Things I Have Lost In The Air

18 12 2008


“Can you believe we’re boarding a seven-day flight and they still want to charge extra for carry-on!”   (Kennedy Space Center, Florida)


Everyone knows that washing machines eat socks. If not exactly proven by science, it is certainly a fact to anyone with a drawer full of mismatched items of clothing. A lesser known fact is that seat-back pockets and overhead storage bins on airliners have an appetite every bit as healthy as that of washing machines.


While friends, relatives and fellow travellers have been divested of their reading glasses, travel documents, book marks and even a large Scotch-filled golf ball, I have so far been lucky and have only lost the feeling in my legs after sleeping in a particularly contorted position in the most economic of economy seats.


Before I board an aircraft I make sure that everything I need to keep me company is within easy reach. This includes my travel documents and a pen for the completion of arrival forms; material for reading; a bottle of water and snacks for longer flights; earplugs to block out small children; and headache medication in case the earplugs didn’t work properly!


I tend to buck the trend of most frequent travellers and opt for less carry-on and more check-in baggage. Although the risk of never seeing my checked-in items again is a real one and the wait for its arrival on the carousel often long and always stressful, I still prefer that to lugging spine-twisting bags around an overheated and congested departure lounge for two or three hours. There is of course also the fear of having inadvertently left something in my carry-on that could provide me with a quick one-way ticket to a certain U.S. government all-inclusive facility on the south-east tip of Cuba. You know, something like Granny’s knitting needles…or the bottle of aftershave that Uncle Jeremiah gave you that’s shaped like a hand-grenade.


And if that’s not enough, there’s also the battle for overhead locker space when that person boarding the plane ahead of you stuffs what looks suspiciously like a body in an ice hockey kitbag into the bin above your seat…thereby leaving you to endure 9 hours with your knees up your nose because your own bag now occupies every single square inch of space beneath the seat in front of you!


No, for me the lighter I travel in the cabin, the more comfortable I am…and the less chance of having my possessions go the way of my socks!


Post by: Simon Vaughan

Travel Photography 101 9/18

29 07 2008

Confessions, musings and tips from a snap-happy wanderer.



Space Shuttle Discovery, Kennedy Space Center

Carry spares…of everything!


Pretend you are going into space: take extra batteries, extra rolls of film, extra memory cards…extra everything. Assume that you can’t buy anything locally. Take an extra camera or extra camera body (even if it’s just a disposable). It doesn’t have to be as good or expensive as your main camera, but at least you won’t miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if the unmentionable happens and yours gets lost or broken.


Photo and post by: Simon Vaughan © 2008