Flying can be the most stressful experiance ever, especially if you don’t do it all that often. From packing, to boarding, to finding transport at the other end, believe it or not, there is an easier way to do it all. It’s all in the prep!
Here’s my top tips to making your travel experience that little easier.
1. Sign Up To A Frequent Flyer programme
The amount of times I have spoken to passengers that fly every year and ask them if they have paid part miles for the flight to then receive a blank stare back is unbelievable. It’s the easiest thing to do to get money off your flights and can also be used towards an upgrade which will get you recognised by the airline. Do it! It can even go towards your shopping or hotels which is an added bonus.
2. Packing Them Bags
Make a list – Always make a list of what you need to take with you. Never just assume you have everything! If you’re not good at making lists, then use Skyscanners which is great!
Roll or vacuum your clothes (It saves a lot of space and allows you to pack more) – Rolling your clothes means they wont crease as much and they allow more room for you to pack extra items. If you’re finding rolling hard, then buy a vacuum pack and that should do the trick. Amazon have some great ones for a cheap price.
Keep the important things away from everything else! ( Liquids in a clear bag, spare sets of clothes, passport, tickets & itineraries) – Always keep your important items in a carry on bag that will stay with you on the flight. Also be sure to take a few sets of clothes with you just in case your bag doesn’t make it to its destination. Also, buy some travel bottles that are 100ml or under and fill them with your must have liquids (No – not your Smirnoff vodka – I mean shampoos and shower gels).
Use TSA approved bags or buy a TSA approved padlock – I can never stress this enough! Don’t ever leave your luggage open to being stolen, you wouldn’t leave your clothes in a bag, on the street, on its own, so why would you do it at an airport? Yes – You would expect a certain level of trust with airlines, but we all know this doesn’t go to plan every now and again. Get a lock and keep them as safe as possible. You will also have a better leg to stand on with insurance companies and airlines if it does get broken into.
3. Get To The Aiport With Plenty Of Time
We always recommend getting to the airport with loads of time to spare. This means you can relax and not worry about the long security queues (London Heathrow, New York, Rome & Madrid especially). For a long-haul flight, you should arrive three hours before departure, two hours before European flights and one-and-a-half hours before for UK and Ireland. If you’re going to be late, call your airline! The more time you give them they will sometimes hold check in open for you.
4. Don’t be a fool and drink too much at the airport – Its so not cool
Everyone loves having a drink to celebrate the start of a holiday, I know I do. The thing is if you have too much and end up paralytic before the flight, you can bet your bottom dollar you ain’t going anywhere. Airlines have had enough of the drinking antics that have caused a rise in delays & diversions, which cost them tens of thousands of pounds in airport charges. If you look too drunk when boarding, you will be denied and could even end up being arrested. Have a drink or two by all means, but then wait till you are at your destination because its a better experiance then for everyone.
5. Rules For An Easy Flight (FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED)
Seated comfortably? – If you are at a window seat you get the armrest and a wall, if you are in the middle seats, you get the middle armrests. If you are on the aisle seat, you get an armrest with the freedom of no one sitting on both sides of you.
Drink…please? – When ordering a drink be clear and use your pleases and thank yous – It’s so much nicer and you will be surprised how far it goes with the crew. You will sometimes end up with an extra drink or even one from another cabin. *Please drink responsibly
Remember to keep hydrated! You should be drinking at least eight ounces of water on a long haul flight of 8 hours! So if its a 2 hour flight drink 2 ounces and so on.
Blankets – Keep your blankets under your seatbelt if you’re sleeping so the crew dont have to wake you and you can get that all important rest.
In Flight Entertainment – If you are having trouble with your In Flight Entertainment please let the crew know and dont sit in silence for 9 hours to then raise your concerns when the flight is about to land. Do remember though they may already be busy with another customer and will get to you as soon as they can.
Exercise – Please get up and have a walk about for a few minutes, it’s good for your well being but do remember that the crew need the space to work.
Cleanliness for all! – Try and keep the area around you clear so you feel clear in your mind.
Toilets – If your first meal option isn’t available, dont panic! Pick another option or politely ask the crew if they may be able to find something else. I always pack a few snacks just in case the food isn’t to my liking.
Delays and connections – If you are delayed remember that the airline is being charged thousands of pounds with the aircraft being on the ground and the crew have lives too so you’re not the only one who wants to fix that plane and leave. I have always known the airlines to be already planning what flight they are going to place you on in case you don’t make it. Remember if you have a connection, the airline is obliged to get you on the next available flight or place you in accomodation if it is not a force majoure situation. Sometimes they will still place you in a hotel even if it is. However the crew have no control over your connecting flights, the ground staff at your destination are the key holders.
Reclining – If you want to recline in your seat, go ahead! You deserve it! Just remember to sit up right for the meal service and for taxi, takeoff and landing.
When arriving at an airport you may see people stood waiting to offer you a ride. Only use airport approved taxi companies and these will be in uniforms or ask at a customer service desk. If they don’t have ID don’t take them up on a ride.
Uber or lyft are a great way to get around be be aware they are not always aloud to park out the front of arrivals – be prepared to walk to them. They are sometimes cheaper than airport cabs.
7. Finally enjoy yourself!
You have worked hard to be on that plane and the airline wants you to fly with them again and to be a loyal happy customer.
Got anymore tips for your fellow travellers? Share them with us by commenting below or join the conversation on Facebook & Twitter – @Thebackgalley