Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published October 12th 2013
It's official I've lost my love for the Ring Road. Clearly its purpose is to get you places, like the airport in particular. This road reminds me of a man. At least 50% of the time it's totally frustrating. The other half of the time… I'll get back to you on that.
There's nothing much I can do about the road now but it's so unfair when I was totally organised. If I do say myself, my planning and pre-planning was impeccable and efficient. I've just about perfected the no fuss, no stress style so I thought I'd share a few tips with you.
Hints- Getting to the airport
If you are driving, plug the airport into the GPS 24 hrs ahead of time and check the approximate travel time. Don't trust them, they also underestimate time and overestimate their ability.
Double check with Google maps as they take into account the traffic at that time of day.
Check countless other websites and apps for travel advise. If they've got a site for checking on cheaters they have at least a few on travelling - both are very popular pastimes.
Consider catching airport buses. They have some privileges that mere mortal drivers aren't meant to have like the transit lane. Mind you I think that's a bit flexible is you are going to the airport. Incidentally, the police didn't agree with me on that.
If you book a taxi, listen to the driver when they tell you what time you should leave. It took me a long time to have faith but they've been that route more times than you.
Book seats on-line and print out boarding passes. It's at your expense of course. That way airlines can spend more on delicious flavours of two-minute noodles.
If you only take carry on luggage, you can avoid some queues (see checklists).
Hints- Checklist for packing
There are plenty of extensive lists on the web but because I am realistic, practical and don't have time to categorise and colour sort I have created my own which I swear by.
I admit I have experience on my side when it comes to packing quickly and ruthlessly. Not long enough ago we missed our midnight flight. Wrong date, could happen to anyone. We then had less than two hours to get to the airport for another flight. No time for dusting off the old suitcases, let alone pack them.
The following list is based on learning the hard way that you don't actually need to pack much (if push comes to shove) you can buy most things when you get there.
Tickets and Identification - very important – make sure they are going to paradise and not Timbuktu.
Money in the right currency - if desperate can get at the airport but you will pay more even though they always say there is no commission.
Locks (You can't avoid TSA locks if travelling to the USA. Can't remember the acronym but I think it stands for travesty and stupid additional cost).
Clean undies packed in your handbag as you are unlikely to misplace this (do not forget! If your bag is full wear two pairs. Embarrassing if you are searched for any reason but otherwise worth being uncomfortable. You'll thank me for this tip if there is an emergency.) If your bag is lost, spare undies is a lifesaver.
Make sure everyone does the same despite the objections.
Get travel insurance. Do an on-line search for budget travel insurance. Compare and save. It's not too late if you are do this at the airport unless of course your flight is cancelled but hope this is by a freak of nature which is not covered anyway. If you purchase a large percentage of your travel costs with some credit cards (and let's face it who doesn't) travel insurance can be included free.
Non-essentials but (usually) have to take
Kids (do regular head checks). There are so many places to lose them but they are usually located at the most expensive jelly bean shop. The one where the lollies are sold by the gram (or kilogram whatever the case may be) are worth more than gold - mark sure not to get too many blue ones, because no one eats those anyway.
Minimum 13 electric cords, adapters and other accessories to electronic babysitters (essential if taking the above - otherwise don't worry).
That's about it. Everything that matters has been thought of... except the checklists for when you get there.
In an emergency be reassured. Remember:
Who is the one in the family who works full time, has organised this holiday, designed a bookweek costume from left over fabric, a piece of string and a feather or two?
Who has helped the children advance 3 levels in reading this term while baking a cheesecake impressive enough for the mother in law with a baby under their arm?
Who is the calmest in a crisis and has proved themselves by applying a band aid under water?
Who can park a Mac truck in a suburban shopping centre spot next to a pole? Strike that one. We still win.
Ladies, if anything goes wrong, it's not your fault. A man designed the damn road and the cars and planes. They designed the locks of which had keys once but cannot be located. The taxi driver is male, of course, and he knows everything except how to stop the kids from arguing and right now that's about all that matters.
It's a slow trip on the Ring Rd but we are nearly there. It's hard to hear the breaking news on the radio with 3 iPods blaring different music and because of the ruckus caused by one of the boys criticising his sister for acting like a turkey with it's neck being rubbed. I think I just heard that is that it's the only day in history that a thousand rabbits with Myxomitosis have clogged Melbourne's freeways. The ABC are no doubt trying to locate Mixy but she apparently booked first class tickets on last minute.com to an undisclosed exotic location yesterday when it was a rostered day off for tradies.
Right now I have so much built up of tension that the stored energy could power a small town. … I wish I were on the plane and trying to sort out the seating arrangement for the least possible arguments. I wouldn't even mind if I had to get the backpack back down for the 11th time because I did pack the Sudoku and the pencils and the rubbers but they are all in different bags under the squashed bananas that I must remember to declare. I imagine the other half has already settled into the window seat and ordered his first whiskey and coke. And all of this would be just perfect except I forgot to check damn date.