As a veteran globe trotter, I like to abide by a few key tricks of the 'budget traveler' trade:
- Bring your own snacks
- Bring your own sleeping gear (ear plugs, neck pillow, etc.)
- Don't wear a belt or any metal for that matter
- One carry-on really means two
- Be the very last person to board (the plane won't leave without you)
But it's all in the details as well:
- Have up-to-date passport
- Register with the US Embassy in your traveling country
- Check up on vaccinations and recommended medical precautions
- Pack extra trunks, undies and toiletries in carry on
Now for the rookie mistake. Here's the reason why I'm blogging from a room at the Raddisson near LAX and not half way to Sydney. My tickets were booked in Australia and I was unaware that I was responsible to obtain my own Aussie visa. Quantas called my name about 40 minutes before boarding my 11:50pm flight. "Mr. Vargas its showing that you have yet to apply for your visa. But we can do that here at no cost to you." Sweet. No problem. Oh wait... problem. "Our systems are not allowing us to process your visa." What! "Please call the Australian embassy tomorrow morning and rebook your flight. Sorry for the inconvinience."
I'm hoping my call to the Aussie embassy in D.C. and online application this morning will get me back in motion to get to The Box event. If so, please learn from my mistake. Cover all your bases and if you're heading to Australia, make sure your visa is good to go.