When deciding what title to use for this epistle we discarded DUBIOUS and then DOUBTFUL, both perfectly good adjectives, before realising DODGY was perfect.
In our original Code of Misconduct we declared we would not be offering classic travel advice.
Classic tips are really like those self help videos on all things obvious. For example: ‘How to Use a Hammer.’ Really? WTF? If you need a tutorial on how to use a hammer you shouldn’t be allowed within a million miles of a hammer.
The same goes for basic travel tips. If you want to know how many pairs of socks to pack for a trip to Morocco you really should stay at home.
However, we do have a few pointers you might find useful. Helpful hints you definitely won’t find in the average Lonely Planet Guide.
Of course it goes without saying that you’d never imagine Gionny and David embarking on such nefarious activities described below. No of course not; we heard it all from so called friends, or did we just read about it? Perhaps it’s all urban myth.
Indeed Mr Thoreau. If any of you are considering traveling with somebody else; DON’T. Certainly not that bit in the airport. After many close calls in the past we prefer to arrive in the airport alone and with plenty of time to spare. Security and immigration lines are fickle and unpredictable.
Why endure the stress when you can relax in an airline corporate lounge with a good book and drinking their free booze. All the time your really not very smart travelling companion is sweating through all the checks because he or she wants to spend an extra hour or two in bed.
That’s their problem. Always agree to meet airside at the departure gate NOT at the check in. If they miss the flight, tough shit.
Wanna play a trick on a friend with a weird sense of humour or perhaps on somebody you simply want to piss off?
Gain access to their luggage just prior to departure, or rather, specifically, to any books they might be carrying in their carry on bag. With some kitchen foil make a cut out in the shape of a gun. Insert it their book.
Oh boy do the security guards love this and it sure as hell creates delays for the victim. You can see the shape of the gun on the scanner screen but it takes ages to actually find the aluminium cut out.
A mutual friend of ours played this prank on another mutual friend. The latter missed his flight.
How to lose your luggage and still arrive at your hotel in a relaxed state.
This only really works if you have a lot of luggage (such as climbing or diving gear etc.) and you are not in a hurry for a few days.
It is simplicity itself. When you arrive at your destination airport go to the luggage reclaim as normal.
When your luggage arrives on the carrousel remove it and then place it on another carrousel further down the baggage hall. Then go to the missing luggage desk and report yours as missing.
Take a relaxed and stress free journey to your hotel with just your carry on bag. In a couple of days your luggage miraculously appears at your hotel – bloody magic.
For Professional drinkers only!
If you are a professional drinker where you sit on a plane is of vital importance. On a long haul flight at 35,000 feet the view out of the window becomes a monotonous bore. Choose an aisle seat.
With an aisle seat you have the moral high ground regarding toilet access, you get to go walk about any time without having to disturb your neighbours and, most importantly, you are perfectly positioned to form a relationship with the flight attendant when the drinks trolley arrives.
A quiet and subtle request for a second bottle of gin for your G & T simply won’t work if shouted from the window seat. Likewise when the food trolley arrives, and invoking the old adage “you can’t fly on one wing,” you need that second bottle of wine.
And of course if your charm fails you can simply steal that second bottle off the trolley while the attendant is dealing with another passenger
A few hours into your flight you’ll be needing a cold beer. Occupying that aisle seat you can quietly go to a pantry without creating a fuss. But when you need that second cold beer use an alternative pantry – you don’t want to create a bad reputation!
How to sneak booze on a cruze.
Ok, this one calls for a confession beforehand… Gionny has been once in his lifetime guilty of paying for a holiday on board a cruise ship.
But mind, it was only to road test this next trick!
If you’re boarding a cruise ship, once you’ve walked the gangway, you’ll be charged for anything you can imagine, apart from the sun and fresh breeze.
Gionny once asked to see the bridge and the radio room and he was told that 60 bucks for a full tour will do.
The cruise company is holding you by the balls, you’re suddenly at their mercy and everything you wish for has a price tag. Tickets are cheap, but the real margin they make is on your consumption while on board, especially alcoholic beverages.
In order to win this battle, you’ll need some preparation, as any bottle you may try to bring on board will be categorically confiscated as your luggage is X-rayed.
So, make sure you visit a pharmacy and a bottleshop a few days ahead of departure and buy a liter bottle of Listerine, or, even better, a large bottle of contact lenses fluid and you’re on!
Empty the content, wash thoroughly and fill up the containers with your favourite mixer (Gin, White Rum, Wodka?).
No-one will ever question the content of those bottles.
If you wish to drink beer, well….you might have to pay for it, but your sundowners are guaranteed!
On board tonic water and lemonade are cheap and abundant and you’ll have no surprises or hefty bills, a la sante!
Wanna pick your seat? play it “last minute”.
If you play this trick, you might annoy a few passengers, but remember, once they are inside the aircraft, they no longer hear the speaker from the terminal!
So you’re at the gate, you’re all set to go and the final call for your flight has been announced.
All the passengers are on board, but you really want to pick a seat you like, possibly away from screaming kids?
If the plane isn’t full, which is common on a long haul flight, do not rush on board at the first call, especially if you’ve been assigned the middle seat…
Instead, innocently wait for your name to be called at the loudspeaker until you hear: “Mr…. you’re delaying your flight, please board now or your luggage will be offloaded”.
That is the moment to act, obliviously walk to the counter and board your flight.
You’re indeed the last one on board and every free seat is potentially yours, pick carefully, especially if you’re on a long haul one.
There you have it! We’ve shared the tip of the iceberg, the cream of what we have learned in years of dodgy travel practices.
We’re happy to spread our wisdom and hear back from you in case you’ll ever deploy one of those escamotages.
We love travelling, it just stimulates creativity, we can’t help it!
OK now you’ve read some of our nefarious travel antics. But some of you must have some equally, or more so, dodgy tips. If so we’d love to hear them. This is, after all, the perfect forum to share your exploits.