• brand building

    Five crimes which damage your online brand

    How your company is represented online impacts on the perception of your brand. Here are five fundamental online 'crimes' which can damage your brand.

                                  "Old news"

    When a website or social platform has Latest News items which are more than three months old, it infers that your business is less than dynamic. If your most recent news item is two or three years old, the implicit message conveyed is that you either do not care or have nothing new to offer. Any mentions of "innovation" in your text will appear ingenuous, if not reflected in a constant flow of new developments, projects, successful bids, personnel, equipment, products and services.

                                  "Chronological order"

    There is value in demonstrating your expertise and heritage. However, if your company history and activity, starts from the oldest date, it gives an impression of regressive thinking. By presenting timeline items in reverse chronological order (with the latest items first), you will reflect the brand's dynamism and ensure higher ranking with search engines (as new content appears closer to the top of the page)! The clean, clear, logical presentation of content, implies that your company applies a rational and organised philosophy to all your operations.


    A fixed width website prevents the majority of your audience from viewing it appropriately on handheld devices. 'Responsive' sites have been de rigeur since 2012. If your site width (and content) still does not scale to suit any device, it indicates a brand which has lost of touch with reality.


    A logo which has remained unchanged for ten years or more makes a brand (and a business) look staid and unimaginative. Brands need to regularly review their identity to ensure that the impression remains consistent, powerful and positive. A change does not have to be radical, but even subtle alterations can ensure that an identity maintains freshness and impact.

                                  "Visual Assets"

    When a website or social post relies entirely on stock library photography, it conveys a lack of creativity and transparency. Professional video and photography of your facilities and personnel present an authentic and trustworthy view of your company. An investment in high-quality imagery implicitly conveys a respect for your products, services and people. In summary All these components contribute to the way in which your brand is perceived. By neglecting to maintain fresh content, current technology and accurate media, you risk representing your brand in a negative way. If you recognise any of these vulnerabilities in your own online presence, seek professional advice today to represent your brand in the most positive light.
  • brand building

    Five minutes with the ACBC

    Five minutes with The Australia China Business Council (ACBC).

    Acknowledgement to the NSW branch for presenting this Member Spotlight.   Tell us about your business and how you've leveraged your Australia-China connections to build your success in China? Even before living in Hong Kong throughout the nineties, I had a strong interest in China and first visited in 1986. Since then I have worked for large privately owned Chinese enterprises and foreign owned manufacturers in China, as well as banks, energy and hospitality brands. Recently I lived in Shanghai for four months while working as Creative Director on a major capital-raising project. The benefits of membership of the ACBC (and for expats: AustCham chapters in Beijing, Hong Kong & Macau, and Shanghai), are the opportunities to attain current expert insights into business, finance, governmental and legal aspects of bilateral trade; and networking with other individuals working in Australia and China. My approach has always been to develop close personal connections and offer introductions when I see opportunities for companies to mutually benefit. While the foundation of 'guanxi' has always been personal shared experience and trust, communication can now be almost instant, through the platforms of LinkedIn and WeChat. What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on? Throughout the last 21 years at Digital Tsunami, there has never been a 'typical' day! (laughs). Because I am an old-school generalist exploiting cutting-edge specialist technology for clients across extensive sectors and around the globe, no day is the same. The company philosophy has always been agile and agnostic, in order to ensure that we meet the specific marketing objectives of our client with the most effective and evocative tools available. Today I am preparing a digital presentation to a South American government for a Chinese modular home fabricator; copywriting for a five-star hotel in Beijing; preparing for video production for an Australian defence contractor; and planning to launch a new identity for a global logistics brand. What would you say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business in/with China?
    • Connections
    • Flexibility
    • Competence
    • Persistence
    • Commitment
    How do you go about marketing your business in Australia/China and what has contributed to this success? I have been extremely fortunate to have had a high proportion of 'serial clients' and referrals, who have ensured a source of ongoing projects. With a heritage of 21 years online, Digital Tsunami has built a reputation based on many hundreds of successful projects. Most marketing is generated online via client websites and videos, but we also exploit LinkedIn and increasingly WeChat for regular communications with clients, suppliers, prospects and professionals. The term 'authority' reflects the presence of a brand (or an individual) in the consciousness of a target audience. It is gradually achieved as an accumulation of projects, public statements, online writings and 'validation' by external publications and organisations, in industry and online media. We help clients build this authority and constantly devote time to building it for the Digital Tsunami brand. You have been very successful to date, but there have no doubt been challenges - what's been your biggest challenge that you have overcome in your business journey with China? Despite studying Chinese calligraphy many years ago, I consider a lack of fluency in Mandarin and simplified Chinese characters has been my greatest single challenge. While I have been supported by brilliant professional translators, the ability to speak directly and understand nuance is invaluable. What's your motto/mantra? Communications Evolution.   Over three decades of working in China, Digital Tsunami has created visual assets including: The vast majority of these assets have been bilingual or multi-lingual, in the following spoken and written languages: Chinese (simplified and traditional characters, Cantonese and Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.     Source: ACBC Member Spotlight Photo credit: Derryck Menere, Shanghai
  • international logistics

