Feb 17, 2017
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30 Flying tips and Airport tricks

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You are ready to travel to your dream destination, about to book the flight and accommodation and can’t wait to get there, these top flying tips and airport tricks will allow you to travel stress-free for a more exciting adventure.

Even if you haven’t booked your flight yet, these top tips even include advice on how to book cheap plane tickets.

The best flight tips and tricks around that are guaranteed to make your flying experience more enjoyable, giving you time to sit back, relax and enjoy your travels.

Picture of Aeroplane view from airport flying tips blog

Travel Planning

1. Book Cheap Airline Tickets

Use search sites such as skyscanner – This is a great site to use when searching for cheap flights. It is flexible with it’s search criteria and works even better if you are too.

Be Flexible – If you are flexible with the dates you travel, this makes it easier to find the cheapest deal as some days are cheaper to travel than others. Being open to try a new destination to visit can also save you some cash.

Flying Tips, Skyscanner flexible dates to travel screenshot

Be Flexible with the airport choice – Choosing to depart from a different airport may save you a lot more money.

For example, Bristol – Copenhagen can cost £101 and London – Copenhagen can cost as little as £17.

Flight tips, Skyscanner flexible travel airports screenshot

2. Arrange Airport Transfers
Taxi: If you live within driving distance you may consider a taxi, if so be sure to book up in advance and strike a good deal.

Self Drive: Driving to the airport is also a great option, don’t forget the parking. If you pre-book it is generally cheaper.

Uber: The great last minute option. Uber is becoming more common around the world, providing a great comfortable, convenient and cheap way to travel.

Pre-book using an agency: Choose a comfortable shared or private airport shuttle service using agencies such as Hoppa, Airport Transfers or Shuttle Direct.

3. Travel Light
A top travel tip to save charges for checking in baggage, is to only take hand luggage. One piece of luggage means less to carry, saves time at the airport and can save you money when travelling. Confirm the dimensions of hand luggage allowance with your airline before you fly.

Some airlines allow 1 piece of hand luggage plus a small laptop/personal bag, others have strict rules and only allow 1 carry-on item of hand luggage per person, so bare this in mind when you want to take that extra hand bag.

4. Pay for checked baggage before you arrive at the airport
If you are taking checked baggage, pay this online before you travel, it is usually much cheaper than paying at the check in desk. Some airlines such as BA, usually include checked baggage in the overall price for long-haul fights. Other airlines may charge fees and this can be pricey. Be sure to check online before you travel.

5. Secure your Luggage
If you have filled your travel luggage to the brim, the last thing you want is for your case to unzip and undies to be exposed when you collect your luggage from arrivals. Keep your belongings secure by using a simple security lock.

picture of a backpack with a security lock

6. Know your Airport Terminal
Some airports can be unexpectedly huge with numerous terminals. Be sure to check this before you travel to make sure you end up at the right terminal.

7. Check in online before you travel
Don’t pay extra money to pre-book seats, check in online before your flight and book the seats you prefer. Most airlines allow you to check in 24 hours prior but confirm this with your airline before you travel.

8. Have your boarding card ready
Check if your airline charges for printing the boarding card. If they do, print it out before arriving at the airport to avoid fees.
If your airline has an app, make check-in easier and download your boarding card before you fly.

9. Choose your seat
Here are some great flying tips for choosing your plane seats:

Sit near the wings – If you don’t like turbulence,
Choose a window seat – If you prefer to nap and like a view.
Book an aisle seat – If you don’t like to sit for long periods of time or use the loo a lot.
Book a cot seat in advance – To risk a possible upgrade. If someone with a child books after you, you may be upgraded for free as the child will be placed in the cot seat.

To help you pick the best seat to suit your needs, you can check out airline seat reviews.

Picture of view from a plane

10. Pack your favorite travel snacks
Food in airports can be expensive, to save money and time during your travels, pack a few snacks. Those emergency nuts could come in very handy if your flight is delayed a few hours.

11. Pack a pair of headphones
Most airlines provide in flight entertainment and sometimes you get headphones, but it won’t take up much room to pack a spare pair just in case.

12. Prepare your own flight entertainment
If you get sick of the airline movies, you can always whip out your own device and watch your pre-downloaded entertainment!

picture of Manila Airport Terminal 3

Image Credit:Wikimedia

In the Airport

13. Sleep in the Airport
This is one of the best flying tips around – Find a line of comfy chairs, put your feet up and make yourself at home! If you have an early morning flight, sleeping in the airport is a great way to save money. This is a top tip if you are travelling across multiple destinations or if you tried to book an airport hotel last minute but they are all fulled booked.

For those who want to catch some rest while waiting around, some airports have ‘resting pods’ which is a state of the art chair with a fold flat bed inside.

Really really tired and need some shut eye? Check if the airport has an accessible internal hotel. YotelAir in Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, is a hotel situated in departures where you can hire beds by the hour, take a monsoon shower or stay the night. A perfect way to refresh during your travels.

Picture of sleeping in the airport

14. Make checking in easy
These airport tricks will allow you to check in with ease:

Arrive early – Allow extra time for long queues at the check in desk.
Have your passport ready – Including your boarding card if you downloaded it on the app or printed it out before arriving.
Ask for a free upgrade – Try your luck, you never know!
Ask for seats together – If you haven’t checked in online and travelling as a group, ask at the check in desk for seats together.

