The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Don't forget

Span's essentials for any extended trip (some of which I forgot):

- a travelling companion or group - I know this isn't always possible but it is nice, someone to share the experiences with, help you keep your calm when you're sick and miserable, and lower your costs at the same time!

- playing cards - for those long waits for trains, on trains, on the way to the train, on the way from the train, and when your plane is stuck in the wrong city and the inflight entertainment is on the blink. I struggled to find any packs for under 10 Euros, but eventually picked up a Yellow Submarine set of cards from the Deutches Museum in Munich. Bonus!

- a comb - hair brush isn't really necessary and takes up more space, I tend to think.

- the emails of your friends and whanau at home - because otherwise you will feel completely disconnected from anything except the moment you are in.

- a good digital camera and lots of memory space - thanks to all those who helped out with advice on this back before the trip.

- a suitcase that expands - no matter how much you send home (or how little you buy) you will inexplicably have a lot more in your bag by the end of your trip. Possibly even 20kg more, who knows?

- chafing cream - chafing is the travel ailment that seems to be mysteriously absent from all the travel books. And you try asking for it in a foreign country where you are largely reliant on hand gestures...

Any other suggestions?


David Farrar said...

Yes travelling companions are very nice! Cars also very good.

span said...

We only had a car for a third of the trip and travelled mainly by train for the rest of the time - wish I could do that here!

It was good having the car (for the UK), but there's a certain strange satisfaction in getting up really early to walk to the C-line station, to catch the train into the city, to catch a bus to the town nearest the airport, to catch a taxi from that town to said airport, to catch plane to another country, to catch another bus to the coach station, sit around for a few hours soaking up the new city, then cram into another bus for an overnight drive to a whole new place. Tiring, but.

Michael said...

An expanding suitcase! It's amazing how 16Kg you take away and 5Kg you mail back becomes 24Kg when your suitcase weighs in for the return trip when you haven't bought anything heavier than a postcard.

Thankfully, Cathay and Qantas didn't charge me for the excess.

I am determined not to have a repeat this year!

Pamziewamzie said...

What's chafing cream exactly..?

span said...

Haven't you seen the ads on telly? They are quite funny, in a 1973 kind of a way.

stef said...

To easily identify your luggage, tie an obniouxusly colored ribbon to it. I use fluro organge, and my bags stand out very easily which is good when you are in a jetlagged state at the airpot.

span said...

That's an ace tip Stef, I've been using an original America's Cup lucky red sock around the handle for years and it has done the job mighty fine.

Pamziewamzie said...

You were right - I have a rash on my legs, wish I had taken your advice!!

span said...

I forgot to list decent walking shoes - I took a pair of Teva sandals which were magnificent and some Rockport sneakers - both cost me a bomb but were well worth it, given the seemingly endless amount of time spent on my feet, especially on cobblestones.

Sorry to hear you have also fallen victim to the chafing epidemic. It's the travel injury that no one ever mentions.