From roadworks on the way to the airport, flight delays and lost luggage, it can seem like a million things can go wrong at the start of your travels. But, with a few tips and pointers you should be able to navigate your way through any potential travel blips and enjoy a stress-free holiday;
1. Reduce stress (and costs) by being flexible about your travel dates. Compare flights, trains etc for several different days and definitely avoid the peak travel dates such as school holidays and public holidays.
2. Check out prices and availability at several airports if you can. Connecting flights may be cheaper that flying direct as well. And if you’re travelling a shorter distance, consider a train or bus instead.
3. Check there are no roadworks, road accidents or delays on your route to the airport and devise an alternative route as backup.
4. Make sure you check in online prior to arriving at the airport and reserve your seat. And don’t be late to the airport as you risk being bumped from your seat or placed on standby, especially if your airline has oversold capacity.
5. Get your travel money before you get to the airport and don’t use your debit or credit card abroad without first checking the rates and fees.
6. Lay of the alcohol and get plenty of sleep and exercise in the week before you travel. Your stress levels will drop and you’ll boost your immune system prior to sharing the same air as several hundred people.
7. Look after your luggage at the airport and never leave it unattended. Carry one piece of luggage and place it between your legs when you’re at check-in or at till-points.
8. Familiarise yourself with the security procedure, ie remove your belt and shows, pack your liquids into a see-through bag and keep on eye on your laptop by placing it on the belt just before you pass through the metal detector. And make sure all of your group are prepared for a potential pat-down. In fact, avoid wearing any metal objects that you think may set of the scanners, such as underwired bras and body piercings.
9. When onboard, try to stow your luggage in the bin opposite your seat so you can keep an eye on it. And pop your wallet/purse into your pocket before you sit down.
10. Stretch your legs during your journey, drink plenty of water and avoid excessive alcohol. For a long haul flight, pack your own blanket, pillow for your lower back and music or white noise app to aid sleep.
11. Make sure you have any entry paperwork needed and make sure your passport and documents are easily to hand when you arrive.