Tips for the Thrilled Traveller

It’s the night before your big adventure and you’re sure you have everything under control. But certainty aside, on the eve of the beginning of your journey, it’s easy to overlook the lesser-known, trivial details. Trust me, I know

I travelled to Alaska, USA, this June/July school holidays, and while I thoroughly enjoyed this enchanting place, there are a few things I would’ve liked to remember to pack to make my holiday even more enjoyable, and also things that I would hate to forget to pack.

Earplugs

Like it or not, you might get cooped up with crying babies or boisterous travelers for a 9 hour flight, so you’d better have your earplugs on hand! This will prevent you from getting ear infections and will also guarantee you peace, no headache and a good night’s rest.

Binoculars

Always pack your binoculars! I’ve lost count of how many times I kicked myself, especially in Denali National Park, when an animal was spotted in the distance and I couldn’t get a good look.

Motion sickness medication

Especially during cruises, aeroplane and helicopter flights and even sometimes during long drives on bumpy roads, you are sure to reach for your motion sickness medication. When I was on a cruise that departed from Seward, Alaska and we were traveling on the Pacific Ocean, which is infamously choppy and sea-sickness invoking, I felt extremely “green in the gills”, while the motion sickness medication my mom thoughtfully brought was in our hotel room in Anchorage. Somebody fainted, and practically everyone onboard threw up or felt sick, so the boat was turned back without reaching our destination, the stunning Kenai Fjords. Moral of the story: Always carry your motion sickness medication!

Travel adapters

Thankfully, I have never made this unfortunate mistake, but I sure would hate to! In countries where the hotels have plug-points that are different to the ones we have in South Africa, it is essential to take your travel adapter. This will enable you to charge your devices, as your hotel may be unable or unwilling to lend you an adapter.

Prescription medication

Don’t forget your meds, as the consequences can be dire! It is imperative that you bring an adequate amount to last the duration of your trip. Include copies of your prescriptions, as proof that you are carrying and consuming medication under doctors’ orders, especially when entering countries with strict drug laws.

Unabridged birth certificate and affidavit

In an attempt to curb human trafficking, new laws decree that minors that are traveling in and out of the country must have an unabridged birth certificate. When a minor is traveling with grandparents, other relatives or only one parent, they must have a signed affidavit from their absent parent/s or guardian/s. Not having either of these documents could prevent you from leaving the country, thus ending your holiday before it began, or preventing you from returning home.

Traveling is a magical experience, but it isn’t for the lazy, irresponsible, disorganized, faint-hearted or materialistic. Sometimes the smallest conveniences or moments make for the most fabulous holiday.

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