Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Do you travel or would you like to travel? When I was young planning a journey or even buying an airline ticket for a simple flight had to be done at a travel agent. These days everything you need is online, but I still come across people who have no idea how to do more than a simple flight booking.
Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure this series of posts will give you the necessary guidelines and assist you in finding the easiest and most cost-effective way of booking and planning your itinerary.
Part One – Air Travel
Part One – Air Travel
Buying Air Tickets
Before buying a ticket to any international destination, first, check if the country you are travelling to has any Visa requirements and that you will qualify if you do need a Visa. Travelling to some countries may also require that you have the necessary vaccinations prior to your travel. Make sure you have these done at least a month before your intended travel date.
When you ready to book a flight ticket, don’t just go to the first airline and book a seat. You should begin by getting an idea of the price from the airline website, then visit the cheap flight websites like cheapflights.com and skyscanner.com. Shop around until you have the best possible deal, don’t just buy the first ticket you find. Many sites will try to lock you into the deal by trying to tell you that this is the best deal possible, but be wise and shop around first before buying the tickets.
Try flying when the airlines are not that busy, not only will you have more space, but the prices are usually lower. Be sure to check the prices on different days – often flying on an alternative day or at a different time will save you a considerable amount.
Check the dates you are booking and ask your partner to check them with you. You don’t want to arrive at the airport, only to find out that your flight was yesterday.
Another vital point is to find out before you simply book an airline is how much baggage is allowed. In some cases, the price they advertise includes no baggage and you will need to pay extra for every item separately.
When finalising your booking you can visit seatguru.com for the best tips on choosing your seat. Once you have finalised your booking make a clear note of the date and time of your flight. Be sure to know how long before the flight you need to check in and rather arrive extra early. Some airlines are particularly slow at processing passengers and you could wait a very long time.
Always check in online. You can normally do this 24 hours prior to the departure of your flight. This will save you time and give you peace of mind that you have a seat, just in case the airline has overbooked the flight.
Getting to the Airport
Decide how you will get to the airport; will you get a family member to drop you off, use a shuttle service, catch the train or bus? Whatever you decide, remember to book the transport well in advance or make sure the train and bus schedule suit your timing. No matter what you have planned, always make sure you have an alternative plan. If your plan is UBER then make sure you have the App and know how to use it. Being prepared is the best way to travel.
If you chose to use your own car to travel to the airport, find out the most cost effective way to park your car. Search the long-term parking websites that offer you some great deals. These can easily be found by searching the ‘Name of Airport, Long Term Parking’.
I meet too many people that have arrived late and missed their flights. Rather get there with plenty of time to spare, you never know what can happen, so don’t leave anything to chance. Remember once you have checked in you can relax, have a meal, visit the shops, spend time in the airline lounges and wait to board your flight.
Travel with as little as you possibly can, you will notice many seasoned travellers only have carry-on luggage. This keeps things simple but always remember to leave space in your bag, as you will invariably return with more than you departed with.
During the Flight
Wear comfortable loose fitting clothes and remember to pack an extra pair of socks, these help keep your feet warm if the need arises.
Remember to load videos, books and music onto your phone or laptop. Although the airline provides you with in-flight entertainment, you may want your own.
Bring your own sweets and snacks, it is always nice to know you have your own and the airline snacks and food may not be to your liking.
Drink as much water as you can. Travelling in a plane dehydrates you, so take the water whenever it is offered to you. Sometimes the airline runs out of the water and you will be glad you took water when you had the opportunity.
Most of all, enjoy your flight.