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.

 

 

 

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