Travel Hacks: Planning your Journey
Contributed by: @sxfrankson - The Boeing Book
Travelling can be a rewarding yet tiring journey in itself so why make the planning process just as hard? Recently becoming cabin crew I have learnt a few "tricks of the trade" and below are my top 10 travel hacks you need to know when planning the perfect getaway (in no particular order).
1. Choosing the best airport
Choosing the best airport will be the best way to start off your holiday. Ideally you want to choose the one that is closest to you, that way the commute won't be that long and you can always leave your car at home instead of forking out for airport parking. Another reason is the cost of the ticket, I have found that leaving from Birmingham airport or Manchester tends to be more expensive than leaving from a London based airport, so if you are looking to save a few pennies then look out for this in the total price.
2. Reserve your seat and meal
If you like a bit of extra leg room or want to look out the window the whole way then it's best to reserve your seats to guarantee this. You could hope for the best that the flight will be empty and you can move around but depending on the route, the flight could be really full so you shouldn't rely on this.
Also if you are going on a long haul route and have a special dietary requirement, make sure you book your meal well in advance. A vegetarian/vegan/gluten free option isn't a compulsory choice on a flight so save your disappointment and be prepared.
3. Pack like a pro
I can't count how many times I have been on holiday and come back with so many unworn clothes. More room that could have been used to bring back shopping and souvenirs. So plan your outfits accordingly. A top for each day, half the amount of bottoms and shoes that go with all the outfits. Do the same thing for evening outfits and that's your suitcase packed!
4. The outfit
You need to be comfortable when travelling so I would recommend wearing something loose fitting and warm. Even if you have to take a layer off when you land, flying at high altitudes can get very cold. Try a nice tracksuit or loose trousers with a hoody.
5. Food & drink
Charter flights are known for charging for food on short haul flights and at times at pretty horrendous process. So why not carry some snacks on board from home? A few sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, sweets (they will help when your ears start to pop during the flight). Unfortunately we all know the rule about liquids so you will have to buy your drinks after you pass security.
If I'm not interested in something then I can lose attention real quick. So I make sure that I have enough entertainment to keep my occupied while I'm waiting and during the flight. So I update my iPod/phone with new songs and make sure it's fully charged, buy a new book and a few magazines...maybe even a puzzle books. It depends what you are into. Of course we love technology so try downloading a few films or new games on your iPad/tablet and that should be more than enough to get you through a flight. Try not to go through it all cause you will need it for your flight back as well.
7. Invest in a good suitcase
A lot of people take suitcases for granted but they go through a lot from the process of checking in and picking them at arrivals. I always opt for a hard case as it's a lot more durable, especially when you witness how baggage handlers actually handle your luggage! It will act as a protective barrier for your valuables inside such as any toiletries or larger souvenirs that you couldn't carry on board. They may cost a bit more but think of it as an investment as I'm sure it's cheaper than trying to replace anything that would get broken if you chose a soft case.
8. Revolut card
If you don't have a card that you can use abroad without getting charged or get really bad exchange rates then you should check out this new card Revolut. It's an app that you can to transfer money from your bank account to and you can either use your phone or the card to make payments. There are no charges and the exchange rates usually work out a lot better. Check out www.revolut.com for more information and details.
9. Learn your emergency number(s)
It's a weird thought to come into my head but I always think, "do I even know the local emergency number to call of the destination I'm staying in if anything were to happen to me or anyone else around me?" Nope, so why not find out and store it in your phone or attach it to your speed dial for easy access?
10. Keep Hydrated
I can't stress how important it is to keep hydrated when flying. I don't mean beer, wine or even fizzy drinks. Still to soft juices and plenty of water. Try adding a slice of lemon to your water as well to help fight off any germs along the way.
Hopefully these travel hacks will come in use when planning your next getaway.
Take a look at my personal blog www.TheBoeingBook.com for an insight on my adventures around the world and more.