Chapter 4 What’s On Your List?

Chapter 4    What’s On Your List

In Chapter 3 we talked about Making a List, or Lists…and this chapter will cover what you may want to include on that “list”….for the items on this list can “make or break” your travels. In addition to the “list”….there are some basics to include in your carry on, and I got the following from a travel blogger, Jamie.

When you think of the best parts travel, immersing yourself in new cultures and eating authentic food probably sound more appealing than flying to your destination. But, when you have the right things with you, your flight can be the ideal time to relax and dream of all the discovery to come! To make your time in the sky even more enjoyable, we reached out to Go Ahead staff to hear which products they always pack in their carry-on bags. Here are ten of their favorites to have with you the next time you take to the skies.

One thing is for sure: Digging for your passport and other travel documents isn’t nearly as fun as digging into culture. That’s why having a functional travel wallet on hand is a must—and why we love the colorful selection made by Zoppen. With well-organized pockets for your boarding pass, money, cell phone, and more, you’re guaranteed to have everything you need at the ready. Plus, the wallet’s RFID-blocking material prevents anyone from electronically nabbing ID info and credit card numbers, so you can stroll through busy terminals at ease (and in style!).

2

Water bottle
If you’ve ever arrived at an airport’s security line just in time to remember you’ll need to toss the full water bottle in your bag, this tip’s for you. Next time you pack up your carry-on essentials, bring along an empty water bottle. You can fill it once you’re through security instead of paying high airport prices for a bottle while waiting to board your flight. Then, you’ll be able to refill it during your adventure (as long as it’s safe to drink tap water at your destination). We love the Hydro Flask bottles, which are insulated to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, making it easier to stay hydrated while quenching your thirst for adventure.

3

A good read
Far-off places spring to life from the pages of a good book, and bringing a travel-centric tale along during your flight is sure to get you dreaming of all the adventure to come. The Go Ahead team is full of top travel book recommendations, but one of our staff favorites is The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. In it, Weiner says there’s a link between inspiring destinations and overall happiness… and we can’t argue with that!

4

Noise-canceling headphones
If you’d rather catch up on a good flick while coasting through the sky, noise-canceling headphones are the way to go. While quite reprieves may be hard to come by on busy flights, these headphones help keep any outside noise (think: crying babies) at bay while you tune into your movie or music. Want an option that won’t break the bank? Check out Sony’s over-the-ear headphones, which are comfortable enough for long trips and fold up when you’re ready to pack them away.

Portable charger
Enjoy passing the time on flights by watching movies on your tablet? A portable charger is the thing to bring. One of our top picks is the Jackery Bolt, a small-but-reliable external battery charger with built-in cords. It can provide a medium-sized smartphone with up to two full charges and give tablets and other electronics with USB ports more life. Simply plug the charger in overnight to give it some juice before you take off, and all you’ll need to think about is filling up your wine glass on tour instead of running out of battery in the air.

6

Toiletry bag
Like a good travel wallet, a roomy toiletry bag is a must for wrangling all of your in-flight essentials, and one of our favorites is the Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit. The good-looking material is sturdy, the interior is roomy, and you can simply pop your plastic gallon baggie full of 3-oz liquids inside. That way, you won’t need to go rooting around in the bottom of your tote for lotion when your parched hands need some love mid-flight.

7

Antibacterial wipes
While meeting new people is one of the best parts of travel, picking up any germs (or sharing your own) undoubtedly dampen the adventure. That’s why using antibacterial wipes is always a good idea, and Purell’s travel packs are a good go-to. You can clean your hands, tray tables, and armrests in flight for a germ-free journey, and then tuck the package in a convenient place—the wipes aren’t considered a liquid so you don’t need to worry about keeping them in your gallon baggie.

8

Hand cream
An airplane cabin’s dry, recycled air can do a number to your skin, so it’s key to have a good moisturizing cream on hand (get it?). We love L’Occitane en Provence’s creams, which hydrate without feeling greasy—and call to mind bright fragrances in the South of France. If you’re hoping to sleep as you coast through the sky, opt for the lavender scent for an extra splash of relaxation.

