SECRETS FROM A FREQUENT FLIER
TIPS TO KNOW & MISTAKES TO AVOID
When travelling, you can always spot the frequent fliers from a mile away. They’re the ones that breeze through customs without any chaos and look fresh faced even after flying long haul.
The good news is; you don’t have to hit the skies to learn the secrets of travel success. We spoke to Gordon Bayne, Head of Travel at Scoopon, to reveal his top tips and tricks as a frequent flier.
Write A Travel Checklist & Refer to It
Compile a travel check list you can refer to for all overseas trips and include all the essential actions and reminders. This includes checking your passport expiration date, applying for visas if relevant and sorting out your vaccinations. Having this list means you’ll never forget anything and the whole planning process will be much more seamless and efficient. Also, save a digital copy of your passport scan and all relevant travel documents, so you can access it on the go without bringing any paperwork. Google Drive or Dropbox are great tools to use.
Browse Online Privately
When you’re browsing for flights and accommodation online, remember to switch your Internet browser to incognito mode. Many websites track your search history and may increase prices accordingly. Erasing your cookies and browsing privately means you can research and compare without the risk of a surprise price hike.
Research the Essentials
Avoid the temptation of ‘winging it’ when you travel overseas. Spontaneity is great when you’re exploring a new destination but it’s wise to research the essentials. Before you jet off, read up on important travel information like how to get around the new city, the main attractions, emergency numbers and general logistics for your trip. If you’re short on time, look into travel deals and holiday packages, so that you can enjoy your holiday hassle-free.
Choose Your Travel Dates Wisely
Fly outside peak travel seasons where possible, which means avoiding flights around school holidays, Christmas or during the Northern Hemisphere summer. Flying weekdays can cut the cost of your airfare as well – Friday’s and weekends are generally pricier. Booking flights with more than one stopover can also significantly reduce your cost however, you do need to weigh up the pros and cons. For example, if you’re on a tight schedule, opt for direct flights only to minimise the chances of potential delays
When it comes to packing, less is more. Always start with an emergency travel kit in your carry on and work from there. This should include toiletries, a spare change of underwear and clothes, device chargers and any valuables you need to keep close. For your checked baggage, rolling shirts saves more space than folding and you can stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Keep in mind you might be able to buy cheaper clothes at your destination. For an advanced tip – avoid black suitcases. Everyone has them and you’ll only increase your risk of losing it!
Sort Out Your Finances Before You Go
Firstly, make sure all your bills are paid before you leave. You don’t want any nasty budget surprises because you forgot to pay your phone bill. If your trip is lengthy, consider cancelling any unneeded services or subscriptions that will cost you money while you’re away. When you’re on the trip it’s important to have the right currency at hand. The Aussie dollar doesn’t always trade up and with ATM withdrawal fees and conversion fees piling up as you travel, you can see your funds quickly disappear. Avoid this by arranging a travel money card that suits your destination. You can lock in a flat exchange rate for your whole trip which means you won’t be affected if the dollar drops in value.
Come Prepared for Inflight Challenges
Planning for the worst and expecting the best can make any flight manageable and even enjoyable. Invest in noise cancelling headphones and a comfortable eye mask, so that you can get a decent shut-eye. Pre-download a playlist on your phone with music that helps you sleep, whether it’s acoustics or instrumentals. Make sure all your devices are fully charged before you board to get you through the journey. Bring a portable charger with you in case there is a delay and you need entertainment while you wait.
Keep Your Body Healthy
A holiday might seem like the perfect time to relax, but the frequent flier knows it’s important to stay healthy leading up to a flight. You won’t be expending much energy on the plane so skip any foods with high salt or sugar content, which will cause uncomfortable bloating. Packing your own snacks and eating before you head to the airport will ensure a comfortable flight and help save you money. Drink water on the plane to stay hydrated and head up and down the aisle every hour or two to stretch and keep the blood circulating. Avoid overindulging on alcohol as that can dehydrate your body.