Most of us have experienced at least one flight that didn’t go as we’d hoped. Perhaps it was someone else’s screaming baby, a delay at the airport or lost luggage. It may feel as if your flight is, quite literally, in the lap of the gods. However, there are things you can do to maximise the chance of your next flight being your best. Here are Holiday Taxis top ten.
What to Pack
Airlines, rightly, have luggage restrictions. Liquids are the obvious category. Anything taken must be in a container capable of holding 100ml or less, and all bottles must be inside one small, sealable see-through plastic bag. Some other items are clear no-nos: fireworks, for example. Some are more surprising. Take knitting needles, for instance. Although listed as acceptable on airport and government websites, they still have to pass airport security. As there’s more than one instance of security officials confiscating knitting needles, if you’re a knitter, consider taking bamboo or wooden needles. Whatever you want to bring, check it’s allowed. Make sure, too, that your hand luggage contains everything you’ll need for the first night should you be unlucky enough to arrive without your hold baggage. Airlines are usually good at reuniting passengers with lost bags but it may take a couple of days.
How Much to Pack
Don’t be that person at check-in frantically redistributing items between hold and cabin baggage, dressing yourself in three sweaters and a coat, or stumping up excess baggage fees. Check how much you can bring before you leave home. A set of bathroom scales should do the job of weighing your luggage.
Arrive at the Airport in Time
Most international flights require passengers to be at the airport between two and three hours before departure. Remember to factor in road works, heavy traffic and car parking at the airport. A pre-booked taxi may be your best option.
Check your Terminal
Plenty of us have done it. However, a stressful dash to another terminal when you discover you’ve pitched up at the wrong one is not a good start to any holiday or business trip.
Many airlines charge for in-flight food and drinks. Consider taking your own, although remember to buy any drinks after going through security.
If you’re taking a long flight, set your watch to the time at your destination before getting on the plane. Eating and sleeping according to this new time can help reduce the impact of jet lag.
Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes are ideal, particularly for long flights. Some people like to change just before they board or in the lavatories on the plane. Remember to bring a shawl or woollen jumper; planes can be cold.
The ventilation system on planes means you dehydrate faster than on the ground. Drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol, throughout the flight. Consider investing in a small water spritzer or good moisturiser for your face.
Ear Plugs and Eye Mask
These two items may cancel out some of the inconveniences of travelling at such close quarters with so many people. The ear plugs can muffle the noise of that screaming baby and the eye mask can help you sleep.
Exercise and Flight Socks
Guard against deep vein thrombosis by making occasional walks up the aisle, taking in-seat exercise by lifting your heels off the floor and rotating your toes, and wearing flight socks. Most chemists sell flight socks, or you can buy them at the airport.