Edwin Saladoka blogs about his experience traveling to Spain. Edwin was trained under the guidance of our previous tour manager and logistics person, Vanessa Eden who has started her own company, Pacific Island Artists Connection (PIAC) connecting pacific island artists around the world. Edwin is now our tour manager and was in charge of logistics for this trip. It is the first he has ever managed and will be in charge of VOU’s next trip to Europe in June.
So .. we were in beautiful Marbella, Spain a few weeks ago and of course there were lots of learning curves during the trip especially since it took nearly two days of traveling.
But before I go into details with traveling tips, I must say we were so fortunate to have been hosted by Toralf and Silke with their son Alexander. They had meeting after meeting and still managed to show us around and assist us wherever they could. The trip would not have been successful and possible without their help and of course the amazing networking skills of our director Sachiko Soro.
LETS GET STRAIGHT TO IT
- Always stick together:
When traveling to Spain, we were fortunate to have a small group of five. Lets be honest, even when traveling with five people it still isn’t easy. The excitement, curiosity is just one aspect to the building up of events, and it’s even harder traveling with people who aren’t on the same page as you. SO, here is what we did: KNOW THE WEAKEST LINKS! I mean come on, there will always be someone who is always on their phone not paying any attention to their surroundings and most importantly NOT KNOWING THEIR GATE NUMBERS. Keep them ahead of the group, always have their luggage checked in first and inform the group what gate you’re at and how much precious time you have left before boarding. (May be it would be a good idea to tell them that the information they need is on their boarding passes, it might surprise you that they wouldn’t know these things despite being well traveled).
- Plan bathroom breaks:
This is soo important. I must say you’d be lucky to have people in your group telling you they need to use the bathroom, HOWEVER, this is not always the case. On previous trips before Spain, we would lose people left right and centre because of unplanned bathroom breaks. The ideal time to have a bathroom break is when waiting to board the plane – we were usually waiting 3 hours in advance so that gave us a lot of time, but you will not always be this fortunate. TRUST ME When in a rush observe your surroundings, look for the closest bathroom to the check in desk. If you’re traveling with twenty people, I’m sorry guys, you will just have to keep it together until you’re in the air. On previous occasions, we’d be at the check in desk and once someone was checked in, knowing what gate they had to be at and trusting them with their passports, they could use the bathroom while everyone else was being checked in – but I don’t recommend it. It is very RISKY!
- Stretch and Hydrate:
When traveling from a tiny place like Fiji to Spain, you’re in for those long-haul flights that can either go really well, or be really uncomfortable. Stretch your muscles – there isn’t any harm in using the aisles to walk. We often used the space outside the bathroom to do some stretching (but not all at once). Who cares if it looks like you’re taking a yoga class, this is for your safety and comfort. Those back and leg stretches really help especially if you feel like you’ve been sitting at a lecture in university for seven hours.
Also, it’s a proven fact that you get dehydrated quicker from air travel. Still wondering why you have dry lips and skin? Preventing dehydration from air travel can be easily avoided. It’s literally staying hydrated and having some nice moisturizer. This site offers some really awesome advice about how you can stay hydrated whilst on your flight.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to ask for water. You can do that you know !
- Check, re-check and re-check AGAIN!
If you’re in charge of the group you’re traveling with, this is a MUST. Check your flight times from your current destination to the next and keep checking again and again especially if you’re traveling for a while. I made the mistake of counting the hours whilst flying and confused that with how many hours we had in transit. I was lucky to have checked again and had my doubts confirmed by one of the members of the group. Of course this does not only apply to checking times but everything and everyone in general. Checking your hand luggage for things that are not allowed in the plane, checking for your passport and boarding passes, checking on the people you are with (incase they take unexpected turns into the bathroom without your knowledge, or find souvenirs that they want to buy but don’t necessarily need – yes you will have those in your group).
- Plan ahead/ Do your research:
In case you haven’t noticed by now, traveling requires a lot of re-confirmation and constant checking and planning. When handling a light blue Fijian passport like ours, you tend to have a lot of visa requirements even when in transit. Another fun fact to know is most airlines have different agreements with each other when transiting countries. For instance, in our case we had to apply for Australian Transit Visas because we were traveling with Virgin Australia, whereas if we traveled with Fiji Airways we wouldn’t need transit visas. Its complex and a real pain in the neck when having to deal with situations like these, so to avoid this, do your research. Ask questions and make sure you understand the requirements and meet them prior to the trip – preferably weeks or months in advance.
- Charge your devices:
Yes, your devices may be a distraction but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. Power banks are handy when traveling especially when having limited time at airports and are convenient. You are literally carrying a power supply with you. Another handy thing to have with you is a universal adaptor. It will save your life and you wont have to go through the struggle of trying to charge your phone even when you’ve arrived at your destination. So keep those device juices flowing and share your traveling experience with your friends, family and even your work mates. ALSO, it doesn’t hurt to take reading material. You’d be surprised how interesting an actual book can get, if your digital one is out of electric juice.
- Be kind:
Traveling for hours, or even days takes its toll on you. The hunger, dehydration and jetlag definitely do not help when you’re traveling. Traveling can be tiring. It’s always good to work as a team. Have a positive mind and be the fun one – but to an extent, you don’t want to be annoying people. Don’t let the grumpy get to you; if you’ve made it this far there’s nothing to be grumpy about. Also, one smile goes a long way. No act of kindness, no matter how small goes to waste.
There you have it. seven tips on traveling with dancers. I hope these will help any dancing tour manager out there. If you’re reading this, good luck with your next tour – you’ll need it. 🙂