A journalist's life on the royal trail aint easy

Too much luggage while covering the royal tour? Just mail some back home, like the Star's Katie Daubs did to her work mailbox. (KATIE DAUBS/TORONTO STAR)

The tour has moved north. After a busy day in a rainy PEI, the media made their way to the Northwest Territories. Here’s the scoop.

1)    If you’re going to organize a long haul flight for 50 tired journalists, make sure there’s alcohol on board.  (Especially if it’s the kind of flight that stops to refuel in two places and takes nine hours to reach its destination). If there’s no alcohol, the reporters, who have been soaked in the rain and are growing increasingly agitated, may lead a near-mutiny mid-flight over the cost, relative to the amenities. Some might compare the whole experience to “expecting a limousine and getting a bicycle.” It is best, if this happens, to make sure your last refueling stop, in Winnipeg, can supply you with alcohol. This gesture of goodwill will be greeted with cheers.

2)    If you’ve got too much luggage, mail a few clothing items to your loved ones, or yourself, at your nearest Canada Post outlet. This will allow you to send dirty socks and shirts home to your family to show how much you care. 

(This travel tip originally came from Moms on Money blogger and Toronto Star librarian Peggy MacKenzie who came up with the idea of mailing a nice formal outfit and heels to Charlottetown for a reception. While she was talking clean clothes, I'm sure she'll be proud that the post office could play a role in handling my laundry this tour.)

3)    After a day in the rain with sandals, the sock aisle at the local pharmacy will seem like an oasis of luxury. You will see socks, which you have not packed, in a whole different light. So many choices. So many kinds. So little cost, all for such wonderful comfort. How did you never appreciate socks before now? You were a fool. A sockless fool.

4)    Scrabble on the plane is a great way to meet the British press, and give them the impression that you have a very low IQ.  They might come up with words like “dippy” and “carmines”  and you will have words like “boo” and “ava” and wonder why Jedi is not acceptable.

5)    Sit with an old buddy from the Ottawa Citizen. Reminisce about the glories of covering the Scripps spelling bee.  Cover various topics for the next eight hours and 45 minutes, like how awful bad smells on a plane can be.

- Katie Daubs


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