Birder's Guide

JAN 2019

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 60 of 67

59 January 2019 | Birder's Guide to Travel Y How to prepare for getting to the other side of the world ou are excited. Beyond excited. You've just put down your de- posit for a birding trip to South Africa, your first to Africa. You sit down at your computer to find flights, your mind swirling with thoughts of sugarbirds and rockjumpers, lions and elephants. You know South Africa is far away, but seeing the travel times for the best routes—24 hours, 28 hours, or more, with at least one stop—still comes as a bit of a shock. Don't fret: it's worth it! And fortunately, there are ways to make that time pass quickly and relatively comfortably, even in economy class. I embark on such long journeys multiple times a year as the owner of a birding tour company. Over the course of the past 10+ years, I've perfected a system that gets me through those journeys with ease. Of course, what works for me will not necessarily work for everybody, but I hope that by sharing my personal tips and tricks, others will feel a little less intimidated when planning their own trips. Besides what you read here about preparing for the flights, don't forget to pack essentials in your carry-on bags, like binoculars and medicine, in case you show up at your destination but your luggage does not! 1 • Neck pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs. Nothing passes time faster on a long flight than sleeping, so anything you can do to facilitate sleep is a good thing. Even a little sleep helps with jet lag recovery once you arrive. A good neck pillow and comfortable eye mask and ear plugs are crucial for me. I use a memory foam neck pillow, but many types are available, including some that you can hook onto the outside of your carry-on bags Chicago, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Engel Josh Josh Engel

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