    Road Warrior travel tips

    The writing of this article was commenced in a hotel room, continued in an airport lounge and completed at 39,000 feet on a trans-Pacific flight. It contains tips for combatting jet-lag, stress and DVT. There are hacks for getting thru immigration, airports and cities faster. There are clues on what to pack and how to pack it. There are insights into options for payments with cards or cash; what to wear and drink inflight; and how to maximise the benefits of your loyalty to an airline or hotel chain. We all have priorities when travelling. It may be luxury (or even extravagance), as an antidote to the mundane, or simply as an expectation in a life well lived. For others it is frugality; in order to spend more time travelling and absorbing memorable experiences. For those of us for whom travel in an aluminium tube is a professional and frequent necessity, the highest priorities may be comfort and speed. For me, flexibility is critical; but reduced stress and increased time are my highest priorities. Recently, I travelled through four countries in one week. However, over several weeks in Aug-Sep 2016, my itinerary comprised: 18 flights 14 hotel rooms 12 airport terminals 6 intercontinental flights 4 hemispheres (North, South, East and West!) 3 continents (2 visits each) 2 carry on bags 1 international driver's permit travelling through a literal A-Z of airports:
    • Auckland
    • Brisbane
    • Hong Kong
    • Los Angeles
    • Melbourne
    • Reno
    • San Francisco
    • Shanghai
    • Sydney
    • Xi'an
    • Yinchuan
    • Zhuhai
    In order to minimise stress and maximise safety and efficiency, I have developed procedures and practices, which I share in the following six part series. Most of these 'Road Warrior' tips are simple. Many will be familiar. All are practical and valuable in saving time, stress and (often) money. The six segments are: "The Itinerant Itinerary" (Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics) "The Vacuum Pack" (Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation) "The Nearly Terminal" (Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. Before departure) "The Forty Hour Wednesday" (Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air) "A Degree in Airports" (Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival) "The Dust of Two Deserts" (Frequent Flyer, part 6 of 6. In transit)     .. continue to part 1
  • international logistics

