Hi there, my name is Toby and I am a developer from Belfast. Recently I decided to ask Heather if she would be so kind to give me space on her site.
Recently I flew to Japan for my honeymoon with my beautiful wife, it really was the holiday of a lifetime and included a lot of firsts for me;
It was the first time I have travelled any major distance, up until this point the furthest I had travelled was to Cyprus from the UK. This means it was the longest time I have spent on a flight. It was also the first time I had to get an airline transfer.
It was the longest time I have spent on holiday. At around two and a half weeks it is pretty much double the length of time I have spent on holiday anywhere.
Finally, it was the first time I have moved between places in a foreign country, which meant extended travelling about the country and several hotels being stayed at.
So what I would like to do is give my tips based on these firsts, in the hope that if you are a first time traveller you might find them useful.
If your hotel(s) have washers and dryers you should make use of them and pack accordingly, two of our hotels had this service but I packed enough clothes assuming I would need fresh clothes for every day, if I had thought in advance I could have packed about 6 days fewer things which isn’t a trivial space/weight saving.
Assume you aren’t going to have access to mobile data throughout the day and make sure you do things like updating google maps on your phone in the morning using the hotel WiFi. Google Maps will cache areas you have looked at, which means if you zoom into the areas you are hoping to travel to that day Google Maps can be used ‘offline’ later on.
If you are going to a country that speaks another language, you should take the time to learn some key phrases, I didn’t do this and I regret it. I already knew how to say “hello”, “thank you” and “goodbye” but knowing words like “sorry” and “excuse me” would have helped me seem way more polite and at least show people I was making some sort of an effort.
For long flights don’t rely on the fact that the airplane entertainment will work or keep you entertained, this wasn’t an issue for me but I did notice one person on the flight having issues getting their in flight movies to work and if you are a regular cinema goer then you might have seen all the movies that are on offer.
Speaking of the flight and entertainment, remember that for a good part of the flight the main lights might be dimmed and you might feel bad putting on your personal light (it creates a lot of light), which for me meant no kindle access for most of the flight.
I had no idea this would happen beforehand but in retrospect makes total sense, you need to go through security at each transfer, this means that you should plan your time accordingly so that you have enough time to get through the security at the new airport and if you buy liquids in the first airport you need to make sure you get them sealed in a tamper proof container or they won’t get through the next security.
I don’t know if this is the case always, but for both our flights going out and coming back we got our tickets for both our flights at our first airport. Because we were using two different airlines this meant they couldn’t allocate us seats on the second flight. If you are flying in a couple or group and it is important for you to sit together make sure you find a desk for the airline at the second airport so that you can get the seats sorted ASAP.
Take a battery powered charger for your phone/camera, this means on day trips you don’t have to limit how many pictures you take on account of your battery life. I went for an Anker Astro 3E and it has worked perfectly.
I mentioned earlier about using hotel WiFi to your advantage, just make sure that you hotel has WiFi, some might only have ethernet access (fine for laptops, but not so fine for your iPad!) and whilst all ours was free it would be worth double checking this before your travels to know if you need to factor this in as a cost if internet access is something you care about.
Finally, I had also mentioned earlier about not using mobile data, there was a few times on my trip that I had decided to use mobile data, and for me it was incredibly expensive, I think I turned it on maybe five times and it cost me nearly £30, one mistake I did was I didn’t change any settings for individual apps on my phone so as soon as mobile internet was available things like Facebook and my Mail started updated, not ideal!
I really hope these help some new traveller, if they did, or you would like to share any of your tips with me please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @tosbourn.