By Jean Bernard Talon
As the month winds into those last lingering dog days of summer, I cannot help but reflect upon the travel habits of my fellow sunseekers and city-break culture vultures.
Believe it or not it begins with packing - yes, just like your mother taught you!
Since the advent of the trolley bag, the subways, underground and métro are clogged, the escalators impassable, and the general regard for others seems to have gone on holiday as well.
Not unlike a large dog, luggage needs to be kept on a short leash. This applies in the airport, on train platforms, on buses and on thoroughfares wide and narrow the world over.
People live and work in your holiday destination - unless you have chosen a genuine theme park for your vacation. Consider arriving outside normal rush hours when the teaming population is not already squeezed by inadequate infrastructure; your oversized luggage is not a welcome addition on a crowded commuter train.
Which brings us to the subject of downsizing. Do you really need so much? Think about what you really treasure (for me it’s a skin care bag - you can always pick up a t-shirt, an esthetician is another story), prioritise when you pack, and discard those items that inevitably make the return flight folded and never used.
Perhaps a carry-on is all you need. I am a strong proponent of the weekender bag. This little marvel can be safely stowed in the overhead cabin without the awkward wheels that get in every one’s way.
And when you disembark, you have the pleasure of stepping into an unfamiliar environment looking as though you belong.
first published on September 9, 2009