There is a certain preparation I do before I travel. A few months before I leave for a trip, I evaluate my wardrobe and then buy some new outfits. Always consider what the locals will be wearing in the places you are visiting.I have found personally that fitting in makes you feel a lot more comfortable, especially in a foreign country.Recently one of the blogs I follow oneika-the-traveller.com did a posting about this. She said dress conservatively and try to blend in. I find this advice a good excuse to buy new clothes.
Lets start with getting through security at the airport. Wear shoes which are easy to take on and off. Keep most of your jewelry and watches in your carry on until after you get through security, this goes for belts too. Take your jackets and cardigan sweaters off before you get in line.From my experience the baggier your clothes, the more likely you will get searched. Make sure if you have any liquids (4 oz or smaller) they go into a quart size plastic bag (for TSA regulations). I always drink my water before I go through and then fill it up on the other side at Starbucks or a restaurant (this can save you $4 not buying a new water bottle).
Always wear something comfortable when you travel. This does not mean your pajamas! All my life I flew standby and had to wear a dress, it was a strict dress code. I was thrilled when I could wear whatever I wanted, but I still try to look nice.I just read another blog the other day and it mentioned something about this. It was called “What your flight attendant really thinks of you”. Sometimes when the plane takes off, the flight attendants will upgrade people to business or first class. You have a better chance if you are dressed nice and neatly, well-groomed and are a pleasant person.There is more confidence and better attitude when you are presenting yourself nicely. Jeans are fine, just not ripped or ill fitted. Bring a jacket or sweater, sometimes it gets cold on the plane. Dress in layers because sometimes it gets hot.In the summer I wear sandals and in the colder weather I wear boots that I can pull on and off easy. I wear a watch too, it’s important to know the time while you are traveling.
I know when traveling to big cities (this is mainly addressed to women) the locals wear a lot of black. In the summer this is not so much the case, but the rest of the year it is. Certain churches you cannot go in unless your shoulders are covered and you cannot wear a skirt above your knee. Always check the dress code before you go.I like to pack with simple t-shirts (I add a scarf or necklace to dress it up), nice jeans, shorts (not too short, during warm weather), 1 or 2 skirts (obviously for the ladies), very comfortable boots and walking shoes, appropriate undergarments, something to sleep in and always bring your bathing suit.
There is a theory of packing older clothes that you do not want anymore and leaving them at the hotel. I kind of like this idea. Make sure you write a note on them letting the hotel staff know your intent to throw them away. You do not want them returned to you in the mail. I like to only check one bag when I am traveling overseas, because it is easier to handle one checked bag and one carry-on. In the states I will just take a carry-on, because there is usually a fee to check a bag. What I try to do is pack most of my clothes or the ones that are most important, in my carry-on. My checked bag is almost empty. On the way home I put all my souvenirs in my carry-on and my clothes in the checked bag. This way if my checked luggage gets lost on my outbound flight, I will not have to spend time shopping for something to wear when I arrive, and if it gets lost on my return flight I will still have all of the treasures I bought when I get home.
I hope this will be helpful to you in your travels. If you would like to share any of your own tips please leave comments below.
Mark van Dalm said:
And therein lies the conundrum. To make my airport security check experience less stressful I need to be half haked. But if I want any chance of being upgraded to first class I need to be well dressed. What is a person to do???
What I usually do as I approach the xray scanners is completely empty my pockets into my roll-on bag. All of my cash and loose change, my cell phone, and any jewelry or watch I might be wearing, my boarding pass and my passport all get stuffed into my roll-on bag before I reach the scanner. This gives me peace of mind because now I don’t worry about accidentally leaving any small valuables behind in, or getting them stolen from, the plastic trays at the end of the scanning process. All I have to look for are my shoes, belt, jacket and roll-on bag, all of which are large items that are easy to keep track of. I suspect I am a minority in having this habit because I always get a surprised look from the screening agents when they don’t see me put a cell phone into the plastic tray. I guess this is just my small way of rebelling against the system. i hope you rot in hell Bin Laden!