Over the past 10 or 15 years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some fantastic places, and during that time I have also picked up a few tips to make things just that little bit easier. Here’s my quick guide to being organized before you go.
Book Early / Be organized
This may seem obvious but you can save a lot of money just by booking a flight early. The same flight from London to Milan can cost £250 if you book a few days before you go, but if you book a few months in advance flights can be as low as £9.99. If you are traveling further afield always use a reputable online booking agency. If there are any problems you are much more likely to get good service or a refund if the need arises and if you want to fly on Saudia Airlines, choose a good booking website.
Have Good Travel Insurance
Since Covid, travel insurance has become a lot more restrictive and there can sometimes be certain extra conditions on when you can cancel your trip due to illness or make a claim, etc, so shop around and more importantly READ THE SMALL PRINT. I’ve been lucky and have only had to claim a few times for delays or cancellations etc. I have travel insurance included directly with my bank account monthly. It’s no more expensive and if you need to claim in a genuine situation then they have no way to increase your premium. However you do it, just do it. If your case gets lost or your handbag is stolen you will be very grateful.
Don’t Check in to your flight too soon
This can depend on the airline and often for short-stop flights I’ve found the later you check in (if the flight isn’t full) then the more chance you have of having an empty seat next to you or even one with an additional leg room. My guess is that they keep the good seats back to the last minute in case someone comes along and buys one of them. If the flight is long haul you might even get upgraded.
Get to the airport early, not TOO early
Everyone knows someone who goes to the airport EARLY and I mean early. Getting there a few hours before your flight is always a good idea, but you don’t need to be there six hours early. All you will do is start the vacation (and also your traveling companions) tired, bored, and in a bad mood.
Buy Water before you get on the plane
Here’s another good tip before you fly on shorter flights. Always buy your water or drinks from the airport. There is usually at least one shop that is selling things half the price of everywhere else (and a tenth of the price on the plane), and if you are in a big group you’ll save the price of a round of drinks when you arrive at your destination.
Don’t drink Alcohol on the flight
If you are in the holiday mood, alcohol on a flight seems like a good idea at the time, but for a multitude of medical and obvious reasons (e.g. if you are hiring a car on arrival at your destination), it is not recommended. You will arrive dehydrated, tired, and hungover. Not the best way to start a new adventure!
Get up and walk around on long flights
Exercise is vital on long flights, get up and walk around and have a stretch. It will fix your circulation and along with drinking lots of water can be the biggest health benefit you can do.
Choose a seat close to the back or front
This is a good tip if you are on a tight schedule. Being at the front or back can save you lots of time when you are leaving the aircraft when it lands. Also if you need to get on a bus between the aircraft and the airport buildings, let everyone get on first and sit close to the door. Just this simple tip can often save you a lot of time. When you get off the bus, walk as fast as you can up until the customs, but don’t walk too fast past once you are there, they might think you are hiding something and pull you over. There’s nothing like a full cavity search to ruin your first impressions of a new country.