Be Smart About Art

Tips for being an art world traveller: Part I of III

written by: Susan J Mumford Sept. 30, 2018 1) RECOMMENDED-> Susan's weekly blog post 952 views

Tips for being an art world traveller: Part I of III

At the time of writing, I’m seated on an airplane, and I have decided to create a set of three blog posts all about travelling. These are set to help you enjoy and make the most of travel, business and personal alike, on a national and international level. Enjoy! 

Part 1: Advance preparation and packing

1. Take great care in selecting the time of travel as well as route.

Better yet, whenever you’re embarking upon a new level of time zone difference or travel duration, speak with seasoned travellers who have applicable experience. 

Consider a trip I once took from London to Vancouver…

Knowing that the time zone difference of -8 hours would be more than the normal -5 or -6 hours when travelling from the UK to the East Coast or family in Arkansas / Texas, I was keen to  ease the pain. 

How this was done: 

The departing flight from London was in the late afternoon, which meant that even with the need to pack, we got plenty of sleep the night prior and slightly started to adjust to the new time zone by sleeping in later than on a work day. Instead of taking a direct flight, we flew south-west to Dallas, arriving that evening for an overnight stay. 

Upon arriving, we had dinner with friends at the airport hotel restaurant (which was lovely, seriously) and adjusted the first -6 hours, more or less, by staying up late and waking up the next morning for the second and final leg of the journey. We experienced zero exhaustion and were immediately able to enjoy full days. 

I’m also a BIG fan of ‘day flights’ from North America to the UK (which depart from several major airports, such as New York’s JFK airport and Chicago’s O’Hare airport). While plenty of people like taking the standard overnight flights, I adjust brilliantly by leaving crazy early from America and landing in the UK at night, ready to go to bed at the right time on the new time zone thanks to the tiring nature of travel. 

2. Keep the last business day before travelling free until one week ahead of the trip.

At that late stage, if there’s a must-happen-before-you-depart-item, slot it into the calendar. Otherwise, you’ll make the most of a day without appointments. In my experience, the mind is excellent at focusing on priorities ahead of a big trip, whether that’s putting more in place for the trip or doing important computer-based work while there’s still an opportunity. .

3. Be strategic about what, how and how much you pack. 

Select clothes that don’t require ironing, and roll them if space is an issue. I do suggest having some method to how you pack a case, so that you can easily find things once you’re on the other side, lest you need to unpack the entire bag in order to find one small item. 

In my own case, I learned how to pack from watching my own mother, a.k.a. The Master Packer. She’s been known to extol the virtues of sitting on top of luggage to get it to close shut if necessary. (Thanks for all of the lovely signed books from your librarian conferences, Mom! I know schlepping them back was no easy feat.) 

As for working out how much to pack, an easy trick is laying out your clothes alongside shoes, handbags (as applicable), jewellery (as applicable), coats, etc. See what you’re planning to take, ensure that you have desired accessories and get rid of that one outfit that you’d love to take which requires a matching coat and pair of shoes that would only be worn once. 

Think about any excess room and what you expect to bring back. If you anticipate shopping, make certain that you have the room and weight to enable it. 

On the outbound journey of this trip, I knew that I’d be leaving a few items in the USA (think: gifts or whatever else it is in your case), which would clear up space and weight once distributed. 


There’s so much to say about travelling! It’s clear in writing these posts that, like so much in life, much relies upon what you do in advance, as seen in the above points. 

Have a read of part II of III: Travel bag essentials
Have a read of part III of III: En route and upon arrival. 



Not yet on the mailing list? Come on board and receive pearls of wisdom directly into your inbox! 

This includes our weekly Sunday reading blog and tips that are only available to email subscribers.