Be prepared for travel issues
Before you board your flight, make sure you are prepared for the situation you are flying into. Metro News Service
It’s okay to be nervous.
Far more than you would ever think, clients sit across my desk after picking out a spectacular vacation, only to say, "I’m nervous, can you talk me through it?"
This feeling is okay. It’s a sign you are stepping beyond your comfort zone and becoming a traveller not just a tourist. I myself am not immune to this feeling. In fact next month my husband and I are headed to Africa. While this has always been a dream of mine, I had a schedule in mind, and this year was not when it was for. So many thoughts went through my mind, I’m not ready, it’s too soon, and so many more. It actually makes me laugh a little at myself. I’ve designed adventures for many people to Africa over the years, always knowing that this was a bucket list trip for myself indeed. But when the notice came that I had earned this trip for sales excellence, it sent my mind racing.
So how do you prepare for a trip of a lifetime where you become a traveller and not just a tourist? How do you get ready for an experience far beyond anything you have experienced before? Here’s how I’m approaching it.
• Understand what is going on in the region of where you are travelling. For example our tour will come to a close in Capetown. Capetown is unfortunately approaching “Day Zero” of water supply. They are anticipating that by mid-April (possibly mid-May) there will be no water left in the dams at all. They have brought in the military to guard the water sources and to ration the people. How do I prepare as a traveller about to enter their city? For starters I will be packing body wipes, as I am anticipating showering will be extremely limited if allowed at all. I’m anticipating the cost of bottled water to be very high, and I will be taking electrolyte packets, to assist in making sure dehydration isn’t a factor.
• Arriving in another country can be overwhelming at the best of times, much less late at night (which we will be). We have arranged for a driver to meet us at the airport with our names on a sign to take us directly to our hotel. Following 30-plus hours of travel time, I’m not too excited to take a taxi to get me to where I want to go. In many destinations I prefer a car service over a taxi. A car service is a flat rate whereas a taxi is whatever the meter rounds itself to.
• When travelling to a destination that really pushes your boundaries, join a group. On this particular journey Collette Vacations has provided us with the tour. We will be in a group of approximately 25 guests. There are many companies that will travel as much smaller groups of only eight to 12 depending on the destination.
• Go into the experience knowing that it is going to be different from home, and that is okay. If you want everything to be the same as home … stay home. I love to experience new things, new cultures, the people, the music and more. I also know that while my mind is a traveller, I’m very sad to say my nose is a tourist, or so I discovered in the fresh markets of Palermo Sicily. Those markets were beautiful, but the smell of the fish will never fully leave my mind.
• Leave it behind. That is the motto when packing for an adventure. There simply isn’t a way to take it all with you. In Africa when you board some of the local smaller aircraft, luggage allowance is literally determined by what can be ‘shoved’ onto the plane. If they can’t shove your luggage in and close the door, it stays behind. This is one destination where the designer hard case luggage is best left at home. It’s a great time to instead opt for a durable duffle bag.
So how do you cross that threshold of being nervous? Embrace it. Nerves aren’t always a bad thing. A small dose of nerves keeps you on your toes. Keeps you aware of your surroundings, which is important no matter where you travel. Perhaps what you are really feeling, is anticipation of the best adventure you’ve ever imagined, so enjoy it! Take that next step to be inspired to see world as a traveller. It’s also good to remember nothing amazing ever happens from within your comfort zone.
Glenda Beagle is the owner and manager of Marlin Travel in Camrose and is passionate about inspiring you to see the world one story at a time.