7 Flying Hacks No-One Tells You
The jet-set lifestyle is all well and good, but sometimes it pays to have a few clever flying hacks to make your journey that bit smoother. So if you’re up for arriving more refreshed, less stressed and ready to make the most of that trip, these are the flying hacks that will make all the difference.
Have a bag in your bag
If you’re flying with a budget airline (or any airline at that) keep all the stuff you’ll need for your flight in a small canvas bag or handbag. Headphones, travel documents, a good book, and medication can all be kept in a smaller bag which can be taken out of your cabin baggage when you board the flight. This means you don’t need to keep jumping up and down to get stuff out of your cabin bag during the flight.
Bring an empty bottle
We all know we can’t take liquids through security but bring a reusable bottle (make sure you drink all the liquid or empty it before you get through). Once through security, you will either be able to find somewhere to fill up your bottle for the flight or ask someone in a coffee shop or fast food restaurant to do it for you.
Get some comfy shoes
Comfy shoes are a great option for the flight hacker. Something that easily slips on and off and super comfortable will make you feel like you’re almost like wearing slippers. Wool shoes are a great example, and with wool, you don’t need to wear socks (one less thing to pack). Wool is also a great fabric which can be worn in pretty much any climate, including warmer climes. So, find some stores that offer stylish wool shoes made for jet setters.
Most people automatically head to the right when choosing queues, so go against the grain and go left. Of course, there is no substitute for using your eyes so scope out the queue visually too!
Why rush for the queue as soon as boarding is announced? The flight won’t be going anywhere until the last passenger is on. If your seat is already assigned you’ll be able to saunter on at the end and take your place and avoid the crazy rush as everyone tries to get on first. Sit, enjoy your coffee and wait for the chaos to subside before getting on the plane.
Use ‘mindfulness’ techniques
Airports can be stressful places with queues, huge crowds and plenty of opportunity for the blood pressure to rise. By practicing some simple mindfulness techniques you’ll be able to rise above the pressure cooker atmosphere and bring your stress levels back down.
Firstly find a seat (it doesn’t have to be a quiet place but it can help – you can even do this standing), put away your electronic device and simply focus on your breathing for a few moments. Try to clear your mind of any thoughts and simply focus on taking deep breaths, and then breathing out again in a controlled manner. You can use a readily-available app like Headspace to help.
You can do this anywhere you need to find your calm. It can be on the flight, in the security queue, at the baggage reclaim. This is also very useful if you’re scared of flying.
Most airports and airlines (not all of them) offer free services or benefits for customers, so do your research before you fly to make sure you get to claim yours. As an example, many flagship airlines offer things like free hotels, city tours or meals for very long layovers. Emirates, Singapore Airlines and China Southern, for example, all offer free city tours for long layovers as well as other benefits.
Most airports have things like free showers for transiting passengers, but you’ll also find cool things like art installations, viewing platforms and even cinemas in some major airports. Take a look at SleepingInAirports.net which has useful guides to most airports. Just don’t miss your flight!