9

Lip balm
A refreshing wake-up may be just what you need after snoozing mid-flight, and a minty lip balm should do the trick. One of our favorites is Smith’s Rosebud Perfume Co. Minted Rose Lip Balm. It hydrates while providing an invigorating kick and a light tint, all in a compact, pretty tin.

For the trip itself, let’s start with the obvious…your camera or camera phone, and the charger. Your IPad, if you use it for photos, and its charger. If you use your IPad for Kindle, then be sure you have the books you want to read downloaded while you have an internet service available. Sun glasses are always needed, and you might think about a case to keep them from breaking.  If you like to take notes of things you see, or memorable things that happen on the trip, take along a writing tablet or note pad, and a couple of pens that work. Maybe for you it is your daily Diary. Binoculars always come in handy, but get a good one. REI is where I got mine…very pleased and only $100. A small umbrella is always good to take, for even though you may be in an area where it is not suppose to rain, be prepared in case weather turns bad. Just keep it small. Sunscreen may be needed, so stick in a tube, but it has to be the right size. For the flight, air sickness or Jet Lag pills may work, and the same for sea sickness. Slippers for the long flights are often well used, as well as a neck brace and eye covers and ear plugs. Always good if you plan on sleeping on the flight. And, if you take medications, be sure you have them with you on the flight, not in your checked luggage.

We covered the correct clothes, coats, and hats previously….but also think about personal security. If you have a fanny pack or a pouch, be sure it is RFID, which protects valuables for potential theft of private information. If you carry a purse, be sure it is RFID and has a way to strap it to your body. Men’s wallets should be kept in the front pocket of pants, not in the back pocket. If you use a back pack, they are great but can be accessed from the back, and you might want to look at one that you can carry in front of you, as well as on your back. If you are in a big crowded area, keep the pack in front of you with your arms around it. Speaking of personal security.…let’s think about the credit card and cash that you carry. First, be sure and notify your credit card company that you will be traveling outside the US, and they will probably ask what countries, and the dates, so have this handy. And, be sure and mention that you may be using both a credit and debit card. Regarding US dollars, in cash, for the most part will not be accepted in stores. Use a credit or debit card. However, dollars can be used for hotel tips, etc. but again, not widely accepted. Local cash, which you can get at ATM’s, which are very accessible, is the way to go. I do not recommend keeping much cash on you (maybe $100 converted to local currency) as you can use your debit card for almost all purchases. This process is much more common outside the US than in the US. We will talk  more about getting local currency once you arrive at the in-country airport.

Now that you have done your pre trip planning, your pre-trip packing, and have your list of items to take, you are ready to depart and head to the airport. Chapter 5 will deal with “The Airport”….from getting there to taking off….stay tuned.

Make a List…..What to Know Before You Go…Chapter 3

Chapter 3  Make A List

Make a List. I started making a list when I started traveling in 1960, while on a UCLA project to India. We did not have a lot of choice, as our Faculty Leader said, ” you can take 1 suitcase, and it has to be small”.  Well, for a 20 year old college student that grew up with a Mom that said “wear clean clothes every day”, this was not going to be an easy task. But, I made it…and I made it because of My List.

Then for 10 years, while I was with World Vision and traveled someplace every week, the list was critical, and to this day, I make a list for every trip. In fact, now I make a couple of lists. One is for the trip, and one is to prepare for the trip, and let’s start with this one. From stopping the paper,  (and yes, some people still get a newspaper), to stopping the mail, to planning out how the dogs and cats will be cared for, make that list for your departure. I even put on there adjust the heating and cooling system, depending on the time of year, and I list turn off the water if it is winter and may freeze. And so it goes. One word of caution though, that just came to me by a reader on Active Rain, only tell people that you know that you are leaving…don’t put it out there for the world to see on Facebook, etc….we are in a different world these days, and it is best that not everyone know that you are going to be traveling for 3 weeks, or whatever. But, do tell the neighbors that you know that you are leaving…could they keep an eye on the house, etc. They are always willing and you may want to return the favor…part of being a good neighbor. Put “check with the neighbors” on your list.