    The Itinerant Itinerary

    (Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics) Ticketing 1 .. If not already a member of a frequent flyer program, join one or more: 2 .. If not already a member of a hotel loyalty program, join one or more. The benefits include simplicity, itinerary flexibility and value. Earning points with frequent flying allows you to upgrade a seat or hotel room or burn points on exclusive offers at hotels and resorts 
In a shoot of seven Asian countries, I booked Four Seasons hotels exclusively, as rescheduling is much easier when properties are in a single chain 3 .. Corporate and professional travellers use a travel agent to arrange everything. This is the simplest, most stress-free and efficient means of booking and managing a straightforward (or a complex) trip. Your travel agent will have your passport and frequent flyer membership numbers, and your hotel chain, seat allocation and meal preferences Recently I urgently needed a flight booked, and my travel agent delivered within six minutes 4 .. The frugal traveller may book online, where a plethora of sites offer price comparisons. Many flight and accommodation bookings thru sites like and can be cheaper than direct with a hotel or airline. However, some hotel chains and loyalty programs (e.g. for Hilton Hotels and Resorts) will offer a lower tariff than anywhere else If you wish to avoid monitoring of your activity and triggering constant emails on airfares and destinations, consider using a non-tracked search engine like DuckDuckGo and/or an incognito / private browser on Opera or your preferred browser. If you use multiple browser windows, you can avoid the retention of dates and destinations 5 .. As soon as your dates are confirmed, ensure that your passport is current for the entire duration of the trip plus six months, and apply for all necessary visas (as some applications take time to process) 6 .. If your trip is arranged at short-notice, take a copy of your ticket and accommodation booking, and pay the premium for urgent visa processing 7 .. Conduct a risk assessment of your destinations through government safety alert sites, such as  smartraveller or 8 .. If travelling to establish or manage business operations, utilise valuable government advice from, AusTrade or 9 .. Visiting the USA, is facilitated more effectively thru Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) if you are a national of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) 10 .. Ensure that you have current medical and travel insurance (in case of a medical emergency, coverage for trip interruption / cancellation and loss or theft, to help reimburse or pay for unexpected expenses. 11 .. Check the dates of any public holidays which might impact on your business meetings 12 .. If your schedule is potentially subject to change, consider whether refundable fares are preferable 13 .. Enquire about carbon offsets *before* you pay the fare 14 .. For routing, investigate activity at any transit hubs and avoid those which are at over capacity, as these have the potential for delays. (e.g. airports in Beijing, Chicago, Moscow and Shanghai are renowned as amongst the world's worst for delayed and cancelled flights). If you can reach your destination by routing thru a quieter or more efficient hub, take that option In 2016, I was delayed 13 hours at Shenzhen airport, awaiting a postponed flight into Shanghai 15 .. If you must fly to / thru / from extremely busy hubs, try to arrive / leave in early morning, as this will minimise the likelihood of a compounded delay 16 .. Adjust sleep patterns and your phone / laptop / wristwatch via a travel time app (e.g. Jetlag Rooster). Destination time can be determined by 17 .. Explore what non-professional (music, culture, sporting) events you want to schedule into your trip. Refer to local websites: official country tourism AND peer review sites 18 .. Purchase VPN software to enable you to access sites from your home country or avoid blocked sites (e.g. within “The Great Firewall of China”). 
In my experience, Express VPN provides excellent service 19 .. If on a layover, consider an airport hotel, to avoid the expense and time of shuttling to/from the city 20 .. Research / book hotels for proximity to desired destinations, review with peer review sites 21 .. Is breakfast included in the tariff? Unless you prefer to get out and explore the town and enjoy a cheap local breakfast, (or arrange a light meal yourself), pay the extra and enjoy the buffet! 22 .. Select a hotel with a gym and pool if you like to maintain an exercise regime or relax from the stress of the day 23 .. Research restaurants via peer review sites and book well in advance, to allow friends plenty of lead time to meet with you Transport 24 .. Determine what forms of inter-city transport you intend to use. Compare fast train timetables and fares with airfares and the potential for delayed / postponed / cancelled flights 25 .. Determine airport transfers to / from your hotel:
    • Does the airline / hotel offer a chauffeur-driven car service?
    • Does the hotel offer a dedicated shuttle bus?
    • Can you book an airport shuttle (train / coach) in advance?
    • Does the timetable suit your itinerary?
    • Compare hire car / airport Express train / airport shuttle bus / taxi
    26 .. Many frequent corporate travellers prefer a hire car to and from airports. Having a clean, comfortable car and a prompt, polite and safe driver, is not considered to be a luxury, but a necessity. Another benefit is the ability to conduct confidential business while in transit 27 .. Uber is expanding to many cities, and offers a fast, reliable and inexpensive service compared to a cab or hire car. If you do not have an Uber account, set one up with a credit card assigned to it   .. continue to part 2   "The Itinerant Itinerary" (Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics) "The Vacuum Pack" (Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation) "The Nearly Terminal" (Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. Before departure) "The Forty Hour Wednesday" (Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air) "A Degree in Airports" (Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival) "The Dust of Two Deserts" (Frequent Flyer, part 6 of 6. In transit)
  • international logistics

