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Help yourself to a smoother flight by trying out these top tips
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Tips on this page:   Before booking your flights   Packing Tips   Check-in / before boarding   In-flight   Packing List
    Before booking your flights
    Low price versus location
When you are tempted by a crazily low flight price, check to see where the destination airport is.   You might find that it's a long and costly journey from the airport to where you really want to be, and that you'd be better off paying a little more and getting closer to your destination
    Planning on carrying a lot of luggage?
While carrying a lot of luggage is not recommendable, sometimes it is necessary in the case of relocations and so on.   If you have the possibility, fly via the US as airlines will allow you 64kg (two 32kg bags) instead of the 20kg in the rest of the world.   Even if it is just a stopover in the US, you will be allowed to carry the extra weight.   Check with your local travel agent for the details
    Packing Tips     See Packing List here
    Split up your valuables
Split up your bank cards, cash, travellers' cheques and credit cards as much as possible in different pockets, your bags and wallet when packing.   In case you do get robbed, at least you won't be strapped for cash (unless you have all your bags AND your wallet stolen of course!)
    Film Cases
Use your left over film cases to pack toiletries and other small items.   Sturdy and (very nearly) waterproof.   Digital camera users; nalgene bottles will do the same trick
    Pack with plastic
Pack items such as suntan lotion, moisturiser and perfume into individual bags, just in case the packaging gets smashed or the contents leak.   Plastic or paper tissue can also help prevent creases, so fold around delicate clothes too
It is always handy to have a few plastic bags around certain items, especially toiletries.   Not only does it counter any leaking, the bags can also come in useful to keep dirty clothes in, as garbage bags or even as a makeshift umbrella.   Ziplock or other airtight plastic bags are the best.
    Backpack Tips
When you are packing things into a backpack, place the lighter items at the bottom and the heavier ones on top.   Your bag will feel lighter this way as the pack rests on your lower back.   It is also smart to place the things you use the most on top.   Dirty clothes are perfect to pack at the bottom of a backpack
    Separate Beach Bag
When packing to head to the beach consider pre-packing whatever you might need at the beach into a beachbag inside your backpack or suitcase.   Especially if travelling with kids, this will prove a timesaver!
    Suitcase lovers
For those using suitcases without a divider.   A piece of cardboard makes an excellent divider and helps keep your clothes organized and neat as you are able to lay them out flat on the cardboard.   It also makes airport inspections a lot less of a hassle as you can lift out your divider with clothes on top easily
While it is a good idea to take some small gifts with you while travelling, pre-wrapping them can be a waste of time if you are flying and your bags are opened
    Flashlights or Torches
When packing a flashlight or torch (or any other item with batteries for that matter), turn the batteries around so that if the item is accidentally turned on, you won't empty the batteries.   Don't forget to turn the batteries back around when using the flashlight
    Diaper Bag
If you are travelling with babies, then the diaper bag is an excellent place to hide your valuables.   This most likely will not be the first thing to be stolen
If you want to make sure everything else in your bags stays clean and odor free, place the shoes inside old socks and then inside airtight plastic bags (ziplock)
Pack only what you know you will use and if you are travelling for more than three weeks, plan to wash on the road
    Minimize on toiletries
Take only half a tube of toothpaste rolled up tight, store shampoo in small containers, only take half a roll of toilet paper (for emergencies only) and crush it so the middle is folded
    Roll Technique
Somehow it seems that bags will hold more if the clothes are rolled rather than folded.   If you roll in tissue paper, the clothes will also get less wrinkled
    Stow your stuff
With strict security checks in place, items such as razors, penknives, hypodermic needles must be packed into your hold baggage, NOT your cabin baggage
    Mark your bags
As well as tying luggage tags to the exterior of your bags, stick or tie some inside as well, as an extra precaution
    Carry-On baggage
Keep any medication and important papers in your carry-on bag.   On long flights with multiple stopovers (especially if flying via London, L.A. or other major airports), packing a fresh change of clothes is a good idea as bags tend to get delayed or lost on long haul, multiple stop flights.   You don't want to end up stuck without medication, clothes or your important papers even if it is just for a few days
    Dress smart
It's always a good idea to look presentable when you fly.   You'll feel much better when you arrive at your destination and, if you feel brave enough to ask for an upgrade, you're more likely to get one if you're dressed smartly
    Check-in and before boarding
    Check in early
Get the seats you want by checking in at the earliest time given by the airline.   Remember that you can sometimes check in online or at train stations which serve major airports.   If you're meeting a friend at check-in, go ahead and check yourself in, then reserve a seat for your travel partner to make sure you can sit next to each other
    Long legs
Tall?   Get a seat by one of the emergency exits.   Try asking in good time, but you probably won't be allocated the seat until check-in, as staff there have to see for themselves that you are able-bodied, and capable of opening the door should an emergency situation arise
    Leave phone numbers at the boarding gate
Write full name and phone numbers ( code) of relatives/friends NOT travelling with you on that part of your boarding pass which airline staff take from you at the boarding gate.   It makes it easier for airlines to contact your relatives in case something happens!
    Pops away
Chewing gum or sucking a mint can really help prevent your ears popping during take-off and descent.   You can also check out chemists for devices that you put into your ears, which are designed to help prevent the pain caused by changes in cabin pressure
    Do not disturb
For less chance of getting disturbed by a chatty neighbour or by cabin staff, take an eye mask - and wear it
    In-flight comfort
Walk or move around as much as you can on your flight to help prevent deep vein thrombosis.   Drink plenty of clear fluids (water, not gin or vodka...), to help make sure you keep hydrated on your flight, as cabin air is very dehydrating.   Avoid alcohol at all costs - it's more intoxicating at altitude and you're likely to have a stinking hangover when you land - not the best start to a holiday
    Avoid jet lag
The most important factor in jet lag is how many time zones you cross, and travelling east seems to be worst for most people.   Jet lag occurs when you cross over a number of time zones and disrupt the normal 'circadian' rhythms which help you wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night - your 'bodyclock'.   Try these suggestions to help counteract jet lag next time you fly:
  1. Change your watch as soon as you get on the flight, the quicker you adapt to the time zone the lower level of jet lag is likely to be
  2. When you arrive in the new time zone spend some time outside during daylight hours.   Natural light can help cue your body clock try to adjust your bedtime and mealtimes to the new, local timetable as soon as possible
  3. Schedule commitments at times when you are likely to have maximum energy: in the evenings, after flying east, or in the mornings, after flying west
  4. The impact of alcohol on the body can be two to three times more potent when you're flying, so one glass of wine in-flight has the effect of two to three glasses on the ground.   Avoid feeling even worse with a hangover by reducing alcohol intake before and during your flight
  5. Get as much exercise as you can.   Walking up and down the aisle, rotating your ankles and doing gentle stretching exercises in your seat can help to reduce discomfort, and allow you to have a more relaxed flight
  6. During extended stopovers on a long-haul flight, try to grab a shower: it can really wake up your circulation and get things moving
    Packing List
This packing list has been created to assist travellers of any gender, planning any type of trip for any duration. Therefore, some items might not apply to you or your trip specifically. The packing list contains 7 categories; Essentials, Finances, Clothes, Clothes Accessories, Toiletries, First Aid Kit and Other Items