Travel Blog

Read all about our journeys, experiences and observations from the team at Gilpin Travel.

16 Nov

Road Warriors and their handy hints!

Tales by the desk of Keith Sumner

Notes taken on the run in the Middle East from our own talent pool of travellers!

First Traveller (Unnamed for fear of being compared to George Clooney in "Up in the Air") Serious traveller, away for 2/3rds of the year! Has Global customers - Interviewed in flight and notes jotted down on airline sick bag! Covered all sides of it and he still had more to offer! Airports •Carry only overhead locker bag. Never check on bags. Lived for 3 months once out of this bag. Sometimes in US one hour wait for luggage. •Must carry APEC card for fast lane access esp. Hong Kong where queues are bad. APEC card means you have given permission to Immigration to look at your police record so you are less likely to be stopped/searched! •Apec card for China means no visa reqd..Saves money. (Same for Chile?) •Board flights first in the US – overhead lockers fill up (not well regulated) •Gold status speeds checking •Shower access vital •Queues appalling in Manila. If no APEC lane try aircrews lane and present APEC card! •Ignores LAGs regs and never caught. Carries all toiletries in clear bag anyway with clear 100 ml containers for min weight and space. Muji (Japanese shop) specialises in sale of these type of products. Shops in NY, Asia and Europe Clothing •Wash smalls in bottom of shower by standing on and hang to dry over webbing for suitcase storage. •Shirts usually require min one night stay if sent to laundry early. Specify to fold for suitcase avoids coat hangers and having to refold. •Excellent service in Asia..poor in US Packing and Luggage •Overhead luggage safer – no theft. Can keep valuables in them! •Luggage must have quality wheels •Waterproof essential •Tumi brand excellent •Max size 110 linear cms fits every airline!(overhead locker..weight varies between 7 – 12kgs..British Airways unlimited) Passports •Carry multiple. Also carry duplicates – for NZ Passport cost approx $300 and say you need to travel to Israel! Arab countries always check back page first and if Israeli stamp deny entry! Use this as a reason to justify need for second passport! Advice •Website •Written – Financial Times (online too?). "The Fast Lane" by Tyler Brule. He also edits Monocle Magazine which ranks international cities for travellers – also "Wallpaper" magazine. Wallpaper comments not on Luxury but on modernity. •Trust work colleagues advice over any other. For this reason won’t use Aerolineas Argentinas or Iberia (bad referrals) â–  Accommodation â– Joined all major schemes â– Location and price key drivers. Close to meeting locations. Airlines â– Prefer to travel in the daytime – don’t need to worry about sleep. â– When sleep required change into PJs – better than sleeping in clothes â– Wear noise cancelling headphones – try them and notice the difference in engine roar –assists with fatigue â– Best airlines Air New Zealand followed by Singapore Airlines based on legroom and service. Flat bed products best – Air NZ mattress addition welcomed. â– Use Star Alliance where possible except for Latin America – One World/LAN (Lan Chile) preferred â– Avoid last flight of the night! If delayed no options and loss of a day as well as additional expense/hassle. Builds in redundancy esp. thru US â– Avoid going through NE States in winter – hub thru Southern. â– Avoid Frankfurt with Lufthansa – tight connection times problematic – hub thru Munich/Zurich instead. Pricing â– Purchase Round the World airfares. Savings considerable!16 sectors $4k - $5k economy. Changes only USD $125 per change. Good flexibility â– Use points for upgrades. Air NZ scheme best. Phones â– NZ has some of the highest roaming charges in the world â– Prefers to roam out of the UK 35 pounds (euro?) per month. Unlimited roaming per country â– Carries four phones for backup â– Nokia Blackberry a rip-off Credit cards/Cash â– Carry multiple cards. ATM machines unreliable. General â– Always arrive the night before a big meeting. Appear refreshed and allows for contingencies. â– E Book great for mass storage but small weight. Easy to read in flight too in poor light. .