Plan for the trip. I like to think through the days, and what will I be doing each day. If you are walking a lot, will 1 pair of shoes work, or will you need two. What about the weather? Will you need a coat or jacket, and what attire do you want if you go to a concert, or to a fancy restaurant in Rome? Then,  I will actually make a list of day to day clothes. This may sound ridiculous, but this way I can determine how many shirts, pants, etc I will need before I will have to do the laundry. This also helps to point out that you really will not need 8 changes for an 8 day trip…or that you may need that many changes.  Then my list will start to list the activities that I am anticipating, such as climbing up a mountain, swimming in the hotel pool, or going on a photo safari. Do I have the batteries needed, as well as the tripod if I am using one, etc. Will I need my binoculars if i am looking at birds, or at a sporting event. Am I going to keep a diary, or will I use my IPad, and if so, do I have the charger(s). If I want to do some serious reading,  do I have a book or is it on Kindle, and if so, have I downloaded the books I want to read. If you want to go to the hotel gym, what do I wear? What about a hair dryer, or clippers if you have a trimmed beard or need an haircut? Well, this is the process, and smart travelers go through this at least a week in advance of departure, which gives you time to pick something up at Walmart or the local drug store.

In the next section, I am going to list some items to put on your List, in preparation for the flight, and then arrival at the airport or port….so stay tuned…Chapter 4  What’s On Your List?

 

What to Know Before You Go…Chapter 2

Chapter 2  The Internet, Web Resources, and the Travel Agency

As you start your trip planning and you are trying to determine where you want to go, use the Internet. There are a number of travel sites, but the best way, in my opinion, is to use Google and put in such things as “vacationing in Australia, or Europe, or France, or the Caribbean, etc”. Many site will come up and you can take your time and look at all of the many places that you can see and things that you can do. On our recent trip to Australia, we knew we were going to Cairns as our first step on our journey, so my wife Googled Cairns. From Cairns, which is north on Sydney, we were able to go out to the Great Barrier Reef, rode the train up to and through the Rain Forest, then rode the Skytrain back down over the Rain Forest to sea level, and back to the city of Cairns, which in itself is well worth seeing. We found all of this on the internet….then went to our agent, who had also suggested these attractions, and made the ticket arrangements.

And, you can use a site like Expedia to get an idea of flights into almost any destination in the world. They will give you prices and times, although the prices are often on bad connecting flights , or bad times, but it gives you a very good idea of when and where you can go. Trip Advisor is another good one, as this give first hand experiences from travelers.

These sites, and many others, are great for travel information, but not always good for ticketing. As I have said, and will say many more times, the local travel agent can get the same, if not better, price….they can give you the experiences of other travelers, and they can do the “hard work” for  you, such as the reservations and ticketing. That is their job. But, you can do the pre-planning by using the Internet to get your general idea of where, when, why, and what you want to do.

A word about the Travel Agency. Only the good ones have survived the Internet. And they have survived because they can offer a service that the Internet cannot. As with almost any professional services these days, you can get almost any service on the web. But, you get what you pay for. I have planned and taken trips using nothing but the internet, with sites like www.hotels.com, and  www.expedia.com, and they were good trips. But, for the most part, I was “flying by the seat of my pants”. And, when all said and done, did not save a penny. Now we use an Agency exclusively. And, a couple of other factors as to why to use an agency….(1) some are specialists, like with Cruise Lines…(2) many of the agencies are really experienced. :Been there done that”  is true for many and this experience is passed on to you…..(3) Your individual travel agent in an agency will become “your good friend”, and they will have your interest foremost in their mind as they plan for you. This is that valuable factor…and can make the difference in your travels.

Next section is entitled….”Make a List”….and this is one of my favorites, for many do not do this until they get someplace and say, “I should have made a list of these things to bring”. Stay tuned.

