Tuesday, 21 May 2013

How I stop regular travel being a drag.

Here I am in Perth again.  With all this regular travel there are some things that make life a bit easier on the road.

1. Finding a hotel where the staff care and the facilities are pleasant can be a challenge, but it's worth it.  Today when I checked in, I was greeted warmly and the woman at the desk commented that I'd stayed before and welcomed me back.  Although I know she would have been reading something on the screen, she was genuine in what she said and clearly the check-in system was well designed to give her relevant information.   She asked about breakfast and I was able to pre-purchase vouchers at a cheaper price than if I just turned up in the morning.  About ten minutes after I'd settled into my room she called to see that everything was okay.

2. I have a travel toiletry kit that stays packed with all the stuff I need to take.  When I'm going away I just need to check whether anything needs topping up, but otherwise I just sling it into the suitcase.  (I regularly collect samples of favourite products I regularly use from the stores I frequent too.)  Dry shampoo is my latest discovery.  With long hair to maintain washing and styling can require a lot of extra stuff.  Now I plan ahead to make sure I'm travelling with freshly washed hair and if needed I can use the dry shampoo to freshen up.  That stuff is great, but can't be carried in hand luggage as it's aerosol.

3. The greatest gift I've ever received from an airline was electronic bag tags when I reached the next frequent flyer status level.  I check in online or from my mobile and then go straight to bag drop when I arrive at the airport.  Much more efficient than standing in lines.

4. A small size laptop to take on the go.  Mine fits in a large handbag.  When I'm at home I use it to connect to my television so I can watch video stored on my portable hard drive.  I have a tablet too, but it's for accessing documents and not great for writing.

5.  To complement my laptop and tablet, I finally invested in decent mobile broadband as the rates in hotels are extremely inflated and it's not always convenient to go on the hunt for somewhere with free wi-fi; and there are security considerations with public networks that I now don't need to worry about.

6. Smells can evoke home.  Usually hotel rooms smell of cleaning products, or worse, like the last person who stayed there.  I have a portable aromatherapy diffuser that travels in its own zip up pouch with enough space for two small bottles of essential oil.  I carry a lively and refreshing oil like peppermint or lime which I diffuse when I first arrive and also a sleep blend for bedtime.  My hotel room smells familiar.

7. I always pack my walking shoes and make time to wander around at the beginning or the end of the day.

8. When I return home I unpack immediately.  I don't want to be living out of a suitcase after I've returned home.  Toiletries and aromatherapy diffuser stay in the suitcase.

9. Lastly I have my own reliable taxi driver.  He always turns up on time or sends someone if he can't come.  Again, there's no waiting in lines.

What do you do to make regular travel easier?

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