8 Travel tips for International Flights

The actual thought of flying is dreadful! I would never want to sit in a cramp, overcrowded plane with horrible food, unless it was important. No one really loves to fly (except maybe the pilot), but the thought of flying to go somewhere different and new, is what really gets us to take a step on the plane. Now you know my secret! A Travel Agent who does not like to fly, but LOVES TO TRAVEL!

Well with over 15 years of traveling all across the globe, I have a few tips that may help you ditch the fear and thought of flying. Although flying is not my forte – it is really the only way to see the world…

 Tip #1: Pack Early

This is the tip that everyone knows, but never follows. We always plan to pack early, but somehow we always find ourselves really wanting to do something else than packing. Honestly, this has saved me in more than a few trips and I suggest instead of planning to pack, just DO IT. Get it over, pack, and never have to worry about it again.

SIDE NOTE: Do get in habit of physically locating and looking at your travel documents (visas, passports, itineraries) and storing them in a clear Zip-loc bag for easy access. Having a clear bag allows you to see what’s inside without opening it and storing all of your “must have’; documents together is always a good idea.

Tip #2: Charge your Batteries

If you are like me, then having a phone is a necessity. When travelling, your phone can be your savior and not having power and searching around for charging stations at every layover is VERY stress-free. Every time I fly, I always make sure to charge every electronic device I plan on bringing. The must have of charging…

  1. Portable Chargers
  2. International Wall plugs
  3. Three outlet Extender

TRAVEL HACK: Use old sunglasses cases to store your cable and plug together. The ones that zip are the best and it is so convenient when you have to pull it out of your backpack or purse.

 Tip #3: Adjust your clock a week before you trip

People tend to forget about jet lag and think that they are not susceptible to its effects. To avoid this, set your clocks to match the time at your destination. This will help you adjust before arriving and allow you to enjoy your vacation from the very start.

 Tip #4: Be comfortable but presentable

We are no longer in the Golden Age of travel where suits and dresses fill the seats and the ability to fly was so revered. We now live in the modern age where comfort is key and you must be able to transform outfits as you see fit. Layering is the game and you have to learn how to pack clothes that complement each other. Stick with solid colors and remember to be comfortable, although not too comfortable. Stick those PJs back in the drawer.

It took me a while to give in, but flying to button down and some khakis get me better seats and better service than a t-shirt and jeans. A fact to swallow, but it is what it is. Remember it is hard to take someone seriously when they look like they got dressed in the dark.

 Tip #5: Check in the day before or make sure you arrive early

Being able to check in early is such a blessing that people just do not take advantage of. Just login into your airline carriers website and enter in your record locator and you can see a summarize version of your itinerary online. You can check-in, pay for excess baggage, upgrade your seats and obtain your boarding passes (pdf or paper). If you do not find your reservation, at least you have another day to resolve any issues with your ticket.

Also, remember to arrive to an international flight at least 3 hours prior to our departure. Being early is always best to change seats (if available), go through security and not having to worry about speeding to the airport. REMEMBER: International flights close the doors to the aircraft 15 minutes prior to departure. Once the door at the gate has been closed, the agent will not open it for any reason.

 Tip #6: H20 To-Go

It is important to keep yourself hydrated on long flights to prevent hunger pains, headaches and bad breath. You can save a lot of money of carrying a bottle of water with you to avoid spending big bucks in the airport on inflated pricing. Hate dumping that bottle at security? Did you know that you could bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it up on the other side? Most airports now have water filling stations that you can fill your bottles with.

 Tip #7: Trim down the Carry-On

The most memorable definition of a carry-on was the time when a passenger was stopped at the gate holding an IKEA blue bag (yes, the BLUE bag with straps) as her carry on. Not only did I realize how much I really want an IKEA bag, I also realized how much easier it would be to travel without a carry-on. IDEA!
Lose the carry-on! Well, not completely, but get it down to 10-12 lbs. total. You have to be able to move around quickly but still have enough supplies for a day or two. If you really take advantage of Tip #1, try to consolidate and bring a carry-on that fits underneath the seat in front of you or on top of other bags.

TRAVEL HACK: Not having a carry-on is more of a benefit these days to quickly get from gate to gate, avoid getting stuck in crowds and being able to relax and board last because you know you will not need to fight for cabin space.

 Tip #8: Lounges are the BEST!

Having long layovers and waiting take a toll on you while you travel, but do not worry. You can take advantage of the lounges in international airports to give yourself a break. Yes, the day pass can range between $25-$65 per person; however think about the benefits opposed to the cost.

TRANQUILITY | SPACE | COMFORT – Enjoy ample room while you wait and maybe even enjoy a pre-flight snack and drink before your next flight.

