No, it’s not checking your passport (although that’s important) and it’s got nothing to do with working out foreign currencies or putting bookmarks in your Lonely Planet book for places you don’t want to miss.
It’s about the shopping.
You see shopping while you are on a trip is fun – true. But the pre-travel shopping you get to do BEFORE your trip is the best shopping ever.
I tried to figure out why pre-travel shopping gives me such pleasure. I think part of it is because it is guilt free. After all – I am going to be travelling – so naturally I NEED a new pair of sketchers as opposed to wanting a new pair. It is so easy to justify buying new things when you are preparing for a trip and what a rush when you get home and unpack that new travel bag, walking shoes, quick drying socks – not to mention the new sunglasses (but I NEEDED them). I often feel that the planning and preparation of a trip can be just as much fun as the trip itself. Although be careful with your pre-trip shopping budget….
There are so many fun travel things that you really will need for your next trip –
You might need a new suitcase – heaven knows – mine is really battered by now so I think I will be looking at this soon. Decisions decisions. Do I go soft cover or hard cover? Four wheels are definitely a must. Something distinctive would be good so I can spot it on the carousel. If you can’t find a distinctive looking suitcase you can always buy a sticker for your old suitcase and ensure that nobody will pick this one up from the carousel
Apart from the usual travel essentials such as a rain jacket, travel umbrella, anti-pickpocket purse there are some really fun things you can add to your pre-travel shopping list.
Running around airport terminals dragging your suitcase but need to stow your coffee cup somewhere? No problem …
Or this one … a portable bidet no less. Seriously. I must be missing something here but just look at all those happy faces on the box!!
And for those hot and sweaty destinations – now all your troubles are over with this air conditioned shirt
And with this nifty gadget you will never need to worry about catching the flu …or anything else for that matter
The germ wand will keep you protected as you sanitise your seat before your fly. Although your fellow passengers may think that you are auditioning for the next Star Wars film
But this hand travel gadget wins hands down –
Much better than the coffee cup holder – imho.
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook and I think that is the same for many people. I notice that from time to time people will take a break from Facebook and suddenly it is as if they have disappeared off the face of the planet. Others will be super vigilant with their Facebook settings and will have such high privacy barriers that all you see is their profile picture – and this is probably a good thing.
The fact is that Facebook is so dominant now in our society and so much of what we do, say, buy or feel can be linked to articles that we have read or shared on Facebook.
The reason for my current interest is that I just went through some Facebook training (yes there is such a thing and it does not revolve around how to post a selfie). The statistics were quite surprising. 62% of people use Facebook to check out local restaurants, small businesses and local events. Facebook users check their newsfeed an average of 11 times a day! Wow!
A recent conference I went to featured Facebook as a stress break for workers during the day. It’s like the new smoke break. Working on a tight timeline? Getting stressed out. Take a couple of minutes break to check Facebook and then return to that cost analysis feeling de-stressed and revived.
Hmmmm. Do you agree? Does that really work?
Being in the travel industry Facebook is very important to me. I follow Facebook pages of my various suppliers which are usually closed groups where they can advise us of special offers coming up and a forum to share problems and resolve issues with their representatives. It can sometimes be a quick and effective way to get something done – maybe quicker than a phone call. It is also an interesting platform to keep up to date with trends in the travel industry and see what people who are out there travelling really think of the tour / cruise / hotel. Just recently I read an interesting article of how Medellin in Colombia is re-inventing itself. It was on Facebook so it was a quick read and it was there – front and centre on my feed. I doubt if I would have picked up a magazine and read that. Private groups on Facebook are a great way of sharing advice with colleagues as well as having a shoulder to cry on when retail fatigue sets in.
So those are all the things I love about Facebook.
What about the thing I hate most about Facebook?
Those posts where you are expected to share it otherwise you are a bad person – usually prefaced by “I know 98% of my friends won’t post this to their facebook” …. Aaaargh – don’t do that to me.
Those posts about what level of Candy Crush you have reached.
And the fact that – yes – my innate sense of curiosity and noseyness means that I am one of those 11 times per day newsfeed checkers.
And I must admit – I also check how many people like my Travel Lady Facebook page and I am thrilled to see new likes – because it means that somebody out there is listening!
It’s supposed to be the season of good will. The season when we do the right thing – tell the truth, remember to say thank you, think of others. It doesn’t always work that way. Take the Christmas letter – you know – that annual letter that is typed out and popped into the Christmas cards. What is it about those letters? You get one, sit down and read it and then realise that your past year has just been a disaster compared with this amazing family who seem to have perfect children all with PhD’s and pets that don’t poop on the carpet. It’s really nothing more than a brag fest.
Instead of reading about how Jane has met the perfect young man who happens to be a heart specialist and is already wealthy in his own right, despite the fact that his father is one of the moguls of industry …. imagine this….
Dear Friend, I hope this letter finds you well and looking forward to Christmas. If you are ready perhaps you could come round and give me a hand. I still haven’t put up a single Christmas decoration. I did drag the box upstairs but then the dog got into it and swallowed a whole bunch of tinsel so I ended up at the vet – which you know is going to cost me hundreds – because they had to give him an enema to get rid of the sparkly bits. So by the time I got home it was a bit of a job to get the carpet sorted out. By this time Jeff had come home to tell me that his girlfriend is pregnant and they are getting married. He has to quit school now and he is only 17 so I don’t know where that leaves us. He says there is plenty of room in the basement, if only I can move the rest of the Christmas decorations. Of course his girlfriend’s dad is mad with Jeff and it’s not made any easier with her dad being my boss. Talk about awkward. I went to see my doctor about these headaches and he says it’s stress – is he kidding? He said that if we were in the States he could give me a prescription for medical marijuana but seeing as we live in Canada I will just have to make do on paxil. I suppose I could always use some of Jeff’s – marijuana that is …. but then you don’t know about that so forget I said it. Oh… have to rush…. the dog just threw up three glass baubles and half a Santa….. Happy Christmas.
Now friends like that I can handle! So for all of you out there who are not perfect at this Christmas stuff – from one amateur to another – have the best Christmas ever!