    The Vacuum Pack

    (Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation) Documentation 28 .. If you intend to drive whilst abroad, apply for an International Driver's Permit (check countries of validity, as this is not accepted universally) 29 .. Print and bring spare passport photos (for any additional identification cards or applications) 30 .. Scan and print a copy of your (photo) passport page, special visa pages, your credit cards, accounts, insurances, and itinerary (including hotel phone numbers) and carry separately from your passport, so in case of emergency, you have all the relevant information on hand 31 .. Duplicate documents should be stored in two bags, so if laptop, phone or even one bag is stolen or lost, you will still have a copy of this important data 32 .. Leave a printed copy with a trusted staff member, relative or friend in your home country Finance 33 .. Carry a credit card which is commonly accepted in the countries you will frequent: AmEx, MasterCard and Visa (USA) / JCB (Japan) / UnionPay (China) 34 .. Use a credit card with a microchip which requires a PIN 35 .. A bank card in the Global Plus network can be used worldwide to withdraw cash from any ATM with the Global Plus symbol 36 .. Notify your bank and credit card issuer of the countries to which you will be travelling, without reducing any fraud detection protocols 37 .. Use a credit card which earns frequent flyer points 38 .. Use a business credit card and/or keep receipts of all items eligible for reimbursement or tax assessment as legitimate travel expenses. One or more zip-lock bags are useful for collating these 39 .. Buy a RFID scan blocker and put it in between your credit cards, to mitigate against electronic pickpockets skimming your card in busy places. The frugal traveller may use aluminium foil instead 40 .. In many countries, cash is acceptable for most transactions. To acquire cash from your bank before leaving, allow sufficient time to prepare the amount of foreign currency you will need. This will often deliver a better rate of exchange than an airport Bureau de Change 41 .. If carrying large amounts of cash, a concealed money belt is advisable. Separate currencies (and your local travel proximity cards) in small transparent zip-lock bags 42 .. To calculate exchange rates between an extensive range of currencies, use a online site or app, such as: universal currency converter baggage 43 .. In order to avoid time-consuming carousels and the potential for lost luggage, I prefer carry-on baggage only. Check your ticket/s for maximum carry on items, dimensions and weight It is possible to travel for extended periods like this. I recently spent several months in winter and summer cities across three continents, with just a cabin-compliant case and small backpack 44 .. To avoid excess baggage fees, weigh all check-in items 45 .. Make your baggage easily identifiable with a unique and not easily removed item (e.g. green zipper pull tags) 46 .. A waist pack is useful for carrying small items which you may want accessible in your aircraft seat. (e.g. eyeshades, earplugs, money, lip balm, moisturising spray, hand sanitizer, mints, tissues, toothbrush, toothpaste, passport, pen, pre-completed arrival card, inflatable neck pillow, if required) 47 .. Consider what computer device you will require on your trip: a tablet with keyboard or laptop A 13" MacBook Air laptop is an ideal size, as it fits on an aircraft tray table and in a hotel room safe 48 .. If using any cameras using lithium batteries, place in a transparent plastic zip-lock bag and top pack or place in an external pocket, so that they can be easily removed for X-Ray scanning 49 .. If concerned about potential confidential data loss, consider a secure data drive, like the Datashur secure memory stick (which has high security measures, if hackers attempt to unlock it) 50 .. Unless staying longer than a few days in one country, arrange data roaming with your cellphone carrier Apparel 51 .. Download and check weather apps for your destination/s and select suitable clothing for your planned activities 52 .. The frequent traveller may select colour coordinated garments for greatest flexibility 
(Note: layers allow flexibility, and black IS the new black!)
    • overcoat, scarf, woollen headwear (if travelling through cold climates)
    • gloves (to use handheld devices in freezing weather, purchase gloves with touch-sensitive fingertips)
    • formal jacket and a casual water resistant jacket with zip-out fleece lining
    • lightweight long layer thermal garments (adventure stores are best for ultra-lightweight garments, as by necessity, climbers are exceptionally weight sensitive)
    • Pashmina wraps provide businesswomen with lightweight warmth and colour variation
    • 2 pairs of slip on / easy tie shoes (some airport security scans still require shoe removal)
    • 3 sets of underwear
    • 1 non-metal belt (to eliminate the need to remove for X-Ray scanning)
    • swimsuit / gym gear
    53 .. The two best methods for ensuring compact packing are:
    • vacuum packs (in which you place clothing and squeeze out air) to reduce volume
    • rolling multiple garments or single items to maximise the use of space within a suitcase
    54 .. In most airports, liquids are only permitted in containers of 100ml or less. Pack any cosmetic liquids in one or more separate transparent waterproof zip-lock bags, for rapid customs inspections 55 .. If you are taking any medication/s, ensure that you have sufficient for your trip (and any potential delays). If travelling for a long time and taking a large amount, carry a photocopy of your prescription with the same details as on the labels on containers *Be aware that some countries put a limit on the amounts of certain organic, healthcare and pharmaceutical products which can be exported or imported 56 ..If you wish to actually hear in-flight movie dialogue (and not just view the action), pack noise-cancelling headphones 
I currently use compact, lightweight Sony MDR-EX750NA noise-cancelling in-ear buds     .. continue to part 3   "The Itinerant Itinerary" (Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics) "The Vacuum Pack" (Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation) "The Nearly Terminal" (Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. Before departure) "The Forty Hour Wednesday" (Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air) "A Degree in Airports" (Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival) "The Dust of Two Deserts" (Frequent Flyer, part 6 of 6. In transit)
  • international logistics

