April 3, 2013

Do "travelers" have a choice ?

Remember an earlier post where I talked about how LP and I had been to India for a quick vacation last December for a family marriage ? Well, I was reliving the memories of the trip today when I glanced through the countless pictures that we took. Vacations always fly by so fast. Sigh !

Just as I was looking through the snaps, I couldn't help reminisce the 1st day of the vacation. Boy, it never felt like vacation-time until the time we checked in our luggage at the starting airport.

I would love to share these highlights cum traveler-checklist-points with you. :) Hope they help you too.
  1. Never attend work on the day when your vacation starts - I know what you are thinking. What kind of a person would plan on attending work even if its for a few hours on the day of the vacation ? The answer is - a person like me. But believe me I have sulked enough on this point. This was plain bad planning and circumstances too. So right till Friday of the earlier week, things were on track. Come Monday - the first day of vacation and everything starts falling apart. Or atleast seems so.

    (a) Firstly, one of the team members to whom I decide to handover my responsibilities during my vacation decides to take-off from the team without prior intimation.

    (b) Secondly, even when you plan your things so well and ahead of time, certain work situations will ensure you get a mini heart attack. ;-) Like being requested by the boss to fill in for an urgent 11 AM-12 PM meeting because no one else from the team can attend that day. Talk about everyone's conflicting meetings just when you thought you need to leave at 1 PM sharp.

    (c) And lastly, ensuring to send the minutes of the urgent meeting to the rest of the team before leaving office because no one else has the important updates from the meeting other than me ! I learnt many lessons that day. 
  2. Never pack too much - Even though this point is listed as second, I feel it is the most important point of this checklist. So once I reached home after work, got dressed and reached the airport, LP and I waited patiently at the checking counter with our luggage. Just when we were ready to check-in, a family rushed through to the same counter. Looked like they were late for their check-in and had to move fast to not miss the boarding. We made way for them as they had 2 small kids as well. From what I observed they were 4 people - 2 parents with 2 kids in the age group 3-5 years. They had 2 check-in suitcases and 1 carry-on travel handbag. In comparison, we were just 2 adults but with 4 check-in suitcases, 2 carry-on trolleys, 2 laptop backpacks and last but not least my handbag. I rest my case. :-) 
  3. Even if you need to pack a lot, never carry too much in hand baggage - Even after we checked-in our suitcases, we were still stuck with 5 pieces of hand baggage which can be quite daunting to carry when you need to travel in total 3 flights for over 24 hours till you drop dead at home. And obviously, it is quite tiring to run around with so many bags in airports during last minute surprises. Again bad planning and circumstances. We were visiting home after so long that we just couldn't stop gorging on the umpteen gifts for the near and dear ones. :-) Heart ruled over head, I guess. But during our return journey, once all of the gifts were out, we traveled so light that it was the best feeling in the world !
    Duty-free shopping :)
  4. Always plan extra time with loved ones during vacations - Like I said earlier, since this trip came after a long time, the purpose being a family wedding, no matter how much ever time we spent with family, it was less. At the end of it all, it never felt like "good time spent with loved ones".
  5. Try avoiding single long-haul flights - Well, this is more of a personal choice than a must-have. In our case, during our return journey, LP was sick by the time we landed in US after the 15-hour flight. So we decided to consider taking a couple of 8-hour flights the next time which gives us the chance to take a break at a stop-over location to stretch our legs. :-)
Well, these are just my experiences.

Do share if you have similar observations or completely different ones ?
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