What a rollicking chat about travel toilets, kids travel bucket lists and we even found time to talk about some day trip options from Perth.
Kids travel bucket lists is a wonderful topic. When I was a kid I always wanted to visit India because of Rudyard Kiplings story, Rikki Tikki Tavi, the story of a mongoose and his fight with some evil cobras.
We had a wonderful caller, Eloise, who described how she wanted to go to Hawaii because of the travel shows she had seen and some influences from social media as well.
Kids have travel dreams, just like grown ups. I was able to take my daughter to Sun City in South Africa and on safari at Sanctuary Retreats Makanyane Safari Lodge because of her love for the romcom movie, Blended which featured South Africa and in particular Sun City Resort.
ABOVE: SUN CITY WHERE MUCH OF THE ROMANTIC COMEDY MOVIE, BLENDED, WAS FILMED.
Books, movies, social media posts by celebrities and even sporting events inspire our destinations. What a great way to decide where you’re going to go next!
Have A Go News newspaper recently published my list of the Top Ten No Tech Travel Accessories that you should have on every trip. They’re also all lightweight and easy to store.
Aquatabs are as close as I get to panic prep packing but because they are easy to tuck in your toiletries bag with other medications they’re worth having if you ever doubt the safety of the water you’re drinking.
Have a Go News is distributed throughout Western Australia to nearly 2000 community centres, recreation centres, supermarkets and more.
So, my Top 10, in no particular order but I must admit the first thing in any of my bags is a pen . . .
I recently spent a brilliant evening on Radio Melayu chatting about my recent adventures and how we all need to find a way to get packing and escape winter by getting overseas or embracing winter and snuggling into a gorgeous resort down south.
The link below features descriptions for a few of my new favourite things, including Bali’s spectacular new resort the Apurva Kempinski Bali, Hong Kong Star Ferries and markets, Hong Kong Disneyland, Pullman Bunker Bay Resort and amazing airlines for travelling with children, including Malindo Air, Batik Air and Cathay Pacific.
Some of those golden rules about travel are still gold standard today. The featured image for this story comes courtesy of my son Tom who took the photo while I was trying antigravity yoga at Four Seasons Jimbaran, a very safe and very luxurious resort in Bali.
Travel should increase your sense of daring but not heighten your sense of stupidity. When we travel we should do things outside our comfort zone but not at the risk of needing a helicopter medical evacuation.
Similar to the choices we make when we travel, we need to consider what we travel with. These days it’s the SIM cards, power banks, cables and chords to provide the life support systems for your phone which carries the apps, emails and photos of everything you need. Or does it?
Back in the day, but still for me today, I have a standard list of ten things ready to go in my favourite bag. I know they’re there if I need them and none of them need charging.
Pen – Even if it’s just to complete the arrival card while you’re flying, it’s worth it.
Alcohol swab – not to suck on if the bar prices are too high but for any scratch you get, particularly if you’re doing a bit of trekking. Light to carry and easy to store in a pocket or wallet, just a quick wipe and you know that you’ve cleaned your little wound. Also handy if you really need to touch a dodgy tap or door handle.
Bags – Little zip lock bags and scrunched up shopping bags may be frowned upon these days but they have endless valuable uses when you travel. They’re a quick and easy sick bag, storage for a phone if you’re heading near water, you can store wet clothes and unexpected things you’ve bought and you can safely store those stolen buffet breakfast items.
Aquatabs – This is as close as I get to doomsday prepping when I travel but given they are light and easy to store it’s not like I’m stocking up on cartons of tomato soup for a nuclear winter. If you get caught without a safe water supply these little tablets can save you and whoever you are travelling with. In not much more time than it takes to dissolve, they turn a dodgy water source into a lifesaver.
Safety Pin – This will make you look more presentable if you bust a button or zip and you can use it to carefully scratch at a splinter.
Hard copy – Yes you’ve got all your passport copies, itineraries and bookings in your phone but what happens if the phone can’t save you because it’s broken or stolen? Save yourself by having copies (in a zip lock bag of course) and put them in the bottom of your bag hopefully never to be needed but they won’t take up any weight or space. Countries like South Africa will want to see hard copies of travel documents, particularly if you’re travelling with a child.
Tissues – Remember Elaine in Seinfeld being caught in a toilet with no paper and the lady in the next cubicle saying, “I haven’t got a square to spare.” Last year in Italy I found myself in a cubicle with no paper and lets just say it was too late to back out of that situation. Thankfully I remembered that in my little day bag I have a couple of tissues (in a zip lock bag of course) for that unexpected sneeze …. or worse.
Spare glasses – If you need glasses you need to take a spare pair. Why travel to see the sights if you can’t see the sights?
Cut up photos in envelopes – This isn’t a dad joke bit it is the dad traveller in me. When tech fails and there’s a flight delay or other unexpected period of boredom, a few envelopes that have got cut up photocopies of photos make great jigsaw puzzles and keep young minds occupied for precious minutes. Again, they’re light and easy to store.
Repack – Not an item but a travel procedure. Make time in your travels to repack and refamiliarize yourself with your belongings and where they are located in your bags. Work out what you need for the next day and whether you need to keep the bundle of receipts from the days shopping. Is there anything you now realize you don’t need that you can donate to a local charity or post back home?
That’s my ten. I like to think I’m a good traveller and that I cover bases for myself and those I travel with. Remember it’s not just about what you’re prepared for but what those you’re with are prepared for.
The picture below is an example of where I possibly didn’t consider the wants of my travelling companion.
In the 1984 comedy movie, Top Secret, the French resistance group has a member whose name is De Ja Vu. There is a scene in the movie where he is introduced to another character and he looks at him suspiciously and says, “Haven’t I met you somewhere before?”
Like deja vu, the sense of nostalgia can be triggered by an experience we are having. I was reminded of this recently when I saw an Instagram post of a Sydney ferry. Immediately I was taken back to 1983, pressing play on my red Sharp QT-12 cassette recorder to listen to Reckless by Aussie Crawl. The line in the song about the Manly ferry cutting its way through to Circular Quay came straight back to me just looking at the Instagram post of a Sydney Ferry.
It reminded me of how our senses are heightened when we travel. It works both ways as well. When I travelled through South Africa with my daughter we noticed the Jacaranda trees in glorious purple bloom and it reminded us of the streets around our home in Perth. Now when I see Jacaranda trees around Perth I’m reminded of travelling through South Africa with my daughter.
There’s so many other ways this can happen. Like the Instagram photo, I read a travel article the other day that included a photo of Polignano A Mare in Pulia, Italy. The photo was of a particular part of Polignano A Mare that I swam at, ruining many tourists photos. It’s one of the great joys of travelling; the years afterwards when you see the places you have been to in movies and the news or read descriptions of them in stories.
Ah! Cream buns. For me the sight and the smell reminds me of the Rottnest Bakery on a summers day. Perhaps it triggers a memory for you of the Dunsborough Bakery or the bakery in your local town.
The sights and smells of our travels throw us back in time and similarly, the joy of travel will be triggered for the rest of your life as you smell a cream bun or pad thai, check your friends social media posts or watch the latest blockbuster at the movies. Revel in it! Enjoy what travel can do to your senses and your memories!