    The Nearly Terminal

    (Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. On departure) Prior to boarding 57 .. Ensure that you are carrying a return ticket, as some countries (including Australia) will not permit departure by a citizen without a return ticket 58 .. Take advantage of the online check-in which is available at least 48 hours before departure. Subject to the airline and ticket class, it may be a part of the ticket booking process 59 .. Book your seat allocation in advance. A great resource for determining details of seats on any flight, indicates orientation of first class capsule, legroom, exit rows, and more 60 .. If you sleep on your right side at home, select a window seat on the right side of the plane. When travelling on long flights in Economy class, selection of a window seat will ensure that adjacent passengers will not disturb you when leaving their seat 61 .. If you advance order your in-flight meals, you can ensure that you know what you will be eating and (if travelling economy class) receive your meal early, irrespective of seat position. This enables you to eat early and sleep early 62 .. In the airline lounge, take advantage of the lounge facilities to shower, enjoy a seated massage, eat at a regular mealtime, and prepare 63 .. To avoid constricting blood circulation, avoid greasy foods in the airport terminal. To avoid bloating, avoid bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and cress, as well as sugar-free gum, containing artificial sweeteners which the human body processes with difficulty 64 .. Prior to the flight, change into loose-fitting clothes that breathe. Wear compression socks to reduce the risk of DVT 65 .. Slip-on shoes are preferable, both for the US airports which still require you to remove them, and for easing compression on your feet, once onboard 66 .. Light exercise before boarding, will help you sleep during the flight. Where possible, use stairs and walk to the gate rather than using lifts and travelators 67 .. Limit alcohol and drink a fruit smoothie or vegetable juice 68 .. If the airline on which you will travel has an entertainment app, download it. This will allow you to use your own handheld device to control or watch and listen to the airline's entertainment channels 69 .. Before you depart, (if you have not already done so) download a VPN to your laptop / tablet / phablet and/or smartphone 70 .. Charge batteries for all devices required in flight or immediately on arrival and ensure that power cables are easily accessible. Some aircraft offer inflight charging via power outlet or USB socket 71 .. Empty any drink bottles. Many airports have airside water refilling facilities, so that you can have ensure that you have plenty of hydration in the air. If not, pick up bottles of water in a business lounge or an airside store. Some countries do not allow even airside bottles onboard 72 .. Utilise the 24 hour clock. Zero hundred hours to 23:59. Most flight times are displayed in 24 hour format (it's simple math!) 73 .. For clear, rapid verbal communication of your name, flight identity, etc., the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aka military alphabet is most efficient. Say once, no need to repeat: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu 74 .. Source a map of pick up points and confirm a precise location for any meeting points     .. continue to part 4   "The Itinerant Itinerary" (Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics) "The Vacuum Pack" (Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation) "The Nearly Terminal" (Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. Before departure) "The Forty Hour Wednesday" (Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air) "A Degree in Airports" (Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival) "The Dust of Two Deserts" (Frequent Flyer, part 6 of 6. In transit)
  • international logistics

