant your favorite toiletries into little plastic bottles. These weigh less than the large bottle you bought at the pharmacy but you still get the bulk savings. And if it’s under 100 ml, you can carry it in hand luggage.

Tip 7. Avoid the specter of  paper underwear

Take a change of clothes in your hand luggage in case the airline loses your luggage. Paper underwear isn’t as much fun as you might imagine…

Tip 8. Let Google Translate do the talking to taxi drivers

If you don’t speak the language of where you’re going, spend a little time learning “please” and “thank you”. It’s amazing how far common courtesy will get you. Write down names and addresses of hotels and venues. For anything even slightly complex, use Google Translate to get your message across; preferably, done in advance and printed out to avoid Internet connection issues.

To ensure you don’t get ripped off, email your hotel or a local contact to find out how much a taxi should cost; better still, ask the hotel or local contact to arrange a taxi pick-up at the airport – it’s likely to be cheaper and will avoid queues. Of course, if it’s safe and possible, use public transport if you’re on a budget. It’ll save you a fortune and you’ll get to see more of the place.

Tip 9. If you don’t ask, you don’t get

Always ask for an upgrade at the airline check-in desk. Being well-dressed will help. This goes for services on the aircraft too. If Economy doesn’t get newspapers, but you’d like to read one, just ask the cabin crew nicely. More often than not, they’ll oblige.

Tip 10. The most important rule of all

Do not wear new shoes for a whole day, especially if if you have to do a lot of walking. Blisters hurt, and they just get worse, and worse, and worse.

Andrew Davies is CEO of Texere Publishing Limited, Knutsford, UK.

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About the Author
Author Andy Davies
Andy Davies

Andy Davies is the Chief Executive Officer of Texere Publishing, publisher of The Ophthalmologist, based in Knutsford, UK. Before this, he was Group Publisher in Europe for Duluth-based Advanstar, Publishing Director at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and has the honor of being Science magazine’s first employee in Europe, where he served as Associate Director. Against this background, Andy has travelled around the world many times and attended hundreds of scientific and medical congresses. When not travelling or working, you can usually find him on an Alpine ski run.

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