Top Ten Travel Tips for Timely Travel Transitions
By Di Mayberry, Lindsay Bell and Kendrick Cox
Before you fly
1. Pack your hand luggage carefully.
– Make sure you have everything you need for the flight
– Ear plugs, socks, sleep mask, panadol
– Pen to fill out immigration forms
– Light reading (book/kindle/magazine) for take-off, landing and when the entertainment is malfunctioning or not available
– Bring a jumper (scarf & jacket for flights which are sub-artic e.g. Virgin)
– Pack some ‘back-up’ clothes (T-shirt and undies) and toiletries to last you 24 hours – you just never know when your checked luggage might go walk-about.
2. Have your laptop fully charged before you get on the plane. Especially if you’re planning to do a bit of work or watch a few movies.
3. Bring your own water bottle – you’ll be less likely to go thirsty on the plane, and might save a bit of cash and a few plastic bottles going to landfill.
– Fill it from a drink fountain before boarding, and ask the crew to top it up during the flight.
– On flights back to Australia, ensure it is empty when you check through the gate – you can often fill it up on the other side.
4. Be at the gate. The right gate. On time.
– Flights in developing countries are just as likely to leave early as late.
– Keep an ear out for announcements – it is not the best time to get involved in an in-depth conversation with a colleague. Being the last person bussed to the plane for boarding is embarrassing. Missing your flight because you were too busy chatting is even worse and awkward to explain to your boss.
– If airline staff look slightly agitated when they ask you to move to the boarding lounge, it probably means that your flight is about to take off.
5. Choosing the right security and customs queue
– Lining up behind business people and single travellers often yields a more rapid transitions through the obstacles imposed by airports
We’ve all felt like this in cattle class before! Remember there a tips and tricks that can make you feel more comfortable.
On the plane
6. Time your toilet stops.
– This is not just about beating the food and beverage cart down the aisle, but getting to the toilets before the seat, floor and other surfaces get coated in bodily fluids.
– The combination of free booze and a toilet that moves with slight turbulence means that users do not always hit their mark. Country doesn’t seem to make a difference on this one – airline loos bring out the worst in public toilet etiquette, so go early or bring gumboots (socks are a big no-no).
– If you think you need a quick empty pre-landing, do this about 45 min out from landing – once the 30 min call goes out the queue grows quickly.
7. Googling airline tips and tricks can yield some handy bits of information.
– Ever wondered how to lift the aisle armrest on your seat so you can slide out sideways underneath your food tray? Secret stash of toiletries? Off-menu items to ask for?
8. Run out of stuff to read or movies to watch?
– Many planes will have a stack of magazines left behind by other passengers –you’ll often find a stack of diving, travel and national geographic magazines to keep you entertained.
– On Singapore airlines there’s usually a magazine rack behind the last row of seats in each cabin, but if in doubt, ask the crew.
Customs & quarantine
9. Make sure your work shoes are sparkling clean on the way back in. Disposable airline and hotel toothbrushes are excellent for cleaning mud and cow poo off your shoes. If you have stubborn stuff (e.g. dried cow poo) then the toothpaste is also handy.
10. Pack your ‘declarables’ (e.g. food stuffs) in your hand luggage so they’re easily accessible. You may be able to skip half the biosecurity line by showing your items to the first quarantine officer.
The best way to use a disposable toothbrush, cleaning your shoes!