BEAT THE LAG
To decrease the effects of jet lag, try to adjust your bedtime for up to a week before you depart on your trip. That way, your body clock has already begun to adapt to the time at your arrival destination. Try it as it really does work.
PLAY IT SAFE
Before leaving for an overseas holiday go to smartraveller.gov.au to inform the Australian Government of the dates of your absence from Australia and where you will be. This is in case there is any turmoil in another country so you will always be looked after. ACHILLES MAVROS
Having decided on a trip to Shanghai and Chengdu with a few days in Hong Kong, we then had to provide five pages of personal information, photos of a certain size and information of where we had travelled in the past two years which all had to be signed by a JP. This was then sent off with new and old passports at a cost of $530 for two visas. If we had known this before we booked, we would have gone elsewhere. We are still waiting to hear if we get the visas. It pays to do your homework and ask questions before you pay up.
CHARGE IT UP
Always carry a portable USB charger battery pack with you. When you are travelling it is essential to be able to recharge your phone, camera, iPad and laptop. There is nothing worse than missing out on photos because your battery’s flat. It is also difficult to recharge when you are out and about all day.
Bring suction hooks from home and stick on the glass shower screen, inside and out. Use a hanger for the bigger items, and leave to dry. If a speedier dry is required, stick the suction cups to your hotel window where the sun is shining through and the drying time will be super quick.
If you have a bad back and the bed in your accommodation is hard (like it was in China), request another couple of doonas. Fold them lengthways and you will end up having four to six extra layers of pillow top to sleep on. This will help soften the wooden slats on the bed base and you won’t find yourself as stiff in the morning.
Having spent a large part of my working career flying all over the world, I’d like to offer a few words of advice for new long-haul flyers. For long flights, make sure you select your seats – determine the make and model of the aircraft for your flight and log onto seatguru.com to find a seat map for your aircraft. The best ride is in the centre of the aircraft over the wings. The worst ride is at the rear of the aircraft, where the tail moves around more, particularly in turbulence.
On larger aircraft, sitting towards the front means you will get to the customs and immigration queue at your destination before the few hundred other passengers on your flight.
PIC OF THE WEEK Seriously ... is this even real life?! From Australia to the Loire Valley in the French countryside ... my home for the next month.