    The Forty Hour Wednesday

    (Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air) While some airlines are gradually refining onboard lighting, temperature, food & drink on long-haul flights to accommodate pax biorhythms, your comfort is best achieved by your own initiative. On-board 75 .. You may be travelling on a range of aircraft. No matter if you have already made two immediately preceding flights, read the safety card. An air crash survivor has stated that reading the card and having the instructions clear in his head, helped him survive .. when others did not 76 .. I always feel below / beside my seat, to find the tab pull for the life jacket, to give my body muscle memory as to where I will reach, should the need arise. A flight attendant recently told me that sometimes on occasion a life jacket may have been removed. I would prefer to make a check .. than make an assumption 77 .. Select flight mode on handheld devices, before turning off 78 .. Before takeoff, ask a flight attendant for a second blanket (airlines are always weight sensitive and one blanket may not be just quite warm enough at 40,000’) 79 .. Since cabin crew refer to the passenger manifest and often call me by name, I like to return the courtesy. As cabin crew on most airlines wear name tags, it is easy to read and address the person by name when asking for assistance or thanking them 80 .. Stow your luggage, but ensure that you have your waist-pack on 81 .. If in a window seat, and wanting to sleep, you may lower the window shade after takeoff 82 .. For lumbar support use a pillow, blanket or rolled clothing 83 .. Rest your arms on armrests and try to avoid crossing your legs. This aids relaxation Health 84 .. Before takeoff, ask a flight attendant not to be disturbed if you are asleep during the flight 85 .. Once the aircraft takes off, remove your shoes and put on a pair of compression socks 86 .. If you plan to sleep immediately (and don't want 'dinner' at 2 am), put in your earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones, eyeshades and peaked cap pulled low 87 .. Change wristwatches / time devices to your destination timezone immediately after takeoff. (I never do this before, as there is always the chance of a delay or return to the gate!) 88 .. Warmth, hydration, a multivitamin and vitamin C can fortify your natural immune mechanisms as preventative measures against catching cold in high altitude and low humidity 89 .. Scientists report that viruses which cause colds and flu can survive for hours on armrests, TV remote control handsets, tray tables and other surfaces. Keeping your hands clean with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, is a formidable defence against the transfer of harmful microorganisms. Wash or sanitise your hands before in-flight meals. Keep clean = stay healthy! 90 .. Using a germ-killing mouthwash in-flight, adds protection while simultaneously helping to keep your throat moist. Mints also offer moisture for the throat and can help you to equalise your inner-ear pressure on descent 91 .. Cabin air is dry. Keep your face hydrated with a pure water spray or a moisturiser from your waist pack or the aircraft bathroom. A lip balm will minimise cracked skin 92 .. Prior to and during the flight, remain hydrated with loads of water and juices. Airline tank water may not be ideal, so drink bottled water or orange, apple or tomato juice. If you do not have your own bottled water, ask a flight attendant 93 .. After takeoff, cabin air pressure decreases, so cabin air expands by approximately 30%. Swallowed air and intestinal gases can expand, leading to bloating and discomfort. Carbonated beverages contribute to bloating and cramping 94 .. Digestion of foods loaded with sodium and saturated fats, takes time and even more so at altitude 95 .. To avoid cramping and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), do preventative exercises throughout the flight. Isometric exercises like toe raises and shoulder rolls can be done in your seat. Every few hours, walk up and down the cabin aisles and/or stand up and do foot and leg stretches in an exit row 96 .. Melatonin is a natural hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. This chemical helps regulate sleep cycles. As a good source of melatonin, some travellers consider dried cherries to be a natural remedy for combating jet lag 97 .. At least an hour before you sleep, avoid looking at bright screens, like your laptop or a television screen. The bright light from these screens stimulates melatonin production and can linger even when you close your eyes, making it difficult to drift off to sleep 98 .. Alcohol causes dehydration, exacerbated by salty snacks and dry recycled aircraft air. Caffeinated and carbonated beverages contribute to bloating and cramping. A glass of red may help you sleep, but its better for your body if you accept orange juice rather than champagne 99 .. Excessive alcohol consumption may prevent you being permitted on the flight and keep you from your holiday. Get to your destination before starting your holiday drinking! 100 .. Utilise some of your waking hours to practice courtesies in relevant local language/s (“Thank you”, “Good Morning”, “How Are You?”) 101 .. About 90 minutes before you are due to land, refresh in the bathroom (to avoid the rush after the pilot's 'on approach' announcement) 102 .. Suck a mint as the aircraft descends. This will help you to swallow regularly and aid in the ‘equalisation’ of your ear canals 103 .. Check around your seat and ALL seat pockets to ensure that you not left anything behind: book, glasses, laptop, phone! The title of this article refers to a recent transcontinental trip, in which the author departed late at night; travelled east across the international date line; and arrived at his destination in the late afternoon on the same date!     .. continue to part 5   "The Itinerant Itinerary" (Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics) "The Vacuum Pack" (Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation) "The Nearly Terminal" (Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. Before departure) "The Forty Hour Wednesday" (Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air) "A Degree in Airports" (Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival) "The Dust of Two Deserts" (Frequent Flyer, part 6 of 6. In transit)
  • architectural photography

