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Travel Tips for Summer Flights


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Now June is here and exams are coming to an end, many people’s thoughts may be turning to the holidays that they planned when summer still seemed so far off.

For those of you who are planning to go abroad, and more specifically to fly there, here are a few tips.

1) Make sure you arrive at the airport in plenty of time: This might seem obvious, but it’s also pretty important and deserves to be repeated as much as possible. You should be at the airport two hours before your flight departs, and some airlines recommend you arrive even earlier than that. It’s far better to end up sitting around for a while than having to buy new tickets because you missed your plane.

2) Cross pack: When travelling with several people, try not to have ‘Jasmine’s suitcase’, ‘John’s suitcase’ and ‘James’s suitcase’. Instead, aim to have three (or however many) suitcases, each containing some of Jasmine’s stuff, some of John’s stuff and some of James’s stuff. This way if one or two of the suitcases get lost, everyone will still have something to wear.

3) Hand luggage: There are a number of important things to think about when packing your hand luggage, and you might end up needing more than a small handbag.

  • If at all possible, anything irreplaceable should go in your carry-on bag, not in the suitcase that will be checked into the hold. That way, you won’t lose the earrings your grandma gave you for your 18th birthday, or the stuffed animal that you’ve had since you were child and still insist on travelling with.
  • Include a change of clothes and a toothbrush. You never know when checked-in luggage might get lost or a flight cancelled.
  • Remember the rules on liquids, or you might see your favourite perfume get chucked in the bin. No containers of more than 100 ml are allowed through airport security checks, and all such containers should be in a clear re-sealable plastic bag which should not have a volume greater than one litre. Losing your shampoo because it was in a 200ml container is not a great way to start your journey, and I speak from experience here.
4) Charge all electrical equipment before leaving your house and bring a book. Travelling by plane involves a lot of sitting around, even if the flight itself lasts only 45 minutes, so you want something to keep you occupied. You don’t want your iPod dying within 10 minutes of you arriving at the airport and leaving you with nothing to do but people-watch for five hours (it kind of loses its attraction after the first hour or so).

5) On night flights, try to get as much sleep as possible. I know it's tempting to spend the entire flight watching films, but you will regret it when you reach your destination and you're expected to start the sightseeing immediately. It might be hard to get comfortable on the narrow seats, but after fifteen minutes or so of shifting around, I generally manage to find a position I can sleep in (although I wouldn't go so far as to call it a comfortable position). This is where having a window seat comes in handy, as you can rest your pillow against the side of the plane and use it as a head rest.

6) Make sure to keep drinking, and I don't mean just taking advantage of the free alcohol served on flight. Drink a lot of water -getting dehydrated is not fun. Seriously, who wants to start the holiday feeling dizzy while coping with a headache, especially when it can so easily be avoided? 

7) When you arrive, don't forget to change the time on your watch, phone and any other electical equipment (assuming of course that you've changed timezone). You don't want to spend the rest of your day wondering why people are having lunch at 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

I hope these tips are useful, and I wish everyone a safe trip and a good holiday. 

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