Packing pains. Photo: Courtesy
By Lilian Gaitho
How time flies! With Easter gone, it is time to shift goals to the next weekend break -Labor Day. Set to celebrate and recognize workers across the world, the holiday will be marked on 1st May – which happens to be a Monday.
To many people, and especially in Nairobi, this will be a time to relax and make plans for the opening of a new school term. For those who will be traveling, watch out on the following to ensure you and yours, as well as those touring with you fully enjoy the experience.
Especially if you are flying, pack diligently for the minimum time at check in points. Your hand luggage should not exceed the set weights as this will not only cost you and other travelers time but may lead to unnecessary losses. Also, pack in respect to recommendations by the flight company, check the dos and don’ts and layer your baggage appropriately.
Check your notes
After the selfie is done, most tourists will head to social media for that tagged post. Take a minute in between and counter check your facts. Enough times we have come across annoying mistakes in naming places and destinations; Mount Meru in Tanzania is in no way related to Meru National Park which happens to be in Kenya. Similarly, if you want to state down some “did you know” about your destination, put in some search effort before hitting share or post.
The selfie addict
Even as we all appreciate the amazing inventions of technology, it’s important to still maintain a level of dignity and self-restriction. Selfie-stick waging gangbusters and pushers who will go to lengths just to capture the scenic shadows can be traumatizing. Sometimes, the best memories are those shared with those with you and saved in the depths of your soul. Put more time into enjoying the journey, the culinary and the wholesome experience as opposed to taking the best-angled shot.
Be responsible, it’s the year of sustainable tourism development
This year, 2017 was declared the year of sustainable development by the UNWTO. The agenda pushes for action in such areas as social inclusiveness, diversity and heritage, and environmental protection. For this responsibility, each one of us must take up the task and play their role. From taking care of your litter, to only smoking in designated and servicing your car; make a checklist on the basics you need to implement for the success of the agenda.
Be civil, avoid over-indulging
Many of us are guilty as charged when it comes to excessive indulgences whilst on vacation. While there is no problem in satiating your desires while away from home, trip advisers from Jumia Travel, a hotel and flight booking platform advice visitors to party and explore within limits by only chewing what you can comfortably swallow. Other aspects under this include being respectful to other drivers or passengers, using communal amenities responsibly and generally being mindful of others’ welfare.
Respect local culture
The saying goes, if you go to Rome – do as the Romans. Ironically, Rome City has one of the highest instances and reports of tourists behaving badly. While one site reports of tourists taking a plunge in the city’s fountains, another has a post of an anonymous tourist posing naked in front of the Colosseum. Closer home, even our countryside kinsmen are unable to stand some habits exhibited by the urbanites on rural tour.
If you are traveling to a totally new location, do a background check on what is expected of visitors; you’ll be surprised at how locals can be easy going when accorded due to recognition. Key things to watch include dress code, basic interaction such as between age and gender differences, religious expectations and dining mannerisms among others.
Labor Day presents yet another opportunity for a city break or a weekend getaway. Whatever you plan to do, take note of these six tips and stay sane through the long weekend. Enjoy!