    A Degree in Airports

    (Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival) Formalities 104 .. If visiting a particular country repeatedly, collect multiple arrival and departure cards, (so that in future, these can be completed in advance prior to boarding) 105 .. If visiting a particular country repeatedly, apply for e-channel (biometric) access, so that on future visits, you can minimise or eliminate the time queuing for manual immigration processing 106 .. For security (especially for solo businesswomen or in high-risk airports) instruct hotels and companies who are sending someone to meet you, to hold a greeting sign with your initial and family name only Communications 107 .. If staying longer than a few days, purchase a local phone company SIM card on arrival. Some phones have a dual SIM capacity Transport 108 .. If renting a car, consider taking full insurance coverage, so that for a higher daily rate, you are covered with minimal or no excess fees in the case of an accident 109 .. when taking a cab, ensure that you understand and agree a fare in advance or insist on the meter. The concierge / bellboy will translate / negotiate if required 110 .. Where available, Uber can be a far more clean, effective and inexpensive form of transport than a cab A trip from Downtown L.A. to a Sunset restaurant in a taxi cost US$30. The return in Uber cost $6! 111 .. If visiting a particular country repeatedly, buy the local transport proximity card and top up for an amount suitable for your local travel needs. This can be cheaper than a tourist package card. Often transport cards are also debit cards, accepted by vendors to tap for small purchases 112 .. Share rather than take separate transport. (The frivolity of a rickshaw race in the Mekong Delta, dissipated rapidly when my companion was ridden off on a different route, and I became concerned for her safety) 113 .. In some cities, muggers, pickpockets and purse snatchers operate even around 5 star hotels in daylight, as well as after dark. If in any doubt, wait for a hotel car / taxi rather than walking even a short distance to a local restaurant 114 .. If you are accosted, release your valuables. It is better to lose money than your life Hotel room 115 .. Use the hotel room safe to store your laptop, external hard drives, passport, foreign currency, and valuables when not using them and out of your room 116 .. Memorise a six-digit code (sometime only the first four will be required), for use in locking and unlocking the safe 117 .. To avoid high mini-bar costs, the frugal traveller will buy cold drinks, snacks at a nearby supermarket or convenience store. If staying long-term, you may choose to ask hospitality to clear your fridge 118 .. For best garment care, take advantage of the hotel dry cleaning, pressing and laundry service. To receive freshly laundered and pressed garments on hangers in your wardrobe is a pleasure 119 .. The frugal traveller will wash and dry small items in their room, to avoid the laundry costs and will need to take a small sachet of laundry powder or use soap. For longer-term stays, a local laundry may provide an inexpensive bag-wash service 120 .. Thousand thread count sheets and large fluffy bath sheets are a delightful luxury, but to be environmentally sensitive, defer the option to change them every day. Most hotels offer a way of notifying housekeeping of your preference Neighbourhood 121 .. Walk around the local area, to get a feel for the place. Ensure that you take time to savour sights and senses on your travels. Explore. Wander. Roam 122 .. Talk with locals. Share meals and stories. Learn new things. Capture indelible memories. Tell stories of your previous travels. Share your happiness Departure 123 .. Always check the safe, and all cupboards before checkout 124 .. Ask reception to prepare your bill in advance and check / pay on departure. Hotels with Executive Floors will do this, so you can avoid the tour bus departure queues! And politely decline the proffered envelope. You don't need the extra weight. The planet will benefit from fewer trees being sacrificed 125 .. Request your car / transport to the airport, in plenty of time for your flight     .. continue to part 6   "The Itinerant Itinerary" (Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics) "The Vacuum Pack" (Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation) "The Nearly Terminal" (Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. Before departure) "The Forty Hour Wednesday" (Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air) "A Degree in Airports" (Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival) "The Dust of Two Deserts" (Frequent Flyer, part 6 of 6. In transit)
  • international logistics

