This week our trip report is a little different. Rather than being another business trip in familiar territory, or a short domestic jaunt, it’s the big one, the first long haul trip overseas.

My mother has managed to make it to 60 without ever going overseas (Kangaroo Island doesn’t count), so when I stumbled on some great Virgin Business fares mid last year, the decision was easy. I booked, then rang her at work to let her know we were off to the US in May. What followed was a series on excited emails as she discovered we would get flat beds, champagne and a huge luggage allowance. Her boss has never let her take more than a week off at a time, but I wasn’t taking no for an answer.

Travelling with a first timer can remind us of the benefits of experience. Frequent fliers will often fuss over seat selection, the in-flight movie choice and even track down a menu to peruse the catering on offer. On the other hand, the first timer is often happy with what they have.

I have the window seat; it’s wasted on someone who closes her eyes on take-off and landing. Headphones are already sorted, and she is refusing to deal with IFE; apparently her book and ipod will be sufficient for 20 hours of flying time

So the fares are booked, and a plan is published, including coast to coast USA travel and the odd road trip. Not surprisingly, shopping features on the list thanks to a generous baggage allowance on offer. The Macy’s tourist card and RACV (AA) discounts get a mention, as do some Californian outlet malls. Tips on the best way to book those special sightseeing events are also soon forthcoming.

Also, if you are going to the world trade towers, book your tickets and depending on the time booked (change of taxi shift) you’ll either have to book a car service or subway.

With so much to see and do, it must be hard to keep track of it all as a first timer. There’s temptation to get a new suitcase with all the bargains to be had. However our member quickly quashes that temptation with the knowledge that better suitcases can be bought for less on the journey.

So what’s it like to travel with a first timer? It’s often said travel in Business on their first trip will spoil them for life? Are you doing a similar trip soon, or perhaps it’s a case of been there done that, why not join the journey HERE.

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