Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Up, Up and Away

Some time ago, travelling by air has been an exciting and ineffable experience for me, but not anymore, I guess, since I've been travelling back and forth to KL/Sabah. Dah rasa macam naik bas pulak, only bigger! If possible, I wanna reach the destination as quickly as I can. Oh! If only teleportation existed. By then, we would be spared from all the hassle of travelling and preparing for it. Have you ever noticed that you do ten times the amount of work you would normally do prior to travelling by air? Travelling by air means putting in lots of extra hours so you can actually jump on a plane and get out of town. You have to purchase the tickets weeks or months earlier, pack your luggage and tag them accordingly, be early at the airport for check-in, arrange transportation and the list goes on..

Don't get me wrong, I love travelling and seeing places. I just don't like the amount of preparation I need to do beforehand. After all, I am the 'pack-and-go' type of person. If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that spontaneity is genius! 

Anyhu, here are a few tips I've put together on planning for air travel:

1. Plan your journey to ensure a hassle-free travel. Book the tickets well in advance after finding the best airline and the cheapest price. Look out for sales and travel deals on their websites. Also, consider the date and time of flights as they are typically busy on certain days and times. Besides that, do consider your seat - aisle, middle or window seat when purchasing tickets. Where you seat in the plane matters.

2. If possible pack your own bag and try not to exceed the allowance given if you don't wanna pay extra for them! Also, tag your luggage for easy identification. My mom taught me to tie a bright-coloured ribbon at the handle. It works so far! :)

3.Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the airport, considering traffic congestion and other transportation-related problems. Once, I had to book another flight though I'd arrived at the check-in counter only a few minutes late!

4. Register at the airline's website so that you can check for any last-minute delays or alert. Usually they'll text you directly to your cellphone.

5. You can now check in from home on the internet. Convenient eh? If you do, make sure to print and bring the boarding pass with you. However, you still need to be at the airport 1-2 hours before departure to deposit your luggage. And don't worry about printer problem or whatsoever coz you can always go to the counter for a new boarding pass. It happened to me once :) Also, ensure that you have all of the necessary documents at hand. Jangan tak pepasal nanti tertinggal IC la.. tertinggal pasport la.. satu hal pulak nak ambil dari rumah!

6. Be reminded that international flights don't allow us to carry liquids any more than 100ml on board. Once, I had to empty my drinking bottle I brought from home at the security checkpoint! Terlupa punya pasal.. maklum la jarang pegi overseas, coz for local flights takpe!

7. Be aware of the time ESPECIALLY when you need to be at the gate. Don't wait for the boarding call. Be there on time. Nanti tak pasal-pasal glamour kena announce satu airport! lol

8. Drink plenty of water on board to prevent dehydration. For contact lens wearers, opt for spectacles instead. This is due to the dry atmosphere on the plane. Also, wear suitable clothes and shoes for optimal comfort on board.

9. If you're going overseas, ensure that you've exchanged some currency and bring it with you. Some countries do not allow visitors to enter their countries without a certain amount of money. Check beforehand. Having certain credit cards also helps.

10. Based on my experience, I advise you not to bring a lot of hand luggage. It'll be a hassle and an inconvenience especially if you need to walk a long distance in the airport to reach various key areas including departure gates, baggage belts or connecting flights. There's a potential risk of it being stolen too. Also, never ever let strangers to look after or handle your luggage. Many people may seem nice, but have ulterior motives. So keep the luggage with you at all times. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

All in all, the choice is in your hands. A little thought on the matters stated above will guarantee a smooth journey for you and others travelling (insyallah). Happy flying! :)

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