Napier Notes….speaking ideas, etc

This is lk beautiful walk right along the bay in Napier. Walk from the Information Center in both directions one takes you to the museum and the other take you down through the gardens to The Little Mermaid of Napier.

My talk for Napier……and talk preparation in general….

Today we will be talking about Napier.  We will talk a bit about the history of the area the city as it was leading up to the 1933 earthquake;  a little about the earthquake itself; then the rebuilding of the city; the art deco revolution; and then a bit about how it is today. We will then talk about some local attractions and ways that you can most enjoy the city during your visit and we will then talk about some of the tourist areas for shopping and souvenirs as well as some areas to just walk and enjoy the views and the location. I see my role as an information communicator In that travelers – passengers; the  people on the ship are interested in having a good time on their cruise line;  my job is to help them enjoy their vacation more.

Therefore I want to approach the job as one who can inform passengers about the Port that they are about to enter and what they can do there; what is interesting about the port and the city and the area around the port. I can do this by talking briefly about the history and background of the port city such as Napier before the earthquake then a little about the earthquake then what has happened since the massive earthquake .Then I would transition to the port today mentioned something about the Commerce and the economy that is evident in the port and then move on to what to see and do in the port city..I would then cover the main tourist attractions such as the museums the train ride in Picton NZ and the cable car in Wellington; the Cathedral and Wellington and the museums.Then I could wrap up with shopping areas and then the shuttle back to the ship and any other practical matters about the day…So it seems like I would put the presentation into three or four segments and announce this at the beginning the background and history the main attraction the shopping and truest areas and then the practical application getting on and off etc.

We had a great half day in Napier as we were there for the art deco weekend. This is an annual classic car and 1930’s weekend.  They expect 40,000 over the weekend.  Car folks come from all over to show the cars.

Napier is a remarkable place with an exciting port and an unusual beautiful downtown area with almost all rebuilt since the massive earthquake in 1933.

There are many places to visit including the completely rebuilt downtown areas but also the walk along the water is beautiful and with the trees and flowers right on the water it’s a very impressive area.

The art deco Museum has is well worth it and has a short 20 minute presentation on what happened before and after the earthquake and what turned it into the place it is today

And across the street from the art deco museum is there history is him that has a downstairs exhibit featuring the earthquake with a 20 minute revolving film about stories from survivors

Both museums are well worth it and you can do both in about an hour

That shuttle takes you right to the Information Center and from there a lot of information about the four or five main streets with lots of shops and restaurants and bars

The aquarium is very well done and has some excellent exhibits but is about a 20 minute walk from the Information Center but again well worth it if you like aquariums

If you have limited time in the port city then it’s best to leave early as the shops will open about 9….

As you leave the information Center you can walk up to Clive Square which is at the edge of the art deco area and then come back by the Cathedral which was completely destroyed and totally rebuilt very impressive with the wood and stucco and a nice of the earthquake and the organ is spectacular.In summary Napier is very much well worth the time     very impressive and rather amazing world wide to think that the city was totally destroyed and it’s been completely rebuilt. The earthquake museum really illustrate what the city went through and how they recovered in such a short time very well done.

I think it is important to mention that if you do not want to have some fun why are you here that you are on vacation to have a good time emphasize that at every presentation

So my job is to help you enjoy your vacation have some fun learn something about the area and just have a worthwhile time on your vacation

The purpose of my talk is to give you information that would help you enjoy your vacation more

As we arrived in Napier this ship comes into the harbor and turns around and then is backed into the harbor pulled buy a tug and I have it on video free see the Navy chip in for watching us and as he watches we see the buses said to come along with Bertie and his old English sports car. It looks like and mg but we will find out for sure as he will greet us as we get off the ship

The amazing thing about this Harbor is that is very small and very close to the downtown area and the course lumber activity as well as a huge story adjacent to where the ship is

Today was a most interesting day in Wellington we have just pulled away from the doc and it was very interesting to see the tugboat help get us out of the doc area with these wins as strong as they are

