Five Ways to Make Your Flight a Stress Free ExperienceMonday, December 07, 2015
Everyone who has flown, perhaps even once, will know how stressful it can be. Whether this is due to running late, a fear of flying, or a change of plans at the last minute, there are some tips you can follow which will make the starting leg of your journey a hassle free experience. Keep reading to find out more.
Set your travel dates weeks before you even book the flight. Spontaneous trips can be very exciting, but planning ahead can prevent a lot of bad surprises. Make sure you also have the correct airport code. I know a girl who had to pay for 3 plane tickets because she booked the wrong airport code, twice.
It's important to ensure that all your travel documentation; passport, visa documents, travel insurance and bank cards are all in date and still will be before you travel. There is nothing worse than having to make a mad dash to a passport office, find affordable insurance or sort you cards with your bank when it can be so easily avoided.
A few things to avoid:
-Apply for visas weeks, if not months in advance. Make sure you check the stamp and dates on your passport and bring along any supporting documents on your trip. If you find anything unclear, make sure you ask questions before leaving the embassy.
-Always print your airline tickets as some airports check it rather than just showing them a digital copy.
-In many countries around the world, you will not be allowed to enter as a tourist without proof of onward travel. This means that if you only present a one-way ticket and no proof of future plans, you can be refused entry. So do your research ahead of time and save yourself the trouble and the money.
Get the Shopping Done
There is nothing worse than trying to pack for your holiday and realising you’re still missing some essentials. It could be something as simple as a bikini, a travel adaptor or the killer outfit to wear on an evening out. But it pays to be prepared. So list down everything you'll need before you even consider packing and get the shopping done beforehand. Relying on the idea of just buying it at the airport often doesn’t work.
I remember panic buying at a gift shop in Seoul, Korea and almost missing my flight. I had forgotten about having to go through immigrations first before boarding. So give yourself plenty of time and just purchase the essentials.
Check the Information from the Airline
Airlines are often criticised for hidden charges which leave you out of pocket before your holiday has even begun. Know all the important details such as terminals, weight and size allocations for suitcases and the number of carry-on items. You can find all of this information with your flight ticket or confirmation.
I've had issues while traveling with my surfboard. I had initially called the airline company and they informed me of a fixed rate for sports equipment. But when I arrived at the check in counter, they hassled me for the dimensions of the board and asked for an exorbitant fee. I explained that I had called ahead of time and was given different information. We decided to meet halfway and they apologized.
|Photo Credit: Izah Morales|
If you have a morning flight, the mad rush to the airport can leave you short on two things: time and sleep. A long drive leaves you at the mercy of traffic and road works and a lack of sleep may make an already difficult situation more traumatic. There is a simple solution, look online at ihg.com and book a room for the night and stay close to the airport.
Trust me, you will save yourself the expense and hassle of a missed flight by arriving at the airport early.
|Photo Credit: Rica de Ramos|
People often lament the time in which airports recommend you arrive hours in advance for flights as being a ploy to get you to spend time in the airport shops and restaurants. But the reality is that this is very sound advice. Things can go wrong you can easily avoid issues if you have plenty of time to spare.
Following these simple steps will ensure the start of your holiday is stress free and as fun as you dreamed it would be!
Sole Sister Lois
Lois has traveled extensively and has lived in Asia, the United States, and Europe. She is currently based in Portugal with her husband and baby girl. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of We Are Sole Sisters and has written the ebook "Where Should I Go in Southeast Asia?" based on her travels in the region for 6 months on less than 2,500 USD.