    The Dust of Two Deserts

    (part 6 of 6. In transit) back to the airport (see part 2 "The Nearly Terminal”) 126 .. Travelling light means that I carry just two pairs of shoes (a lightweight black leather business pair and a pair of comfortable running shoes)* * After shooting video in both the Nevada and Gobi deserts, my runners were coated with multiple layers of fine dust. Trekking over a mountain to a remote Chinese village, rinsed them clean! 127 .. Commemorate your trip with photographs, but be selective. You have a large capacity analogue storage device in your head. It is preferable to remember, rather than abdicate in favour of a digital recording, or isolate yourself by constantly viewing your surroundings via a screen 128 .. Breathe. If you can't change it, or work around it, just chill and accept it! There is no point having a heart attack over a long delay or even a 24 hour flight postponement. Attempt other routings or transport options. However, if none can be found, utilise the extra time to relax or explore some local hospitality. Enjoy the experience       This six part Frequent Flyer series: "The Itinerant Itinerary" (Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics) "The Vacuum Pack" (Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation) "The Nearly Terminal" (Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. Before departure) "The Forty Hour Wednesday" (Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air) "A Degree in Airports" (Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival) "The Dust of Two Deserts" (Frequent Flyer, part 6 of 6. In transit) ============================== Reference links: Accor Hotels Airfare Watchdog Air France Aman Resorts AmEx Airlines Reporting Corporation Australia Post debit cards AusTrade Cathay Pacific China Air China Eastern China Southern Datashur Delta DragonAir DuckDuckGo (search engine) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Emirates Exchange Rates Expedia ExpressVPN FareCompare Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts Google Flights HHonours Hyatt Hotels Intercontinental Hotels JAL JCB Jet Lag Rooster Kayak Kempinski Last Minute Malaysian Airways Mandarin Oriental Marriott MasterCard Millennium Hotels Omni Hotels & Resorts OneWorld Opera (browser) QANTAS Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts Singapore Airlines Skyteam Smart Traveller Star Alliance Starwood Hotels & Resorts Taj Hotels Thai Airways Uber UnionPay United Airlines US State Department (passports & travel) US State Department (Smart Traveler) US State Department (travel alerts) US State Department (travel documents) Visa Card Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
  • international logistics

    Consumption economy

    Thirty years ago; on my first visit to China; 'Mao suits' were commonplace; bicycles - a ubiquitous conveyance; denim - a rarity and a fashion statement. In those days, the only place foreigners were permitted to shop for consumer goods were Friendship Stores, which accepted USD and gave change in FECs (foreign exchange certificates), which could be spent only in Friendship Stores! While, for over a decade, Hong Kong had maintained the world's highest ownership of luxury cars per head of population, in 1986, European brands were still a rarity in China. The transition to 'a market economy with Chinese characteristics' has changed all that. The massive internal migration to the cities, dramatic growth as the world's manufacturer (iPhone packaging may say "designed in Cupertino", but the products are assembled in China), and rapid expansion of disposable income, has revolutionised the country far more than the cadres of 1949 could have ever imagined. Today, on Shanghai streets, there is a highly visible presence of Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati and Maybach cars. A walk through the Sun Hung Kai Properties owned Shanghai IFC Mall; (above which I work); reveals a 'shopping list' of the world's luxury brands (considerably abbreviated here):
    • Armani
    • Bally
    • Bulgari
    • Cartier
    • Celine
    • Chanel
    • Coach
    • Chopard
    • DeBeers
    • Dior
    • Ermenegildo Zegna
    • Givenchy
    • Gucci
    • Hermes
    • IWC Shaffhausen
    • Lanvin
    • Louis Vuitton
    • Mikimoto
    • Mont Blanc
    • Prada
    • Rolex
    • Salvatore Ferragamo
    • Tiffany & Co.
    • Vacheron Constantin
    • Van Cleef & Arpels
    .. and not a Mao suit to be seen. Welcome to Communist China, comrade!