Today we started by taking the shuttle into the center of town and then walked to the New Zealand museum for the Galilippo  show exhibit. It was outstanding. From there we walked back the little car and R rode the cable car to the top walked around at the top then road the cable car back down and walked to the building or the clock was b**** is an old bank building completely redone

We then walk down to the Beehive and the Parliament and the State Library then to the old Cathedral which was remarkable and then was all done in wood and was very very beautiful

We then walked by the railroad station stopped and had a McDonalds coffee and sweet then back to the shuttle

The thing about today that was worth remembering for the strong winds in downtown Wellington

Wellington is a gorgeous remarkable modern sitting with this huge Harbor Bay area and very impressive with a lot to say and really too much for just one day

 

Wellington, New Zealand

Today was a most interesting day in Wellington we have just pulled away from the dock and it was very interesting to see the tugboat help get us out of the dock area with these winds as strong as they are.

Today we started by taking the shuttle into the center of town and then walked to the New Zealand museum for the Galilippo  show exhibit. It was outstanding. From there we walked back through the town and rode the cable car to the top…. walked around at the top then road the cable car back down and walked to the building of the clock, which  was built in an old bank building completely redone. We then walk down to the Beehive and the Parliament and the State Library then to the old Cathedral which was remarkable and then was all done in wood and was very very beautiful. We then walked by the railroad station stopped and had a McDonalds coffee and sweet then back to the shuttle.The thing about today that was worth remembering for the strong winds in downtown Wellington

Wellington is a gorgeous remarkable modern setting with this huge Harbor Bay area and very impressive with a lot to see  and really too much for just one day.

 

 

Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

Port Arthur is a most historical town just to the north of Hobart, the

capital of Tasmania. As we approached the bay of Port Arthur it became very

obvious that this area was incredibly heavy wooded….which started to

verify that 90% of Tasmania is wooded…..

  1. The Bay is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and was

discovered in the early 1800’s for its timber…and in 1930 became a timber

outpost for Australia , 2. Needing workers, the Australian government in

cooperation with the local business people in the lumber business, decided

to bring convicts to the area as laborers…and in 1833 created a

Penitentiary for convicts that then became the labor force. It grew from

there for the next 40 years….thus the current ruins and remains of the

original town as well as the small current town, Carnarveron,Tasmania, Australia.

  1. The Ship docked in the bay and we got on the Ship Tenders to go ashore…and

this entire procedure was orderly and well done…with about a 12-15 minute

ride in to the dock. From the dock it is easy to go to the Visitors Center

and from there take a leisurely 2 or 3 hour walk around all of the buildings

which have been renovated and modernized as much as possible, still making

it a kind of museum…

  1. The detailed history of Port Arthur is well documented, and info on the

prison, the prisoners, and their work and activity is well presented. Very

well done.

  1. Included in the Ship package was the 25 minute boat tours around the

Bay…where you can see where the Boys prison was, as well as the Island of

the Dead, which was their cemetery.

  1. This is a great one day stop…..just enough time to see this beautiful

area.

  1. In summary, so far Tasmania has been a must see spot if you enjoy natural

beauty  with mountains, beaches, wooded areas, and little towns right down

to the waters edge….one of those best kept secrets.

  1. Another factor about Tasmania is that it is one of the southern most

points before you get to Antarctica. I am told the part of Antarctica that is

easiest to reach is from South America….but if you look at the world map

you can see that Tasmania is almost as far south. One of the slogans in

Burney was “welcome to the edge of the World”…..and seems to be true. But,

also one of the most beautiful that we have seen in that you have the

feeling of the tropical areas along with the mountains and the trees…

We are in Hobart now….which is about a 2 hour ship journey south from Port

Arthur. Gorgeous wooded mountains coming right down to the city of Hobart,

which has 200,000 people….and as I write I am looking out on acres of

labeled logs ready to go on ships for export. Probably 500 containers here

either filled or empty but extremely well organized and all seem to be in

order. We will spend 2 days here…should be interesting.

All for now,