Jo Sea­gar

shares her trav­el­ling tips

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS - AWW

It’s trav­el­ling time again… I head off on one of my cook­ing tours about this time of the year, and you know what? I’ve de­cided I ab­so­lutely adore air­ports. I’m re­ally mad for them. I like the strange beauty of air­port ar­chi­tec­ture – Dubai and Hong Kong are par­tic­u­larly space-age and fas­ci­nat­ing. And all those lit­tle shops and the sam­ples of ev­ery known per­fume in the world… I love try­ing dabs of fab­u­lously ex­pen­sive eye cream and serums. And yes, I would like to sam­ple that 28-year-old sin­gle malt Scotch whisky, thank you – even though it’s only 8.45 in the morn­ing!

I hadn’t trav­elled over­seas un­til I was in my early 20s. My par­ents had been once or twice, and read­ers who are roughly my age may re­mem­ber the ex­cite­ment of hav­ing your par­ents go to Fiji and bring you back a tran­sis­tor ra­dio. Own­ing one of those was the ul­ti­mate in cool.

When I even­tu­ally ven­tured through the magic de­par­ture doors my­self, set­ting off on my big

OE, I was off to see the world and ex­pand my hori­zons. Air­ports to me are all about get­aways to in­de­pen­dence and ad­ven­ture.

It’s rare for me to get from pass­port con­trol to the gate without a few pur­chases. One of those is al­ways a bot­tle of wa­ter to take on the flight. Un­less you’re at the pointy end of the plane, you can’t rely on the flight crew com­ing around with those lit­tle flimsy plas­tic cups all that of­ten. My trav­els have also taught me the fol­low­ing: l Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. l Leave all your jan­gly sil­ver bracelets at home. l Don’t wear a belt or over­size metal ear­rings, as hav­ing to re­move these will hold you and ev­ery­one else up at se­cu­rity. It’s ter­ri­bly easy to leave things be­hind at X-ray or for others to grab your pre­cious bits and pieces from the mul­ti­ple plas­tic bins on the con­veyer belt, so I count my pos­ses­sions as I pass through these points – bag, iPad, jacket, shoes

– four things; also help­ful when in a tired jet-lag fug!

On­line check-in takes the stress out of

Read­ers may re­mem­ber the ex­cite­ment of par­ents bring­ing back a tran­sis­tor ra­dio.

queu­ing, so use this fa­cil­ity. Book­ing ex­cess bag­gage is so much cheaper on­line and saves any em­bar­rass­ing repack­ing at the air­port.

Know the rules and get or­gan­ised be­fore you leave home. All liq­uids and gels in the cor­rect size plas­tic bag – this in­cludes lip­stick, gloss and gel-filled pens. Don’t even think of tak­ing a lit­tle pocket knife, scis­sors or nail clip­pers in your carry-on bag – you will be for­feit­ing them for sure.

Be re­spect­ful and help­ful to the se­cu­rity staff. Re­mem­ber, we are lucky that they are so thor­ough, so don’t get im­pa­tient or grumpy at the check­points.

Mod­ern light­weight lug­gage on wheels is the best way to go – for­get the back­pack of my youth and zip-pop­ping suit­cases. I’ve never re­gret­ted the fright­en­ingly ex­pen­sive in­vest­ment in light­weight tough­ened alu­minum Ri­mowa lug­gage.

I al­ways carry a soft cot­ton or silky pash­mina scarf with me. In the air it serves as a pil­low and a blan­ket, and at my des­ti­na­tion as a wrap, so it’s very ver­sa­tile.

If you’re go­ing to have long stopovers in tran­sit rooms, take a light­weight travel adap­tor plug and look for a seat by a power point so you can top up your elec­tronic de­vices. It’s also my se­cret weapon to quickly break the ice and make friends of fel­low trav­ellers by shar­ing its use. Be­fore you know it, your new best friends are mind­ing your stuff while you do bath­room runs and you’re get­ting cof­fee for each other.

Yes, I re­ally do love air­ports – it could just be a mind­set, but there is some­thing emo­tion­ally con­nect­ing ob­serv­ing all those sad farewells or fond ar­rivals. I find my­self tear­ing up see­ing com­plete strangers hug­ging and smil­ing – the ex­pres­sions are just price­less.

Oh, my last handy tip – take a photo on your phone of the po­si­tion of your parked car in the air­port carpark. These ar­eas are enor­mous and there’s noth­ing worse for tired re­turn­ing trav­ellers than hav­ing to do the marathon slog look­ing for where you left the

ve­hi­cle.

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