Vacation Pearls of Wisdom

“Summer, summer, summertime.

Time to sit back and unwind”

couple-sunbathing Summer is here and it’s time to starve ourselves for that perfect swimsuit figure and cram our cases with as many unnecessary things as possible, while running around trying to get someone to water the plants and pick up the mail, set the timer on the lamp in the living room that never really gets used.

Well take a deep breath and have a look at my handy hints and tips to help you on your way and have a guaranteed fabulous holiday (as long as there isn’t another volcano eruption).

Before You Leave

There are loads of things to do at home before you go away. Here are some tips to help you without having to rely on a neighbour or family member.

  • I’ve never been very green fingered, I look at a plant and it shrivels up, however my mother loves her plants. There are a few ways to keep them thriving while you’re away.
  1.  For small plants use something like a litter tray and fill with small pebbles or grave and then add water, then sit the plants in their original potters in the tray.
  2. For larger plants fill a large jug or container with water and weight a ¼ inch piece of braided cord and bury the other end in the soil of the plant.
  • Use the Royal Mails “keepsafe” scheme. They’ll keep it for up to 2 months. Most countries have a similar scheme with their mail carriers.
  • As bizarre as it sounds cut your lawn the day before you go, so it looks like you’re still house proud. An unkempt lawn when you normally have one will make people question if anyone’s home.
  • Put your radio on a timer, sound is a lot more believable than that lamp you never use when you’re home.

 

Insurance

There are so many different insurance companies out there, but here are a few things I find handy before I buy.

  • Does it cover me on existing medical conditions?travel-insurance-h_1888942b
  • Will it cover me for a hotel if my flight gets cancelled or delayed and for how long?
  • Is all of my luggage covered or is it only clothes?
  • Does it make a pay out if (Heaven forbid) there is a terrorist attack?
  • How long will it cover me if I have to stay in hospital?

And one last thing – Always check the small print for exclusions BEFORE you buy.

Flying

Flying is one of the most stressful things to do in my opinion there’s always a small child screaming a few rows back, I know it can’t be helped but on a long haul flight there’s nothing worse. Apart from that though there’s always the panic when you check in about your luggage – is it over weight? Is my hand luggage too heavy or too big?

  • Obviously always check your airlines baggage restrictions well in advanced Janet Napolitano Launches Homeland Security Department Efficiency Review
  • Have you ever found your 99p lock broken at baggage claim – well your bag has probably gone through a random check with customs (no one’s run off with your heart print underpants) so:
  1. Use a TSA approved lock (no more broken padlocks!)
  2. Place and unmentionables you don’t want some grubby worker pawing in clear plastic bags
  • If you’re unlucky enough to have a weight restriction on your hand luggage put heavy objects in your pockets until you get to the security queue…
  • If you hate waiting at baggage claim stick a giant “FRAGILE” label on your case, not only will it be handled with extra care but it will be placed on top and be first off
  • That screaming child I was talking about before; put in earplugs before your headphones, sounds insane and you may get a few odd looks from the people sitting next to you but believe me it works like a dream.
  • Also remember to pack some clean undies in your hand luggage just in case your suitcase ends up 30,000 miles in the other direction. Preferably keep them in the zipped pocket so you don’t give poor old Roger two rows down a heart attack when you accidentally pull them out while you’re looking for your earplugs.

Travel Sickness

If you’re anything like me travelling doesn’t go down well with old stomach. There are a few cheap and very effective ways I have found to keep it at bay.

  • Flat coke, yep shake out all those bubbles and then down the hatch for a few hours of no nausea (just make sure you’re sat next to the aisle so you can use the toilets and not stuck crossing your legs because the fat bloke next to you has fallen asleep)
  • Ginger Ale, ginger has calming and neutralising properties to help keep stomach acid calm
  • A slightly more expensive one but it works and airlines usually carry them, is to suck on an olive. Olives contain a chemical called tannins that dries up the extra saliva in your mouth that causes you heave.
  • Looking at a fixed point rather than watching the cutie walking up and down the aisle also helps – admittedly not as much fun, but they wouldn’t appreciate puke on their shoes either.

While You’re Away

Remember to enjoy you’re self and leave some things up to chance, they always make for the best stories when you get home.

  • If you feel self-conscious in your swimwear, even after weeks of dieting, find someone by the pool who’s fatter than you or wearing something hideous. This way you’ll not only feel better about yourself but you’ll look better to everyone else too.
  • Spend one night pretending to be a local, follow the locals to a bar or a restaurant, you know you’ll be in for a fantastic time if the locals go there.
  • Always carry money in your bra or the waist band of your boxers, this way if you get pick pocketed or lose your bag/wallet you’ll still have cab fare back to where you’re staying.
  • Locate a local supermarket and buy your toiletries, not only does this lighten your luggage when travelling you can pick up a bargain you don’t mind leaving behind either.

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