Fresh off the back of my last trip, here are some of my top tips to make your next travel adventure comfortable and smooth…
Many times I have boarded a plane, and the person in the seat next to me turns to me to say ‘whoah, you look like you do this a lot’. Maybe it is because I look famous… or maybe it is just because I have my slides off/socks on, eye mask sitting on my head like a head band, neck pillow on, coat draped over my lap and crossword book out, all before the doors have even been shut. Yes, I come prepared. After a certain number of sequential flights, you very quickly come to learn some good travel practices.
There are a whole bunch of things you can do to make your transit more comfortable for yourself, but the following 3 are just a few of my most important tips…
Make sure you actually use your carry on allowance.
Most airlines will allow you to bring 7kgs of carry on, as well as your handbag and a laptop bag. Make use of this!
Every time I fly, I make sure I pack all of my essentials into my carry on luggage. Literally everything from a few days worth of my medications and supplements, and an extra outfit or two; to all of my electronics, chargers, a power board and my international adaptor. Loading up my carry on prepares me in the unlikely event that my check in baggage doesn’t turn up for a few days. It also has me covered for when the lengthy stopover x terrible battery life equation surfaces.
I actually can’t stress enough how important it is to carry all of your electronics/electronic accessories on board with you! Not only do you know exactly where everything is at all times and how it is all being handled (i.e. cameras and lenses), but you won’t get caught out with a dead phone and no means of charging it at the other end. Unfortunately we rely so heavily on our phones, you really can’t afford for it to die when you are trying to get somewhere from the airport. The same goes with all of your important medication. The last thing you need is for that to go missing for a few days… or forever, eeeeek! Anything you can’t afford to lose should go on board with you.
Don’t skimp on your travel accessories.
The first (and most obvious to me) of which being your headphones. I actually can’t imagine how anyone flies for longer than an hour with on-ear or ear bud headphones! Not only are they incredibly uncomfortable options, but they do little for blocking the noise around you. If you want to travel like a pro, investing in a pair of over-ear headphones is an absolute must!
These Audiofly AF240 headphones were the best addition to my ‘in-flight accessory’ swag for our recent trip to KL and Taiwan, with AirAsia. For the last 2 years, I had gotten away with nabbing my partner’s over ear headphones for flights, but I needed to sort something out quick smart when he was going to be on the flight with me! Literally nothing beats the soft, cushiony fit and noise isolating capabilities of a good pair of over-ear headphones. Even after 5 hours of constant wear, there is zero pain. These ones even came with an extra jack adaptor for the aeroplane jack for when you have in-flight entertainment.
I also can’t stress the importance of quality luggage more.
While a hard case suitcase might be a little harder to stuff to the brims than a more pliable case, the extra protection they give your luggage is unparalleled. Not to mention the amount of wear and tear they can withstand. They may be exxier, but in the long run, the durability of a hard case is well worth it. I have seen videos of how planes get loaded, and I know how much I value my belongings! A lot of hard cases also have built in locks too, so you can double up on security with a padlock.
Always sort out all of your extras before you fly.
By this I mean purchase extra luggage if you are precariously close to the limit, check in on the web and make sure your seats are together, and order any in-flight entertainment/meals before you get on board.
As mentioned, my last overseas excursion was with AirAsia – a comfortable, low cost airline. Like most low cost airlines, it isn’t full service (i.e. you don’t get a meal handed out during the flight), there is no in-flight entertainment and checked in luggage comes at a small fee… but that doesn’t mean you have to go without all of that for your flight!
I always pre-book meals for myself on an AirAsia flight at the time of booking (it is $5.00 for a delicious hot meal – nasi lemak is always a firm fav – and canned drink/water), so I know I won’t go hungry on my flight. They have a great range of Malaysian, Asian and western meals to choose from, but I always go with a Malaysian option! You are able to bring your own nibblies on board, or you can purchase from their in-flight menu, but the hot meal is always very much looked forward to on a 5 hour leg to KL!
Checking in online is somewhat of a ritual for me. I am a window seat girl through and through, so I always check in as early as possible to give me the best shot at getting a window seat. Again, on an airline like AirAsia, choosing your seat when you book comes with a nominal fee, but it is well worth it to ensure you get the seat(s) you want. I always pay a little more on our evening flights for the luxury of seats in the quiet zone too. Every time I have, myself and my travel buddy have been ever so fortunate to end up with a whole row to ourselves to get some shut eye!