Men's Articles

Have A Pleasant Journey!

Being well prepared for an oversea trip, and staying comfortable during the holiday, are essential to you if you want to have a good time. Who doesn't like to feel their best, especially when one is a long way from home? Here is a list of things most travelers need to remain happy and contended:

Comfortable Flight

Unless you have the means to travel business or first class, it's up to you to make the flight more pleasant for yourself. On long-haul flights, moisturize your face and hands frequently. Cabin air is drying and you don't want to look withered upon arrival. Take along a toothbrush and toothpaste to freshen up after a meal. Not every airline provides amenity kits.

Wear comfortable or loose clothing. Being a shawl or sweater to keep you warm. It can also double up as a pillow. Bring along a bottle of water to keep you hydrated throughout the flight. You can keep asking the stewardesses for water, but they may not be able to attend to you immediately.

Pack Right, Dress Appropriately

It's best to travel light. Pack clothes that will stay relatively wrinkle-free and not show dirt easily. Mix and match separates so you don't need a new outfit for each day. Pack the clothes and footwear appropriate to your itinerary so you don't look out of place or find yourself unable to participate in an activity. Check the weather forecast before leaving your country so you can pack the right clothes. Why take extra sweaters if it will be hot? You can save extra sweaters for more shopping!

Find Your Way Around

If you are expected to move around on your own, find out what transport choices are available from the airport to the city before leaving home. With the Internet and travel guides, you can select the fastest and cheapest way to get your accommodation. If you appear lost, slick salespeople may prey on you and sell you an expensive limousine ride to your hotel.

Familiarize yourself with a few useful phrases if you do not speak the language used at the destination. You'll save yourself a few boo-boos. The very basics you should know are the words or symbols for the gents' and ladies' loos!

Tracking Down The Right Train

Travelling by rail during my first backpacking trip across Europe made me realise that the term "free-and-easy" can be quite the opposite of what it actually says. During my "maiden voyage", I experienced many frustrating moments because I was unfamiliar with the ticketing systems and boarding procedures at train stations. In places like France, Italy, Budapest and Prague, the biggest bugbear was the language barrier.

In countries like Canada or Australia, where service staff are mostly cheery, customer-oriented and English-speaking, obtaining information is a cinch. In many European countries, however, you'd better be certain about your travel plans and have a phrase book of essential terms ready! You'll often find long queues at ticketing counters manned by staff who speak no English and rarely have the patience to try to make out your gibberish.

After you find your way to the right railway station, tracking down the right train and carriage can be quite challenging as all the signs are in a foreign language. Don't expect help because you are unlikely to be successful - spotting any staff at the station, let alone one who understands you, is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Had I not done my homework before leaving home, my trip could well have turned out to be even more stressful and difficult. Fortunately, the lists of common French and Italian terms I brought along were very helpful for deciphering the signs and tracking down trains, carriages and seats. After getting more accustomed to the European rail system, I found it an efficient, convenient and comfortable way to travel. The lesson I learnt was: Be well prepared!


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