Time while travelling is important, especially when you have to catch all modes of transport, what time it is where you are and at home. Tours start at particular times and you have to make sure your timing devices are set to the correct time zone or else it leads to trouble. I have learnt as I go along with my travel overseas and I will explain why I do some of the thing I actually do. The best thing to do is to have a watch and change that to the local time of the country and leave your mobile phone until you land in that particular country, then you know what time it is while in the air and how much time left until you land. Also make sure you fill out the immigration cards as soon as you get them as you will be alert and then no hassles waiting at immigration.
One of the reasons I arrive at the airport so early is that I do not want to be rushed especially if it is a long haul flight. Usually at the airport I get something to eat after checking in if it is in the morning and then wander around at my leisure looking in the shops or reading a book. After clearing the immigration to jump on the plane or just wait for the plane and it is around an 8 hour flight I will buy water and snacks. Being in a hurry means you have to go through everything and things might get forgotten and then there would be no relaxing other than rushing along. Landing in London at Gatwick took on a whole different meaning to waiting and wanting to get out on time. I had booked myself into an Alice Cooper concert on Halloween. It meant I had to be out of the airport quick smart, but it never happened. I did learn something from attending the concert when I did get there. Don’t do that as you will be falling asleep, while in the crowd.
Sometime an even you purchased may not be on the day you had booked it for. It was in London I had found I was a week early for the wrestling at the O2 stadium. I had not intentionally done this and had rushed to the stadium after catching a ferry from Canary Wharf as I thought it would be cool and to avoid the chaos of the underground as the Jubilee line lost a signal and went into meltdown. I had seen the crowd and had gotten off to catch the ferry instead. It was not until I had reached the O2 that I realised I was so early and it was not just that there was a band playing instead. There was only one line that ran through where I was, which was the broken Jubilee and now closed. I spent at least an hour watching the busses thinking about catching one, when the tube reopened. I was happy as I was in no hurry. The next week I was back and did see the WWE match.
When organising to meet people I tend to arrive at the location earlier so that I can explore before everyone turns up. It seems I find more out about a location that people had before. One place that I did this was Cambridge in the UK. I ended up being around 2 hours early and took a wander. One hill that I think was a fortification near the council offices that I pointed out at a later time when the friends had arrived. Time does slip away when you are not paying attention and then when you arrive early somewhere you end up late as you have gone off exploring, but find your way around without any problems. It is then you end up turning into a tour guide showing people around some streets or giving directions.
There comes the occasion where something has been booked or your journey has been delayed through no fault of your own and there is some reshuffling of activities to be done. One of my pre booked tours that I wanted to go one, while in New Zealand had been cancelled due to the lack of numbers. Nothing could be done about that and I went with another plan an alternate one. The same thing did occur the next day with the same tour, but I was happy as it gave me longer to explore the town I was wandering around. Only twice has transport ever been delayed. The first was when flying into Malaysia and the plane was going to be delayed taking off for 3 hours and then the time changed after half hour and then we could board. Another was when one local bus had broken down before picking us up and we were kept informed. It was an hour late, but welcome anyway. I caught some tour buses that took you around town and I had to look at what time they started and where. I wanted to visit the museum in Auckland and several other locations along the way. I had to work out what times to do everything, so left the museum until last. The bus tours are great if you are wanting to waste time before flights. You do need to keep an eye on the time too or else you run out of it.
Trains are really well known for leaving right on time. While in Paris I had to catch the Eurostar to London I did learn that they are not like airports, where you need to appear several hours early. They only require you to be waiting at least half hour before the train leaves, which is in some way agonising for me. I didn’t want to miss the train, but shouldn’t have needed to worry. It didn’t help that I never ate before leaving the hostel. The whole area was in French and I didn’t speak French, so wasn’t sure if the self-service ticket machines were the right ones. One man that I did ask told me to go away as he was busy, all he was doing was writing on his luggage tag. The lady at the window glared at me sternly telling me about the machines and I explained to her why. The train did leave exactly when they said it would and it was a nice trip through to London. Making sure you are going the right way on a train does help especially if you are trying to get somewhere at a certain time. Thinking you are on the wrong train, jumping off and then having to jump back on as the wrong train is actually the correct train.
With everything I do while traveling I am always at the location ahead of time to make sure that I have the right place for the mode of transport I am catching. Triple checking the information does help. Getting food and drink before does help out for the trip, but also listen to how long the breaks are and be back before that time is up. Not everyone will wait for the lost passenger to appear.