The state of flying has become horrendous thanks to the mostly cosmetic changes at airports that have been designed to make people think that they are safer than before, even if they aren’t. There are more security check-points, under-paid airport employees, and poorly thought out rules and regulations than ever before. You may be excited to get discount airline tickets thanks to travel websites offering great deals but don’t expect too much when it comes to the actual flying part.
That said, here are some tips for making it easier for you to get on your flight and enjoy your trip.
You should never take more than one large size suitcase and one carry on. Only pack clothes that you know you’re going to wear and make sure they’re comfortable. Whether you’re heading to your vacation rental or cruise ship, your carry-on bag should include:
- A toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant
- One pair of pants, shorts or a skirt and two to three t-shirts
- Change of underwear
- Sandals and bathing suit if it’s going to be hot
That way, if your luggage arrives late, you have enough with you to keep you going until it arrives.
In the midst of transporting luggage and handbags, it’s a good idea to invest in an inexpensive thin nylon passport and cash or travelers cheque holder which you can wear comfortably around your waist underneath your clothes.
Best Flight Times
When booking flights, try to leave in the early afternoon whenever possible. That way you can avoid the morning business rush and it allows you to wake up at a decent hour and not stress yourself out before your trip even begins.
Flights are being cancelled all the time due to poor weather, airplanes not being full (so the airlines cancel the flight to save money), and airline bankruptcies. If your flight is not direct, choose an airline that stops in a city which has multiple flights to your final destination. So if your flight gets delayed, you will have choices once you arrive at your first destination.
Stopovers / Flight Transfers
You might want to avoid airports which are busy hubs because they’re more likely to have delays and luggage mix-ups. Some of these include London, U.K., Chicago and Kennedy International.
Certain airlines are known for their punctuality, some of these are: Lufthansa, Swissair, KLM.
When connecting through Europe, a stop in Munich, Frankfurt, or Zurich would be a good choice in ensuring on-time flights and swift and efficient transfer of luggage.
One important aspect of stopovers: Always stay with the same airline, for instance, if you are travelling from Madrid to Zurich and then on to North America, stay with Swissair for the entire length of the trip (both flights). That way, if the first flight leaves late, the second plane will either wait for you, or have to compensate you in some way.
If you’re flying to a destination where you will be boarding a cruise, always leave at least one day (possibly two in winter) before the cruise leaves.
If you have your own advice to add, please tell us below!