Planning for an upcoming trip but unsure what or how to pack? Or are you traveling on long-haul flights for the first time? The preparation can be stressful and we have all been there! In this post, I will share my tips on how to travel with ease! I travel once a year between Malaysia and Germany since I moved to Europe 5 years ago. I learn new tricks for every journey I have completed. The longest direct flight I have completed is from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne of approximately 14 hours, and another 7 hours beforehand from Munich to Abu Dhabi. Traveling can be fun if you let it be! Try not to do any countdowns because it will make the journey seem long!
Read below for my tips and tricks:
First and foremost, do not wait until the eleventh hour to pack your bags. This is what most people tend to do due to their busy schedule or a bad habit of procrastination. I personally find it easier to pack by writing down a list of the things I need to avoid overpacking on unnecessary items which will not be used. I would recommend to have your luggage packed and stowed by the door 48 hours before your flight schedule.
Why 48 hours and not 24 hours ahead, you may ask?
There are times when you plan to purchase something last minute for families or friends, or for yourself. For example, if you are traveling to a tropical country with white sand beaches; it happens that your bikini or beach shorts no longer fits, and you are in a rush to purchase a new one. There is always an option to purchase in the country you are visiting but it may take time for you to find the stores (assuming you are visiting for the first time).
Or you may decide to purchase some of your favourite snacks for the flight. The snacks options on-board are not wide. As for budget airlines, you will be required to purchase your snacks which are usually more expensive than the local stores.
If a family member or friend is sending you to the airport, it is good to plan ahead with them. If you are using a cab or Uber, have your cash or card ready for payment. During my trip in Australia, I used Paypal to make payment for my Uber ride which was very convenient. You will receive an email after you have arrived at your destination, and you can decide if you would like to tip the driver.
Although most people believed that is it better to arrive 3 hours earlier before the flight, most of the counters are only open 90 minutes before the schedule. However, it is always good to read your itinerary again to confirm this.
- Print your flight plan(s)
I know we are in the age of technology. Our smartphones are smarter than us!
To have your flight plan printed makes this a little easier when you need to check your schedule. My iPhone has at least a thousand of photos, therefore, I would hate to scroll through to look for my screenshot. My Gmail is no different.
Of course, it is not a problem to have your flight plan on your phone too. To scan the boarding pass from my iPhone usually takes time, and because of that, I prefer to have my documents printed.
- Pack your toiletries in a hand-carry bag
Marie Kondo style. Have you heard of her? Women are worshipping Marie Kondo after her release on Netflix. She has her minimalism way of tidying and packing things. After watching a few episodes, I try to do it as per suggestion too!
Pack your toiletries in a small bag. You will need this is you have an overnight flight or travel long-hours. The necessities you will need are: toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash or face wipes, moisturiser. The limitation per bottle of liquid is 100ml. Trust me, you will not need that much. I usually pack 30ml but used only 5 – 10ml. Traveling bottles can be bought easily at stores or online, and they are pretty cheap too! In addition to that, pack the liquid bottles in a zip lock bag. Zip lock bags are amazing when it comes to traveling.
I started bringing my own water bottle since my previous trip to Australia in December 2018. I find it more convenient than using the cups on board or waiting for them to serve drinks. To have the water bottle right in front of your seat pocket makes it easier to reach whenever you need it especially if you are sitting next to the window, you would not want to keep waking up your neighbours to get out of your seat.
It is recommended to drink plenty of water on board as the air on-board is dry. Water is good for your health too! In some airports, there are water dispenser machine where you can refill your water bottle instead of purchasing after you passed the security check point.
instead of contact lenses because the air in flight is dry. I tried wearing contact lenses on-board and I did not last up to 3 hours with it. Most airlines recommend passengers to opt for glasses. Even most of the air hostesses these days wear glasses during long-flights.
- Do not forget your earphones or headphones
if you would like to use your own entertainment devices. The headphones on-board has a different plug which does not fit your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Bring your USB cable to charge your smartphone (if there are seat-charging area) – Etihad, Emirates, Qatar airlines provide seat-charging area but budget airlines such as AirAsia does not.
- Bring your favourite books
Love to read? Some of us still prefers to hold a hardcopy book instead of staring at the screen for hours. When the lights on-board are dimmed, you can always switch on the reading lights on the top of your seat.
If you tend to get headaches or motion sickness during long travels, it is advisable to pack some of your medicines in your hand-carry bag. It will come in handy when you need it! You may request from the air-hostess but there is a chance they will not provide it because it is simply too risky as they are not aware if you have any other illness. So, pack your own!
- Be -friend with your neighbour
One of the most exciting parts of traveling is meeting new friends on-board. Sometimes you will come across passengers who are really nice but also there are grumpy ones who do not want to be bothered as they would like to sleep all the way until their final destination. Always start with a smile and “Hello!”, and let the conversation flow!
Most of all, have fun and enjoy the journey!