Back in the golden years of aviation, there was something glamorous about boarding an airplane and travelling to an exotic location. Aviation was made for relaxation and enjoyment, with well-appointed planes, gracious and graceful flight attendants, and a hat tip from the Captain as you boarded. But as you all know, in the modern world things have changed.
Flying is no longer about enjoyment, it’s just about getting from A to B. You pack, book flights and arrive to the airport wishing the whole flying ordeal out of existence so you can actually enjoy your destination. Flying is never the most enjoyable time of any trip and we all know it’s when the most things can go wrong.
Although modern lifestyles may have stolen the Old World glamour that flying once had, our newfound expedience means we have ways of making the whole ordeal a lot less expensive and problem-free. Here are some of the most carefully and thoughtfully curated travel hacks just for you. There might not be a Great Gatsby-esque Leonardo DiCaprio to offer a helping hand onto the plane, but these handy travel hacks will have you actually enjoying flying again.
BEFORE HITTING THE AIRPORT
You all know that half the work in organising a trip is before you even hit the airport. Thankfully, our thrifty internet culture has created a number of comparison websites for airfares, just like comparethemarket.com.au does with travel insurance.
Ticket and flight search engines such as Kayak, Skyscanner, Vayama and Airtreks will search for a wide range of flights, comparing airfares and finding the best possible price with the least number of stopovers. As you all know, paying too much for a flight is totally unnecessary, so be sure check these sites while you plan.
Pack like a pro
There’s a well-known feeling of dread that comes with packing the essentials versus everything else you want, which as you know are two very different things. Here’s a collection of handy packing tips to maximise space and minimise creasing and damage to your items.
- Keep your belts coiled in your shirt collars to keep its shape or slip belts along the inside of the case.
- Place a bulldog clip over your razors, as they may damage your clothes or slice open soft plastic containers.
- Place a layer of plastic wrap under screw bottle tops to prevent them from leaking into your bag if the top comes off or the tube is squeezed during transit.
- Use a business card as your luggage label.
- Start with shoes packed heel to toe, fill awkward gaps with small items, roll to prevent creasing, and fold bulkier items one over the other (except for shirts with collars).
- Double bagging toiletries, books, and your camera in the middle of the suitcase will help prevent damage.
AT THE AIRPORT AND IN THE AIR
Avoid parking nightmares
Parking at the airport is a joke for many reasons. Forgetting the obvious pitfalls like exorbitant costs and lack of security, the task of just remembering where you packed your car has you repeating in your head a mantra of forgettable colours and numbers. Green A 352… Green A 352…
Not anymore. Simply take a picture of your car in the car space for a visual reminder or use one of the many mobile apps that fill the gaps in your memory. iParkedHere is a simple and easy-to-use application that makes sure you’ll never forget where you parked. It even reminds you when you fly in!
Entertainment made simple
With luggage, tickets, passports, spending money, and the plethora of items that hang from you while you’re traveling, another tangled travel essential is your earphones. However, if you place your earphones in a binder clip it provides tangle free access to all your entertainment, and you can just clip it to your backpack or shirt.
Power problems solved
Is your mobile or tablet running low on power during those long haul flights? Check out some of the battery back-ups recommended by ZDNet and give your movies and TV shows the precious extra hours they need to get you through the journey. Also, you’ll never have to pay for or endure any in-flight entertainment – the choice is totally yours.
Keep your documents safe
Keep electronic copies of your travel documents in eReader programs like iBooks, so you have offline access to all your files if needed. These can include your travel itinerary, copies of your passport, important passwords, and booking confirmations. This is great for those times when everything is lost and you need copies of documents quickly, which
will save you a stressful call to work or home to send more copies. You can easily convert any photos on your phone to PDF with Sonic, a free app or any other PDF creation apps.
Using public access computers
Sometimes you might need to use a public access computer while you travel. Protect your passwords with self-contained mail clients and programs on a flash drive that won’t leave any files, passwords or browsing data on the public access computer. The browser carries all your preferences, important links, and bookmarks and you can even synchronise it with your existing browser, so it’s just like your browser at home or on your laptop. Thanks to Lifehacker for this one.