STAY CONNECTED – With most lunges offering free Wi-Fi in their lounges, you can stay connected with friends and family no matter where you are in the world.

REJUVENATE | RELAX – With the expansion of amenities offered by airlines to premium passengers, lounges have been upgraded to maximize your level of comfort. International lounges have increased their spaces and have included showers and studio type rooms for maximum comfort. Refresh yourself while waiting on those long layovers.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Eight Reasons Why Travelers Need Travel Insurance

In this day in age, almost everything is at our fingertips – information, music, even the ability to purchase goods and services are only a click away. But unfortunately there is no app or technology that can accurately predict the future. It is for this simple reason that as an experienced travel agent, I highly recommend to purchase travel insurance.

When most people think about travel insurance, I don’t think they realize how much of travel is filled with uncertainty. Weather is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unforseen circumstances that prohibits you from traveling. Events such as airline strikes, mechanical delays, and cancellations of services can happen in a blink and travelers are not aware how often this happens.

Check out these eight reasons why travel insurance is a must!

REASON # 1: A LOT CAN HAPPEN BEFORE A TRIP

Selling bucket list vacations and once-in-a-lifetime memories in its own is a perk. Seeing the faces of my clients who are excited that they have booked their dream vacation, pure elation. But then, imagine their faces when something unexpected happens and they have to cancel such as a work emergency, your child getting ill, or even a sickness to your travel companion. Having travel insurance will allow you to travel worry-free and give you the time to relax and concentrate on your trip. Depending on their coverage, travelers can be reimbursed for a vacation they may not be able to take.

REASON # 2: WHERE’S MY BAG?

Traveling to far off destinations can be amazing, but we all need our stuff to feel comfortable. What happens if your bags or delayed in arriving to your destination? How about if they got lost or stolen? My clients know that they deserve better and thats why travel insurance is handy when situation arise. Being able to be reimbursed for a fresh set of clothes, toiletries and personal items while abroad is one less thing to worry about. This assurance will make any traveler to be optimistic and know things will get

REASON # 3: WHAT’S REALLY COVERED IN THEIR WALLETS?

Credit cards have been adding additional amenities to their services to give value to their services by offering complimentary travel insurance with the use of their credit card for purchase. Many people feel safe knowing that they have some coverage, but many people do not know  they amount of coverage they really have. Credit card companies were not built to protect vacations and their complimentary travel insurance are not as extensive as you would think. Credit card companies are in the business to collect payments not to reimburse them. Keep this in mind when comparing the coverage plans from a travel insurance company plan and a free plan from the credit card companies.

REASON # 4: GETTING SICK OR ILL?

Getting sick is the worse! But having to be sick while being on vacation is even worse. Who wants to travel with a headache and then end up crashing in the hotel room for a couple days. Using medical care facilities abroad can be quite costly and can increase expenses not budgeted for the trip. Travel insurance will reimburse you for covered reasons – so you can get back to enjoying your trip.

REASON # 5: ORGANIZED CHAOS

The economy is so unpredictable and travelers need assurance that their vacations will not be affected due to bankruptcy of the tour operators, cruise lines or even governments who have seen a rise in monetary defaults. History proves that no company or business is assured their future; even large companies internationally. Having protection for pre-paid expenses for your trip allows travelers to be at ease when making their claims for reimbursement.

REASON # 6: MORE ADDED FEES AND CHARGES! OMG!

Have you ever felt like the airlines were after all of your nickels and dimes – well! In cases of travel delays and unexpected costs, travel insurance helps travelers to get a reimbursement for extra costs the will incur – including rebooking fees, change fees, meals and overnight accommodations.

REASON # 7: VIP SERVICE, IF YOU PLEASE

It’s our goal to ensure you have the best vacation possible. Added features such as personal Concierge services which are included with travel insurance plans helps you find whatever you need. Forgot your medication, call their 800 line and they can direct you to the closest pharmacy. Need last-minute tickets to the Opera? They can do that too!
No matter the destination, they are always around to protect you.

REASON # 8: CASH IS KING

Refunds in forms of credit vouchers with numerous stipulations is not the same thing. Travelers want their refunds quickly and they want to use it however they want. Travel insurance can get your money back fast. It’s the best way to protect your investment and assure yourself that even if things go awry, you can take your money and plan another vacation in the future.

No matter how confident  you are, unexpected events can happen before and during your trip. No one wants to pay for insurance, until they need it. Make sure to cover yourself and your money and purchase your insurance within 2 weeks of your deposit date to include additional pre-existing conditions.

If you need help choosing the correct plan, feel free to contact one of our travel agents at (301) 248-8898 or for more information, visit our webpage at www.travelwiseonline.com.