The Little General Tips for Overseas Travel (Flying).

Posted: 25/01/2012 in General Travel Advice
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  • Most international flights now allow online check in 24 hours prior to your flight. And if you do this you can arrive at the airport 2 hours before the flight rather than 3 hours (check with your airline first to confirm this). Checking in online also means you can choose your own seat.
  • Some people like a window seat for the view but you will be too high to see anything once you’re cruising and half you’re flying on a long flight will be in the dark so it’s pointless for that reason. Others like it so they can lean against the wall but if you have a good travel pillow you won’t need to worry. I suggest an isle seat as you can get up and down without disturbing the other passengers.
  • Seat guru is a website designed to help you find a seat that suits your preferences on your airline.
  • Don’t leave any of the tags on your bags from previous flights. This can lead to your luggage being inadvertently placed on the wrong flight.
  • Keep a little pouch for your passport, tickets, boarding passes, GP letter so they are easily accessible and all in one place but always keep it in your bag so you don’t accidentally leave it behind.
  • For Australian residents: If you spend $300 in one transaction on something you will be taking with you overseas (ie: camera, MP3) within 30 days of travel, you can claim back the GST. Just take your receipt and the goods and go to the claim desk once through customs.
  • At boarding time there always seems to be a rush for the plane. Wait until most people are on, then you can stroll on and to your seat straight away rather than wait in a cue and then sit for 20 minutes while everyone else boards.
  • What to take on board:
    • Take a little refreshment bag on the flight. Include:
      • Chewing gum or lollies to reduce any ear pain during takeoff and landing.
      • Toothpaste and brush for long flights.
      • Deodorant.
      • Hand cream & lip balm (your skin and lips will dry out on long flights).
      • Take all your electronic equipment, including charging cables on board the plane. You don’t want to risk them being stolen or lost.
    • Take all medications (especially prescription) on board in case your luggage gets lost. Make sure you have your GP letter handy to show customs if required.
    • I’ve mentioned the lowepro camera sling (for a DSLR) in another post. This has extra space that I use for my electronic equipment and it can be considered a handbag meaning you can take that plus another bag on board (providing combined, they fall within the onboard baggage allowance).
    • A blow up travel pillow is a life saver on long flights. Get one that wraps around your neck so you don’t wake with pain from sleeping awkwardly.
    • You never know when your luggage may be lost so take a spare pair of underwear & a top just in case.
    • A pair of silicone ear plugs will help block out a lot of noise if you’re a light sleeper.
    • Bring a book and an MP3 player. There are only so many movies you can watch.
  • Before your seated take out the things you think you’ll need and either keep them in a bag under your seat or in the seat pocket. That way you won’t have to keep getting your bag out of the overhead locker and rummaging through it.
  • Most good airlines provide socks and sleep mask to block out light.
  • They should also have water fountains somewhere on the plane. Every time you get up to walk or use the toilet get yourself a drink. Depending on the country you are in you can carry an empty water bottle on the plane but don’t buy an expensive bottle, just a supermarket bottle of water. Many airlines no longer stock bottles of water, only little cups.
  • Remember that post 9/11 you are very limited as to what you can take on board and you can only carry certain liquids (either 50 or 100ml depending on the airline). Check this out before you pack you bags.
  • Many airlines now have USB sockets where you can charge your electronic gear.
  • ALWAYS declare whatever is asked of you on your incoming passenger form. It’s not worth risking a fine or worse to try and sneak something in. Customs officials will not listen to any explanation you have if you ticked ‘no’ when in fact you should have ticked yes.
  • For long haul flights dress for comfort not style. 24 hours on a plane does not feel comfortable in restrictive clothes.
  • Most airports have showers so if you have a stopover during a long flight and there is time, have a shower, you will be surprised how refreshed you feel.
  • Some airports have free wi-fi just go to the information desk to get the password.
  1. Julie Cockle says:

    This is great Mel, we are traveling to Europe this year, so your blogs are VERY helpful 🙂

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