Holidays are meant to be relaxing but, for some people, the actual travel part can be quite stressful. There’s a lot to think about – you need to pack all the right things, remember your documents and, most importantly, catch your flight. To help you stay calm and organised, here are some simple tips for hassle-free travel. Follow these easy steps to get your trip to get off to a flying start – pardon the pun – and arrive in a great mood, ready for your holiday.
Fly in the morning
Without getting too #avgeek about it, your flight slot affects how likely you are to be delayed. Afternoon and evening flights are delayed more often than morning flights, because the plane will have already completed at least one journey that day. So, if you fly early, your flight will probably be on time – meaning you’ll have a hassle-free start to your holiday, and arrive at your destination as planned.
Take paper copies
To avoid any phone mishaps, take a paper copy of your boarding pass. It’s also a good idea to print your hotel details. Some countries, like the USA and Australia, will ask you to write your holiday address on your landing card.
Allow yourself plenty of time
Whether your airport is just down the road or a two-hour train ride away, make sure you leave enough time to get there. Even if it’s a simple journey, it’s best to allow some wiggle room for traffic or train delays. Most airlines advise passengers to arrive at the airport two hours before flying, so aim for that and work backwards.
Choose a wacky suitcase
Remember when you tried to find your black bag among a hundred other black bags? Save yourself some stress and buy a funky suitcase, which you can spot straight away on the baggage carousel. Just double check your airline’s baggage allowance before you buy your fabulous new case, to make sure it meets the size restrictions.
Remember your hand luggage essentials
There are a few things you should always pack into your hand luggage, to help you have a hassle-free journey. Headphones and a phone charger are a good place to start, but it’s always a good idea to pack a book or magazine too. Pack an empty water bottle as well – you can fill it up once you’ve gone through airport security, so you’ll stay hydrated for your flight.
Don’t rush to board
As long as you get to the airport in good time, you don’t need to rush to the plane. We hate to be the ones to break it to you but, when the sign suddenly changes to now boarding, you don’t need to run. Your ticket includes an allocated seat, so take your time and walk to the gate at a leisurely pace.
Pre-book any extras
Whether you need airport transfers or car hire, booking in advance always makes for a hassle-free travel experience. As well as saving time, it could save you a few extra pennies, too.
Your travel outfit needs to be versatile enough to work in a range of temperatures – there’s nothing worse than being too cold on the plane, or too hot when you reach your destination. To stay comfy, layers are your best bet. Wear loose-fitting clothes and always take a jumper or cardigan with you, in case you get chilly. And try to avoid tight shoes, as your feet and ankles may swell up during the flight.
Eat (and drink) wisely
Being comfortable isn’t just about clothes. There are certain foods you should and shouldn’t eat before flying. High-fibre foods can make you feel bloated, for example, while fatty foods often cause indigestion. Swap stodgy foods for a light bite, like a salad or wrap, and try to eat something high in vitamin C, like an orange or some berries. This will help you stay fresh and healthy while you travel. Dodge any potential headaches by drinking plenty of water, avoid alcohol, and ditch coffee in favour of herbal tea.
Always have travel insurance
You’ll probably never need it but, if you do, you’ll be glad you have it. If you have an accident or lose any valuables, you’ll be able to claim on your travel insurance, rather than stress about paying for it yourself. That said, it’s always a good idea to take a widely-accepted credit card away with you. Even if you do have to pay initially, your insurer will be able to reimburse you, in line with your policy.