There is no doubt that travelling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Holidays are meant to be exciting but often, the planning process, the long haul flight and subsequent jetlag can leave us feeling more exhausted than we’d like to be. To counteract these hurdles, it’s handy to have some travel hacks in mind.
So we spoke to Connie Ting, Flight Attendant at Cathay Pacific, to get her top tips on how to make your next travel experience a breeze.
- Think Ahead
You won’t be going anywhere if you realise that your passport expires just before your travels. Check to see that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from departure date and for the duration of your trip. Some countries have different requirements so be sure to confirm ahead of time. Similarly, check the visa requirements for the destination/s you’re travelling to. Some countries allow you to purchase a visa on arrival and some require a preapproved visa which can take a few weeks (or months) to process. Vaccinations are another important requirement to think about.
- Pack Smart
Minimise the chances of missing your luggage on the baggage carousel by opting for a colourful suitcase over a black one. Alternatively, tie ribbons or anything that will help identify your luggage when it’s on the carousel. A great space saving and organisational tip is to pack your items into labelled groups and in suction bags. That way you reduce the rate of unpacking and repacking with clearly marked bags for specific countries, weather or occasions. This also makes it easier when you go through customs and you’re required to open up your luggage. The last thing you want is for everything to topple out of your suitcase.
- Eat Smart
If you have any special dietary requirements, make sure you state your preference at least 24 hours ahead of the flight. It’s always best to eat a nourishing meal ahead of your flight so you’re less likely to be tempted by the less healthy options at the terminal. If you are trying to find something during a layover, look to see where the flight attendants are eating as a good reference. Make sure you drink enough water before you fly and keep hydrated during the flight. Try and avoid drinking coffee before the flight as this will add to dehydration and may also keep you awake when you’ll want to get some shut-eye.
- Maximise In-Flight Comfort
Always wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes when flying, especially if it’s long haul. If it gets too cold, you can request for a second blanket but always pack a scarf or cardigan in your carry-on for safe measure. If you normally wear contacts, avoid doing so on a flight as the cabin air will dry out your eyes in no time. Opt for your trusty glasses instead. You can always pack spare contacts in your carry on and change into them upon landing. Other essentials include eye masks (to block out light), a neck pillow and ear plugs.
- Beat Jetlag
It’s hard to avoid jetlag after a long flight, but there are ways to negate the effects. If your flight arrives in the morning, try sleep throughout the second leg so you arrive fresh and therefore are more likely to fall asleep that night. If you have a layover, take advantage of any available airport facilities such as a showers, massages, gyms or nap rooms. Anything that gets the blood flowing is great for circulation, helps keep the body regular and can reduce jetlag.
P.S. Cathay Pacific surveyed Australian holidaymakers on their pre-flight and in-flight travel behaviour and preferences. They’ve captured an interesting snapshot of the findings via an infographic (see below).