Saturday, June 19, 2010
TRAVEL PLANNING: TENACITY REQUIRED
My good friend and her precious husband are planning to travel to the other side of the world, which has lead to many frustrating hours of co-ordinating passports, visas, flights, lay-overs, hotels, land transportation and other vital aspects of traveling in this complicated, demanding, modern era. It truly boggles my mind with the flow-chart aspect of all the requirements necessary in order to plan a well-desired relaxing vacation.
Just having a passport wasn't enough paperwork to enter China, a Visa was required. Without proof of transportation into the country, the Chinese Embassy wouldn't issue a Visa. Without a flight that would arrive in time for the cruise ship, the cruise ship would leave without my friend and her husband. In order to arrive early enough to catch the cruise ship, they would have to arrive a day early and stay in a hotel. If they stayed in the hotel, which they needed in order to arrive in time for the cruise ship, transportation to the dock (a couple of hours away from the airport) wouldn't be provided. Cruise ship personnel would be meeting the passengers in the luggage retrieval area, which my friends wouldn't be allowed to re-enter the day after their actual arrival.
So, after many, frustrating hours on the phone and computer, a two hour trip to the Chinese Embassy to apply for Visas, and a boatload of money spent for a restful vacation, my friends can now begin to pack.
We all know how little is allowed in the luggage, these days, so they will be packing light. In fact, I suggest that they take disposable clothing and tear out the pages of their paperbacks as they are read to save space for all the trinkets they can buy. Heck, at least when I turn over my treasure from them and the label reads "Made in China" I can know that it was native.