The time has arrived for our annual pilgrimage to Menorca, my other home. The place where I was born, where I grew up and where my parents still live. We head over there for about 3 weeks every summer and I absolutely adore it. Our arrival on the island means only one thing: Tinker Tailor in on holiday mode! I’m looking forward to switching off and tuning into island life. You might find that my posting schedule is a little different in the coming weeks and that my Instagram feed looks a little different to reflect the change in lifestyle and scenery. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!
I will be heading off in advance with my daughters and @thisdadtravels will be joining us a week later. We have a fair amount of travel experience between us. He travels overseas regularly as part of his job and I was fortunate to travel quite a bit when I worked for a tour operator many moons ago. These days, getting on a plane is usually a family affair for me but between us we are experts at getting the job (of flying) done and travelling light. I’m sharing a few of my tips in this post. You can find details of my travel style here, I hope you will enjoy reading them.
Get to the airport in plenty of time – This is so obvious but as someone who is always running late for absolutely everything and has first hand experience of being THE last person on the plane (several embarrassing incidents actually). I can’t stress how much more enjoyable it is to have some contingency time built in to your schedule and time to browse Duty Free before boarding.
Getting through security – It’s worth checking out whether the airport you are travelling from offers a priority lane to get you through security. Some airports have a business only lane and at other airports you may be able to pay a small fee to skip the long queues at busy times. I wouldn’t suggest using the paid option on a regular basis but I must confess that it as been an absolute life saver on a few occasions. While we are on the subject of security, I would also recommend that you wear shoes that are easy to take off to speed up the process. It sounds obvious but lace-ups and buckles can be a real pain, especially when you are travelling with small people. Keep your electrical equipment and liquids at hand ready to go through the scanner. I use these handy wash bags from Muji which are clear so I don’t have the hassle of transferring toiletries and makeup from a clear plastic bag to my usual wash bag.
Go to your boarding gate early – This is especially useful if you are travelling with a low cost airline as the further back you are in the line, the more likely you are to being asked to put your carry-on in the hold which is infuriating if you are hoping for at speedy exit at your destination airport. Another benefit of having a decent spot in the queue is that you are more likely to be able to store your carry-on in the locker directly above your head, again this will contribute to a speedy exit when you land.
Dress for success – I don’t particularly mean putting your best threads on here though don’t let me discourage you if that’s your thing! Dressing for success for a flight for me means wearing practical layers that you can take on and off according to the temperature on the plane. I always take a scarf on board with me and choose loose fitting clothing in a neutral colour palette that looks smart but comfortable for sitting in economy. For long haul flights you might want to pack some jogging bottoms and a t-shit that you can change into during the flight and change back into your clothes before landing, ensuring your A list look in arrival.
Other things to pack –
Noise cancelling headphones: These are life changing particularly if you are a long haul traveller. They allow you to listen to your audio at normal levels and cancel out all other plane noise which makes for a much more pleasant experience and can help you do relax and drift off. I hear great things about these Puro noise cancelling headphones for kids if you really want to spoil them.
Canvas shopper: These are so useful when flying, pack one in the top of your carry-on and transfer all your in-flight essentials into it. That way you can keep all your must haves at hand whilst the rest of your belongings are stored away. I love these chic alphabet shoppers from Oliver Bonas.
Healthy snacks: Having a little stash of snacks will stop you from buying and eating the high fat, high salt and high sugar food from the in-flight service that can make you feel bloated. This is a no brainer if you are travelling with children.
What are your top travel tips? I’d love to hear all about it! You can leave a comment in the handy box below.