Travel Tips – Must read before you book flights and fly

Travel tips from a frequent traveller

Check-in online

There are several advantages to checking in online. The most obvious is, you avoid the queue at the check-in desk. If you are travelling with hold luggage, most airlines with have a “fast bag drop” counter where people who have checked in online can quickly drop off their luggage.

Secondly, you are less likely to be “bumped” off the flight if you have already checked in. Airlines often “overbook” flights. That means they sell more tickets than there are seats on the plane. They do this because they know on average a certain number of people don’t show up for their flight. The problem is sometimes everyone shows up and they have to “bump” some passengers off the flight. The airline will then rebook those passengers on a later flight. Being bumped is more likely to happen to the people who are last to check in.

Travel tips - Read before you book your flights

Choose a seat as far forward as possible

There are two good reasons for this. The first is you will be the first to disembark the aircraft when you reach your destination. This can be a major advantage at some airports where passport control often has long queues. Being first off the plane means shorter queues at passport control.

Another good reason to sit as far forward as possible is you are more likely to get the meal that you want. Airlines only carry so many meals on board and the good ones tend to go fast. The people at the very rear of the aircraft will often be left with no choice. You can smell the nice beef casserole coming from the front of the cabin but all that is left is the vegetarian lasagna.

Keep an eye on your belongings at security

Don’t be lured into a false sense of security. Criminals operate in airports, even at security checkpoints. As you go through security you are asked to empty your pockets, take off your coat, belt and sometimes even your shoes. You must put everything into several trays so they can pass through an x-ray scanner. With all this going on, it is easy to become distracted and become a victim of crime when you least expect it.

Once all your belongings are in the security trays, it is a good idea to wait for them to enter the x-ray machine before you walk through the passenger x-ray machine. In short, keep your eyes on your belongings!

Board first

Everyone is always so eager to board first. There is something to be said for boarding first. The biggest advantage is that you are more likely to be able to find a place for your hand luggage. On a busy flight, you will often see the last people boarding, stressed as they struggle to find a place for their hand luggage. If all the overhead lockers are full, the cabin crew may have to put your hand luggage in the hold (the belly of the plane).

So when you see the first people starting to queue at the boarding gate, go ahead and join them. You may have to stand there a few minutes longer than really necessary, but you will be sitting soon enough on the plane.

Place hand luggage in the overhead locker across the aisle

Theft from cabin luggage is, unfortunately, more common than you think. It is a sad fact that criminals are operating onboard flights. It might feel safe to have your hand luggage in the overhead locker above your seat. But if you think about it, you cannot see if someone is going through your hand luggage when it is above you. That’s why it’s a good idea to put your hand luggage in the overhead locker above the seats across the aisle from you. That way you can keep an eye on it.

The Economist reported an incident where a Turkish businessman had $260,000 in cash and belongings stolen from his overhead luggage in 2016 while he was travelling to Hong Kong.

Traveller24 also reported a crime syndicate was operating on South African Airways flights, who netted stolen goods to the value of R6.5m.

Bring your own food

If you are flying with a low-cost airline, they will probably not provide any food free of charge. Low-cost airlines are known for selling expensive and substandard food onboard. It’s not like you really have a choice of where to buy your lunch from at 35,000 feet.

So our tip is to bring your own snacks or ready meals. It will cost you less and probably be much better quality.

Noise cancelling headphones

If you are a frequent traveller, consider buying yourself a set of good quality noise-cancelling headphones. Something that can really wear you down is all the noise. Whether it be, people talking, babies screaming, adults snoring or aircraft noise, there is just so much noise. You can go a long way to combating noise fatigue with a set of noise cancelling headphones. Bose is well known for their good quality noise-cancelling headphones.

The nice thing about the Bose headphones is you don’t even have to listen to any music. Just turn on the noise cancelling feature and you will be transported away to a calmer quieter place.

Bring antibacterial wipes

Finally, do you have any idea how dirty aircraft are? It’s probably best not to think about it in too much detail. Aircraft are very expensive assets and airlines need to keep them in the air and earning money. An aircraft on the ground is not making money. As a result, aircraft are not cleaned as well as they should be. The headrest, armrest, seatbelt buckle, tray table and seat pocket in front of you are all serious bacteria hotspots.

Bring a pack of anti-bacterial wipes with you to wipe down the areas you are going to come into contact with. At the very least, you can clean your hands before you eat. After all, you don’t want to get to your destination and be sick from something you caught on the flight.
One final nugget of information, a recent study found the dirtiest thing you will come into contact with when travelling is the…….. wait for it…… the plastic trays at the security checkpoint.

Hopefully, you have found some of our tips useful. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends. We wish you a safe and pleasant flight. Remember you can search for and book cheap flights at the top of this page.

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