Make flying great again
Flying used to be such a glamorous affair, or so it seems when you look at old photos. What these photos don’t tell you is that flying was a luxury reserved for the rich, and an intercontinental flight could take 15-20 hours. Now that it has become cheaper and faster, we’re all doing it but in turn, the seemingly elegant days of flying the stylish skies seem to be gone forever.
But this doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to merely enduring air travel. In fact, despite confusing and ever-changing safety regulations and snoring seatmates, there are plenty of ways to improve it. From leaving home to arriving at your destination, here are some great travel tips to help turn tedious journeys into part of the great travel experience, and make flying great again.
1. Before packing: To keep airport hassle to a minimum and before you start to pack, check out our airline's page for recent regulation changes and baggage rules.
2. Your carry-on: Start packing a few days before you leave, then go through your bag a few times to scale it down. Think about what’s in your carry-on.
· If it’s not listed on the regulations website, or you’re not sure, leave it behind.
· If it’s pointy, it will be confiscated (I was once liberated of my metal nail file).
· Nothing larger than 100ml! If you’re carrying a 250ml bottle containing 20ml of product, it will be confiscated. Buy travel size toiletries if you really must have it in your carry-on. Place 100ml liquids, aerosols and gels in a 1-liter transparent bag enabling airport security staff to quickly identify the contents. If it’s bigger than 100ml or can’t fit into a 1-liter plastic bag, it needs to go into checked in luggage.
· Bring your reusable water bottle through security empty; then fill it up on the other side.
· Pack your mobile phone and iPad (already loaded with videos and books) in an easy to reach compartment in your carry-on as you will need to remove and place it in an inspection bin. Remove your laptop from its case. New security measures call for electronic devices and cameras to be checked, so be sure they are charged as you may be asked to turn on your device. If you can’t turn it on, it will be confiscated!
· Medication needs to be packed separately (another 1-liter transparent bag) to enable easy inspection. It may be worthwhile to have a doctor’s letter or a copy of your prescription should you be asked about your meds. Avoid wearing large metal items. In fact, slip-on shoes (you’ll need to remove your shoes at the security checkpoint) and elasticated waistbands can be the easiest option.
· Put your cell phone, loose change, wallet and watch into your jacket pocket and placed in an inspection bin.
· If you’re traveling with a child under the age of two, there are certain exceptions to the 100ml policy which includes baby food, formula and juice. Present these to the screening officer separately.
Keep your passport and
boarding pass on your person.
3. Checked in luggage: For peace of mind, be sure you’ve tagged your checked in luggage with Dynotag GPS enabled smart tags. Alternatively, go the heavy-duty luggage strap route; it makes them instantly identifiable on the carousel.
4. Online check-in: Doing it online saves loads of time and removes the need to stand in queues at the airport’s check-in desk. All that needs doing at the airport is to find WOW air’s luggage drop point.
5. Arrive relaxed: Expect the unexpected and head to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
6. Airport parking: Go online and book your parking at the offsite airport parking facilities, which would require you to get a shuttle to the terminal building. However, when it’s cold and wet and you’re lugging heavy bags, you might want to consider booking undercover parking immediately adjacent to departures. It costs fractionally more but is a lot less hassle—and doing it all online brings with it good prices.
7. Sleep kits: They can be purchased in most airport gift shops, but you can build one at home to keep with your carry-on; it includes a U-shaped travel pillow, an eye mask, earplugs/noise-cancelling headphones and a large shawl.
8. On the flight: When you board the aircraft, find your seat, place your carry-on in the overhead bin and sit down. Turn off your electronic devices and wait patiently for the announcement from the flight crew that it’s safe to switch them back on again. Now, armed with the healthy snacks you brought from home and your bottle of water, watch that movie that’s evaded you this past year.
9. On arrival, and before leaving the airport building: Get to an airport cash machine and do a cash withdrawal so you’re sure to have the correct currency to pay for your cab and bell-hop. Some banks are understandably cautious when they see a foreign transaction on a bank account and may temporarily freeze your account until they hear from you. To avoid this stress, be sure to let them know of your travel plans.