15. Lighten your baggage weight
If you are a light packer then great, move on to the next flying tip, this one is for those who struggle to pack light.

If you just managed to stuff everything you own into your luggage and find out at the check in desk that it weighs more than the allowance, a great travel tip is to take out some clothing, wear the extra layers and stuff your pockets (as long as there are no liquids or sharp objects).

16. Breeze through Airport Security
Some airport tricks to help you skip long queues and be stress free:

Pack thoughtfully – Pack your laptop and electronics so that they are easily accessible.
Skip the queues – Go to the left of airport security, they tend to have the smaller queues.
Grab a bag – Grab a few clear security bags, they are usually free and may come in handy later for packing items such as toiletries or food.
Avoid a frisking – If you want to avoid being unnecessarily frisked, remember to remove jewelry and belts.

picture of airport security for travel tips blog

Image Credit:Huffington Post

17. Calm your fears of flying
This is one of the best flying tips for a nervous traveller. Take yourself to the duty free and ask for some samples of alcohol, most airports usually have a counter with a member of staff giving away free shots or tasters. This is a great free way to make you feel more relaxed for your flight. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink lots of water too!

18. Ask for a free upgrade at the Departure Gates
Are you travelling for a celebration? Inform the staff and sometimes they give out freebies on the flight!

The departure gate is also a great place to try your luck and ask the staff if there are any free upgrades available. All of the seats will have been paid for or taken by this point so if any are going spare you may get upgraded. If you don’t ask you don’t get!

19. Power up the electronics
Most airports have free charging points at the departure gate area. Take advantage of this and prepare yourself for the flight so that you have enough juice to watch your favorite movie or listen to your travel tracks.

20. Freebies and compensation for delayed flights
If you flight is delayed for more than a certain number of hours, the airline should provide you with free snacks and drinks. If it is delayed by a long time, you may also be eligible for compensation. Check out the policies on the company website or ask a member of staff if you are unsure.

Picture of a business class flight

Image Credit: Newport Jets

The Flight

21. Hydrate for free
Flying at high altitude can dehydrate you pretty quickly so to stay fresh make sure you drink plenty of water. You don’t need to pay for water, just ask a crew member and they will get you one for free.

22. Pack a sleeping kit and get some rest
If your flight is at night, this a great way to save on accommodation but sometimes it can be a challenge to get a good rest. Take an eye mask, earplugs, a travel pillow and a blanket to help you get the rest you deserve.

23. Do some exercises
Your body can seize up on a flight, especially on long haul. Keep your muscles active by doing light exercises, particularly on your neck, feet, legs and arms. Ask your crew members for some tips.

24. Wear compression socks
Be prepared for sitting in that one seat for several hours by wearing flight socks. These can prevent leg pains, swollen ankles or even blood clots.

25. Get fed before anyone else
Choosing a vegan option or an option with dietary requirements usually means you are lucky enough to get your in flight meal served before others. It is best to request this when you book your flight or before you arrive at the airport.

26. Be creative and productive
Relaxing in that chair on the plane might be a rare opportunity if you have a busy lifestyle. Make the most of it, enjoy the ‘me time’ and get creative. Read your favorite book, do some writing, listen to some music, just do what you love with very little distractions and enjoy your journey.

Arriving in the new destination

After your blissful flight, you have arrived safely in your destination, now it’s time to collect your luggage, catch your ride and head to your accommodation.

picture of a plane for flying tips blog

27. Know your luggage pick up point
If you have checked in luggage, listen out on the flight for the number of the carousel to collect it from. If in doubt ask a flight attendant who will be happy to assist.

28. Make sure your checked luggage is the first to arrive
Stick a fragile tag on checked baggage before you fly. This not only gives your luggage a better chance of being delicately handled, but it means it is likely to be one of the first to arrive on the convey belt at the luggage pick up point in arrivals.

29. Have your airport transfer pre-arranged
The best way to get cheap airport transfers is to do a little research before you travel.

picture of an Airport transfer desk for flying tips blog

There are various options available depending on the destination, Round The World Magazine recommend –

Taxi: Most airports have a taxi pick up point outside or better still, some have a desk inside the airport where you can arrange a collection.

Car Hire: A great way to explore a new destination is to hire a car and self drive. Most airports have car rental desks where you can book and pay on arrival but it is recommended to pre-book to make sure there is availability. Round The World Magazine recommend Alamo car rental or Enterprise car hire.

Uber: The great last minute option. Uber is becoming more common around the world, providing a great comfortable, convenient and cheap way to travel. Sign up for a free Uber ride.

Pre-book using an agency: Choose a comfortable shared or private airport shuttle service using agencies such as Hoppa, Airport Transfers or Shuttle Direct.

Local Transport – Most big cities have great transport links on trains, buses and underground. If you are going to spend a long time in that destination, check out weekly/monthly transport tickets.

30. Have the address of your accommodation ready
Sounds obvious, but it is always a great idea to have the full address of your accommodation handy to make sure you end up at the right place.

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picture of view from plane for 30 Top Flying Tips and Airport Tricks blog post

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