The Long and Winding Road Shortened and Straightened (Part 1)
Handsome Jake is a rock 'n' roll doctor from Perth, Australia and is the lead singer of Aussie rock band The Caballeros.
I am lucky, I was born in Australia in the 80's and for the most part, our economy has gone from strength to strength. That meant growing up I could put away money to go travelling internationally.
I know, to a lot of people that seems like a luxury and it seems totally out of reach, but I couldn't recommend it more.
So, I thought I would write a list of a few tips and tricks I learnt along the way and share them with you.
Packing isn't fun, but it is sort of mandatory. And you know what? I always do it at the last moment. This is not advised for people who like control of their lives.
For years, I thought a backpacker's swag bag with all the straps was a great idea. And it is if you are going hiking up Everest or through the jungle. The benefits being you get back support and it locks and it's waterproof and and and and... you get it.
But on my last trip, I took a suitcase that had wheels. Lord let me tell you; if you are a city slicker like me and prefer concrete and dive bars to beaches and sand in your ass, then wheels are for you! Take caution when it comes to stairs though. You'll figure it out, you're smart.
Well they are the worst aren't they?
Don't let them be.
- Step 1: Buy nothing, except booze.
If you have forgotten something, get it when you land and not at the airport. Just go straight to the bar and buy overpriced booze. Get a buzz on, stand at the bar (you'll be sitting for a while) and wait for the last call. Your travel partners may hate this but it really is for the best.
- Step 2: Want to be treated like a person? Act like one.
You know how you hate going to airports because people there are the worst? IMAGINE WORKING THERE! People who work at airports are saints for dealing with people like us day in and day out. Be a total legend and smile, take your time and be polite, pretty simple really.
- Step 3: Why the hell are you wearing your pyjamas? Dress the part.
The plane is cramped and gross and comfort is paramount, I get it. But have you ever been late on the plane and walked through first class with everyone already sat in there seats? Were any of them wearing Pyjamas? No. Not a chance. Now think of it like this; there are empty seats in first class and you have been a total legend to all the staff and smiled your way through the whole airport and aren't dressed like a total slob. There is a lot higher chance of you being upgraded because you look and act the part. Even if you don't get upgraded, you look great and everyone thinks you're an upstanding citizen. Maybe you will get a tour of the cockpit!
Getting to Your Destination
Let me guess. Despite looking awesome and being the coolest person on the plane, you still feel pretty gross after being in a steel tube that was shot through the sky for what seemed like an eternity.
I feel you!
Do what you can to organise a check-in to your hotel for right after you land. If you have to pay a little extra for an early check-in, do it, but most of the time you won't have to if you give sufficient warning. Again, be a legend on the phone when asking and they might even bump you up to a nicer room.
Get in and shower. Even if you don't think you need one. Believe me, you do. Shower, clean clothes and fresh socks... that last one is very important.
If you have changed time zones dramatically (more than 5 hours) it is really important to get in sync with the sun A.S.A.P.
Leave Perth (Where I am from. West Coast! Best Coast!)
*Editor's note: That's to be debated.
23:50: Fly to Melbourne (03:45 flight) and land next day 05:25 Melbourne time. Wait in airport for 4 hours. Leave Melbourne 09:15 to Los Angeles (14:20 flight) land 06:35 Los Angeles time same day. Total time in transit (not including to and from the airport either side) is 21:45 hours.
Basically you will be wrecked and you wont know up from down and the toilets will run the wrong way.
So, it's like 8am when you have had your shower and cleaned yourself up, and by now your body will be screaming for rest. DO NOT LISTEN! You need to push through and make your body your bitch! Go walking, go to a museum, go to a fun park, hell, go to the closest open bar. Try not to go to sleep until it's actually bedtime. It will suck, but it is worth it. By 11PM, you should be hitting the hay. Set your alarm for 8am. 9 hours sleep! That's loads! Same again the next day. Don't take naps.
Anyway, all this writing is making me tired.
Time for a nap.
Part 2 coming soon!
*Check out Handsome Jake's kick ass rock band, The Caballeros.