Tips Before Flying

If you are preparing to fly to your next destination or vacation, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your flight and avoid unnecessary headaches.

Check your baggage allowance

There are two types of baggage allowances: checked baggage (stored below the plane) and hand or carry-on baggage (which you take on-board). On regularly scheduled economy flights the checked baggage allowance is usually a single piece of luggage per person at maximum of 23kg or 50lbs. On chartered flights, the allowed weight can be a little lower at 20kg or 44lbs. Some airlines may charge a fee for checked luggage on economy flights, so check the airline’s site. On first and business classes, passengers have more generous baggage allowance.

For hand baggage, you are allowed to take two pieces: one that fits in the overhead compartment and one hand piece such as a purse, briefcase, or small backpack that can fit below the seat. If you are traveling with a large piece of baggage that you want to take on board such as a musical instrument or sporting equipment, then you should check with the airline before hand to see what arrangements need to be made. In most cases you may need to purchase an additional ticket and use a seat to place larger pieces that you don’t want to check in.

Be aware of items restricted in checked and hand baggage

As a general rule, items that are classified as dangerous goods or hazmat (hazardous material) are not permitted in any of your baggage. These items including things that are flammable, corrosive, explosive, radioactive, or poisonous. There may be other restrictions such as:

  • Liquids, aerosols and gels in hand baggage.
  • Number of hand baggage pieces.
  • Some countries (such as Australia, New Zealand, and others) do not allow food to enter their country.
  • On arrival, you will be required to declare any items that are deemed dangerous or restricted to that country. Fines are heavy for failing to declare them so if you are unsure of anything, make sure to declare it.
  • Duty free allowances vary from country to country, so make sure you check these restrictions with the duty free shop or with immigration prior to leaving.

The government transport authority in the country you live have specific guidelines and regulations pertaining to the carriage of dangerous goods/hazmat, so if you are in doubt make sure to consult with this authority.

Minimize baggage problems

  • Tag your baggage with clearly visible tags, labels or straps for easy spotting and identification
  • Label your baggage with your name and contact information. Include the address of your destination so that in case of misdirected luggage, it can be delivered to where you will be needing in. Include your email address and phone number of where you will be staying (if different than your home)
  • Include labels both inside and outside the luggage, in case the outside label gets ripped away.
  • Pack important items such as your eye glasses, laptop, necessary medication in your carry-on luggage.
  • Report any missing luggage immediately to the airline.
  • Keep a list of everything you packed in your luggage.
  • Consult the airline’s luggage policy before you pack.

Top items to take on flights

  1. A neck pillow – Especially important on long flights.
  2. Noise-canceling headphones – These will reduce ambient noise and allow you to enjoy music and movies.
  3. A good book or magazine – The hours will fly more rapidly with a good book or magazine.
  4. Flight socks – Much more comfortable than having shoes on or regular socks and they will keep your feet warm and nice.
  5. Moisturizer and lip balm – Your skin can get quite dry on a flight. Check with your airline what you are allowed to take on board. Most airlines allow travel size liquids.
  6. A phrasebook – On the plane is a good time to brush up on a few phrases in the local language if you are going to a non-English destination.
  7. A toothbrush – Cleaning your teeth mid-flight can make you feel more refreshed and more confident conversing with others.
  8. A change of clothes – If it is a long flight then changing clothes can freshen you up. Also, having more comfortable clothes during the flight can make it easier on your body.
  9. Smartphone, MP3 player, and/or tablet computer – Listen to your own music, watch movies, play games, and more.
  10. A good pen and a cheap pen – You will need a pen to fill out important immigration documents. A cheap pen is to lend to the person beside you that probably will not have one.
  11. A sweater or a blanket – On board air control system can make it feel too cool for comfort.
  12. Snacks

Few Business Travel Tips

A few good business travel tips can help to make a dreaded excursion into a productive, rewarding travel experience. You might think you know everything that will make your trip easier but there might be a few business travel tips that will be new to you.

First, packing is important. If you’re only going to be gone for a couple of days you should pick and choose what you take so that you have only carry-on luggage. You’ll avoid wasted time at baggage claim and can get around much easier and more comfortably. One way to make the most of your space is to roll instead of folding. Rolling your clothing correctly will avoid unwanted wrinkles and creases and you’ll have more space to fit in what you really need.

You don’t have to take several changes of clothing, whether you’re a man or a woman. A neutral business suit with different shirts, scarves, ties, belts, and other accessories will make it look as if you’ve brought an extensive wardrobe. A reversible jacket will enhance the illusion and is a good investment. Take an extra set of underwear in case your trip is delayed and you’ll be surprised how much space you’ll save.

Pack lightly but don’t forego essentials! Call ahead or go online to find out if your lodgings provide clothing steamers, hair dryers or other things you can avoid packing. Take an extra USB drive just in case you need portable storage and don’t forget any medication you might need.

It pays to carry a change of clothing and important documents separately from your main luggage if you can’t make do with just carry-on luggage; if your luggage is lost you can still make a meeting as if nothing was amiss.

Try to sit in the back of the plane if you fly and don’t jump up when the plane lands; stay in your seat and relax. You’ll be standing for a good 10-15 minutes even if you’re near the front while people fuss about and get their carry-on luggage. You may as well use that time productively and avoid the crush.

Your trip should be a lot more relaxed and go more smoothly if you employ these few business travel tips.