Seven tips to help you plan a smooth flight

Thousands and thousands of New Zealanders travel overseas or live overseas. Generally, the travel is incident free, but even a lot of planning can leave you open to some problems and stress. Some issues are foreseeable, whereas others are a complete surprise. The following tips will help you plan a smooth trip to and from New Zealand as you take to the air.

Make sure you research your trip comprehensively

Prior to booking your flights to destinations you don’t know, make sure you look at guidebooks, websites, and begin to understand the destination. Some of the things that you should be researching on include: big expenses you may have to pay at the destination, such as travel between the city and your hotel, or expensive restaurant prices.

If you’ve chosen to follow a low cost airline make sure you know what meals you get, how much legroom you’ve got, and whether you can pay more for a bit more space.

Work out how your travel from your arrival airport to your accommodation, and then back again. In some places it’s easy jumping in a Neubauer taxi, but it is not always that simple. You might want to see if your hotel can arrange a pick up for you.

Plan to arrive early to be on time

Most people have a tendency to plan the time with too little leeway. Airlines have increased security measures, and traffic can be a real problem around many major cities. When travelling to the airport you should think worst case scenario. A good idea at the airport when you arrive, is to always plan to have a meal and then you build in time for relaxation at the airport. This way, If you then get stuck in traffic, or someone forgets their passport and you have to go back some of the way, you have enough time to make your flight.

Keep your documents at hand

When travelling overseas you need your passport. Check if it is valid and that it doesn’t expire within six months. Some places won’t let you in with a passport that doesn’t have a certain amount of time left on it so check this out. Save time in the queues, be courteous to others, by keeping your travel documents in a handheld bag or in a pocket so that you do not have to be rifling through big cases to find it.

Make sure you have travel insurance

Many people don’t bother with travel insurance because we, as a people, tend to have the notion in our minds that it will never happen to us. Even small medical treatments can be expensive overseas, and there can be situations that occur, like the theft of your bank cards, that need to be fixed quickly. Travel insurance can make things much easier, and can save you massive liability down the line. Also, make sure that you have travel insurance that covers any activities that you are likely to do such as scuba diving, jet skiing, or horse riding.

Plan for airport security

You need to make sure that you don’t carry liquids and sharp objects into planes, and that you have your electronic devices ready for passing through security. Don’t be organising when you get to security, make sure you know how you are going to get things into the scanning trays to go through security. A good idea is to keep your electronic devices in the same compartment of the bag, and to put your small liquids of less than 100 Mills into clear plastic bags before you travel to the airport.

Parking like a professional

Parking at airport is a serious challenge for many travellers, especially those who will be away for several days or even weeks with their cars parked at the airport. It is a great idea to book your airport parking in advance, and you can even get a park and ride service many airports. Think about whether you want to stay in the short or long-term car park, and consider not just price but also the security of the parking option you choose.

Dress to be comfortable

You shouldn’t be dressing to impress 35,000 feet over the Pacific ocean. Where multiple layers so that you can take layers off, and make sure that things are loose fitting. If you’re doing a long fight then consider flight socks.

Book special meals prior to jumping on the flight

If you have special dietary requirements then make sure that you have outlined them before you travel, or at least checked what options are available. Special meals are normally limited in number and so don’t expect to be able to eat what you want if you haven’t pre-booked. If you’re on a flight for 12 hours you want to make sure that you aren’t hungry. It’s also worth taking some snacks to help see you through the journey, especially if you have kids.

These are just a few tips to help your flight to go more smoothly. You may also want to consider taking mobile charging battery packs, and remember to stay hydrated during the flight. If you need peace and quiet as you travel then consider airport lounges, which, with what they include, are  good value for money.

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