We’ve just finished spending three weeks in the States on our way to Kenya. It’s the super long route to take, but since one of the kids was paying for it, who am I to object. We went to LA, San Diego, back to LA, Houston, New York City and Washington DC. Getting to Nairobi took 8 flights. Because we were moving country we had baggage galore. While we are on the road for 2 months of the year this certainly was quite different, going from hot summer days to places where it was snowing.
Here’s some tips for travelling in a group:
1. Number all of your bags.
It’s very easy to lose one or two small items like camera or video bags. At least when you get off a bus, train or plane you know which number is missing. Simply put a tag with a large number written on it.
2. Put things back in the same place.
Jetlag is a killer on the brain. When you put the passports or travel documents in the same place every time you won’t be stressing out where they are. It’s bad enough trying to find a pair of socks let alone the passport.
3. Make sure everyone knows what’s going on.
This is especially so if you’re the one who has put the itinerary together. You might know what’s happening but don’t assume everyone else does.
4. Double check info before leaving home.
You may thought you booked a hotel in LA, but accidentally put in Louisiana instead. While the taxi driver might like the fare, it could lead into all sorts of problems with your team. Also check the distances from your hotel from the airport. That way you won’t be shocked at the price.
5. Get the cab drivers number
Once you find a good taxi driver, get his number so that when you need a ride you don’t have to wait around. Depending where you are in the world, negotiate the taxi fare before getting into the car.
6. Print out everything
If you’re travelling to lots of places, put it down on an Excel sheet and print it out. Then print out all the tickets, motel addresses etc so you’ve got it in hard copy. Put everything into order so you’re not fumbling through a zillion pieces of paper to find the right one. If you need to, put them in plastic sleeves or in a small folder.
7. Pace yourself
If you’re on the road for more than 2 weeks you’ll be exhausted if you’re on the go all the time. Try and pace yourself so one day you do an activity and the next you spend gazing at shops or at the beach. While everyone is entitled to a bad hair day, it’s a bit harder in a group to hide it and it can spread like wildfire. When everyone is exhausted it can make things 10 times worse.