A weekly ode to the joys of moaning about your holiday, by Tim Roxborogh.
It's like walking on an airport travelator that's going the wrong way. Money and I have often had a strange relationship. I've got a reputation for being bad with it so I try to counter this with haphazard frugality, though not always at the right times or places. This can lead to unfortunate situations where conflicting strands of financial flamboyance, looseness, generosity and cheapskatery combine in awkward style.
Like when you plan overseas trips you can't really afford, so you make savings by booking flights that include the global zigzagging of multiple stops in order to save a couple of hundred bucks. I've done this a few times over the years, though never again after deciding to fly to LA via Brisbane all in aid of $200 cheaper flights back in 2014.
The lure of a soon-to-be-sold-out Barry Gibb concert at the legendary Hollywood Bowl was too much for this obsessed Bee Gees fan to resist.
Truth be told, the trip was going to go on the credit card, so I countered the previously mentioned flamboyance by opting for the flights that had me flying through Brisbane for both legs of the journey.
Simultaneously kidding myself that Queensland was on the way to California and that I really was a financially sensible chappie after all for making my $200 saving, I underestimated just how much of a non-hoot not flying direct to LA is. Adding three and a half hours on a plane in the wrong direction to a 12-hour flight starts to become a whopping travel experience — especially when you include an hour or two of transit time. What's worse, I arrived with cankles.
I thought I was too young and too male for cankles, but evidently not. Touching down in LA about 17 or 18 hours after leaving Auckland, I changed into some shorts, T-shirt and jandals and dropped off my bags at my Anaheim hotel. It was too early for check-in so I went straight to Disneyland. Looking down at my ankles after one of the rides, I was shocked. I'd never seen such puffiness on my person. Cankles!
The calves and the ankles had become one, due to the amount of time I'd spent seated in the sky, just so I could make a $1400 return flight $1200 instead. It seems 12 hours flying and I can disembark cankle-free. Anything longer and I'm in trouble. As for the saving, in the moment when you're dozily waiting for your boarding call at the second airport in the country that's neither your home nor your destination, you'd happily pay double that just to arrive on time.
The items I always forget…
That horrible sense you've forgotten something when you're about to leave for the airport. It's a universal feeling and normally irrational. Most of us surely are capable of drawing up a generic list that we can go through for each flight to ease our minds. Apart from lists of my all-time New Zealand cricket team, I'm not really a list guy. So every trip, I have that panic: "I've forgotten something!"
The panic is justified because even after 12 years of travel writing, I always leave at least one thing behind. My razor is near the top of the list because it lives in the shower, not in my soap bag. If I shave the morning before I fly, the razor gets left in the shower probably a third of the time. Arriving in a foreign city after a long flight and discovering you've forgotten your razor yet again has you rightfully questioning if your IQ is diminishing.
Toothpaste is another but so are belts, phone chargers and camera chargers. And as for things unintentionally donated to hotel rooms, about three pairs of togs left hanging on the tops of shower doors. #winning
Tim Roxborogh hosts Newstalk ZB's The Two, Coast Soul on iHeartRadio and writes the RoxboroghReport.com.