If you are a frequent flyer, you no doubt already know your way around the flight industry and take advantage of the bonus air miles, yet there are probably a few things that you are not aware of. In this article, we offer the seasoned air traveller a few tips to improve the travelling experience.
- Always ask for an upgrade – There will be times when your request is met with a shaking head but you never know. As a frequent flyer, you already have a few perks and if you are dressed politely, you might get bumped up to business class, or if you normally fly business class, you could be upgraded to first-class; there’s no harm in trying. If the flight is not full and the airline staff on your line is feeling good, she might agree to your request, which costs her nothing at the end of the day.
- Keep a spare shirt in your carry-on luggage – If you stash an extra shirt in your outdoor sports bag from a leading online supplier, you might spill a drink or even have something knocked onto you by a passing stewardess. It isn’t heavy and if the weather is cold when you land, that extra shirt might come in handy.
- Power bank – Invest in a power bank and you won’t have to find those airport recharging stations, plus a power bank will ensure that you are always online. Avoid cheap units, as they don’t last more than a few months and this handy gadget can charge all of your digital devices if you buy a large capacity power bank.
- Wear special compression socks when flying – If you travel long-haul on a regular basis, you should order a few pairs of compression socks. Put them on a few hours before the flight and take them off when you land, which really does help with circulation. Not too tight and not too loose is the best solution and if you are in any doubt, ask your local pharmacy for a size recommendation.
- Use mobile apps – Most airlines have their own mobile app and if you check in virtually, you don’t have to stand in line when you arrive at the check-in section. Search on Play Store for airline apps and follow the download instructions and do away with queueing; some apps even let you choose your seat when you check-in online.
- Use coloured luggage tags – This makes it much easier to see your bags coming down the belt; many people have similar bags and on a busy flight, there are several hundred people looking for their luggage. Bright colours are instantly recognised from a distance, then you can position yourself for a quick pick-up. Click here for tips when applying for a partner visa.
- Acquiring local currency – Rather than using the airport exchange booths, you are better off using a credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM. Surprisingly, airport currency exchange rates are the highest and you will have to pay some form of charge for the service. Of course, you should check with your bank regarding charges for using a local ATM, some companies do charge a few dollars if you use the card to withdraw cash in a foreign country.
- Book an overnight flight – If at all possible, when flying long-haul, book an overnight flight, as this results in lass jet lag. If you are flying business class, you can enjoy a long sleep after your evening meal and wake up refreshed an hour or two before arrival.
- Buy snacks at a supermarket – We all know how expensive airports are and if you have the time, spending a few dollars at a supermarket will save money when you want to eat your favourite snack, whatever that may be. Even bottled water costs a small fortune at the airport and investing in a portable water bottle is another good idea.
- Money belt – Ask any seasoned traveller and they will tell you the safest way to carry cash and valuables is in a money belt. Failing that, you could buy a fanny pack, which is a great place to keep your valuables, passport and ticket documentation. Airport thieves are highly skilled and they are always on the lookout for careless travellers who leave things out in the open, so do take care.
The more you fly, the easier it gets and we hope that the above tips help to make your travel experience a little nicer. Remember to check the entry requirements in advance; you might need a negative PCR test or a fit-to-fly certificate and if you weren’t aware of this, it could lead to missing your flight.