Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Surviving Travel Torture | Top Tips

As most of you will probably know, I have been travelling around a lot recently. Because of this, I have spent quite a bit of time on public transport, with all the joys and pitfalls that it brings! So I thought I'd come up with a list of my top tips that have helped me survive the last ten days.

1. Beat the boredom!
Always try to make sure you have at least two things that you can use to occupy yourself whilst travelling. I say two because if you, like me, get bored of one thing quite quickly, then you're going to need all the options you can get! Personally, I like to make sure I have my phone and headphones on me, so I can listen to music or tweet about all the fun I'm having (hahaha), and I make sure I have a book or magazine as well. Recently, I've also been carrying a notepad around with me, which comes in handy if I want to jot anything down.

This is my bucket list book/travel diary that I got for my birthday from Etsy - I absolutely love it!
2. Always, ALWAYS bring an extra layer
I know what you're all thinking: "I'm going somewhere hot, why would I need a jumper?" The important word in the question is "going" - you're not quite there yet! I always without fail have a jumper or a hoodie with me when I travel, especially on planes, because they are so useful! They can keep you warm if you're waiting around, be makeshift pillows if you fancy a sleep and be used to tie handbags to suitcases so you don't have to carry everything at once. Trust me, they're worth sacrificing a little bit of hand luggage room!

3. Know your route
I seem to have the very worst luck with trains - on almost every journey something goes wrong, most of the time because of me! To try to reduce disasters, I make sure I know the route my train will take. Unless you are going from one big train station to another, you will most likely have at least one change over, and that change over is not always necessarily where your train terminates. It is always useful to know where your train actually stops, to prevent the on platform confusion when the board says your train is going to Nottingham but you need to go to Birmingham New Street! I would suggest using the Trainline app 'Live departures' section for on-the-go confirmation.

This is our plane information to Budapest, but can you see that delay?!
4. Carry a charger in your bag
This tip isn't always practical, however, there are many places on trains and in airports that you can charge your phone or laptop, and if you rely on your electronics for tickets and sorting out travel details, a dead battery can be a nightmare!

5. Food is your friend
When I'm doing a long train journey with lots of change overs, I sometimes realise that I've been travelling for hours without eating or drinking. Sitting down for long periods of time can mean you don't feel hungry, and having to rush from one train to another with two minutes to spare doesn't give you any time at all to buy anything even if you did fancy it. Because of this, I try to make sure I bring snacks and a water bottle, so I can eat if I want to (always) and also save money on pricey station food! This also works for airplane delays. In most cases you are allowed to take some packaged food through security, and by taking an empty water bottle you can fill it up when you have passed through.

Delicious dried mango with our broken down plane in the background

6. Have a place for the important things
Nothing is worse than the panic of thinking you've lost your passport or tickets! I am absolutely awful at organisation, and to top it off have a memory like a sieve, which has led to me forgetting tickets and passports everywhere (including the toilets of Luton airport). Therefore, it is 100% necessary that I have a place for all my 'can't get there without it' items. Whether it be an inside pocket of your bag, or a slot in your purse, have a place where you consistently put your important things - it saves a lot of stress!

Overall, my number one tip would be 'Expect the best, but prepare for the worst'. It my seem a bit morbid, but I'd much rather be prepared when away from home than caught short, wouldn't you?

I hope you enjoyed my list of travelling tips, if you've got any more ideas please comment and let me know! Much more regular posts from now on I promise, so keep checking back! Thanks for reading, and happy travelling!

Challot :)

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