Tuesday 27 June 2017

26 Fabulous Hacks/ Tips to make Flying Easier

Having recently travelled abroad with the kids and the peak summer season almost being upon us I thought it was high time to share some tips and hacks that I’ve learnt over the years and I also asked a few blogger friends to share their wisdom too.

Ahead of Time

1. Booking your flights

Use a site like Skyscanner to find the best flight deals and then head over to your chosen airlines website and book direct, that way you'll secure the best deal possible. I’d always say to void third parties if you can.

2.  Experts seem to agree that Tuesday is the best day to buy flights and that about 6 weeks before you travel is the optimum time to get a great deal. You have to have nerves of steel though, not sure I could leave my flights until that close to the travel date! Tuesday (or even Wednesday) is often the cheapest days to fly as well as it is away from the peak weekends.

3.  Have copies ready
Take photographs of all your important documents, keep a copy on you and email a copy to your at-home contact in case anything gets lost or you have a problem.

4.  Keep track of what you are spending
Download a free app like XE currency, so that whilst you are abroad you can easily work out how much things would cost in your local currency.

5.  Check out the airport lounges
Check out the deals available for day access to the VIP lounges. Why? Because many of them offer free food and drink and if there are a number of you requiring dinner it can work out really cost effective and you have a comfy area to wait too.

6.  Book your parking in advance
Shop around for your airport parking in advance. There are some great deals if you check the voucher sites or go via a cash back site like Quidco. Signing up for newsletters can also secure you a good discount for your first booking. I recently booked via Looking4Parking and got a great Meet & Greet deal through them.

Packing your Cases

7.  Split your clothes across cases
If you are travelling with family and have multiple cases, make sure you spread your clothes across each of your cases, that way if one goes missing you still all have some clothes to wear! This is always something I’ve done since a teenager and Happy Mummy advocates it too.

8.  Pack a multi-plug
Take an extension lead or multi-plug as hotels abroad never seem to have enough power points and this means we can be charging the iPad at the same time as doing our hair! Of course don’t forget converter plugs too.

9. Stop those leaks
If you want to take an open bottle of shampoo/ shower gel etc just unscrew the lid and put a bit of cling film over and then screw the lid back on, this will ensure you don't get any leaks even if the cap is broken off.

10.  Make sure you can spot your case
Around 80% of the cases that arrive on the airport turnstile are black or navy and it can be incredibly hard to spot yours, especially as you don't have to use luggage tags nowadays. I have personalised luggage straps which make my cases easy to spot but you can tie a bright ribbon on the handle or use chalk pens to put your initials on in a vivid colour.

11.  Have a power pack with you.
If you get delayed there is nothing worse than not being able to get in contact with those you need to as your phone battery has died or worse still the kids iPad dies and they whinge from boredom!

12. Pack a tiny capsule wardrobe in your hand luggage.
A couple of pairs of knickers, bikini/swimsuit, a couple of small tops and a skirt/shorts that match. That way if your hold luggage goes missing, it won't ruin the start of your holiday! Tip from Pondering Parenthood

Family friendly Preparations

13.  Invest in a car seat bag
If you're travelling with a car seat, make sure you buy a car seat bag ( I highly recommend the isafe), you can then shove all your bulky/heavy items such as nappies, towels etc in with the car seat and save on your luggage allowance! Tip from Hello Baby Blog.

14.  Prepare for flight boredom with little ones
Wrap up toys or buy toy bags for your little ones. You can then put all sorts of small items in there it amuse them, stickers, cards, healthy snacks etc. Tip from Mumma and her Monsters

15.  Keep smiling and stay confident
My tip when flying is don't worry about what anyone else thinks - you've got as much right to be on the plane as anyone else! Crumbly Mummy wrote this post on tips for flying with kids and I also wrote 18 tips for flying with older kids too.

16.  Use a Sling
Sophie and Lily suggest that if you have a baby or young child you could consider a carrier or a sling for use at the airports and enjoy being hands free for a little while. Devon Mama also adds
that you should take a carrier that doesn't contain metal. It then means you can babywear through security including the body scanner and your little one can continue to sleep.

At the Airport

17.  Photograph your parking space/ zone
If you are parking at the airport, make sure you take a photo of your parking area, so you can easily find your car again. Nothing worse than returning home and realising you have no idea where your car is!

18. Mystery shopping could get you a free meal at the airport
Mystery shopping agencies like Market Force and Grass Roots regularly have assignments at airports and if you make them aware of your travel plans in advance they can offer them to you.

19. Call Customer Services if Delayed
If your flight is cancelled or severely delayed, rather than join the massive queue at their customer service desk use the freephone number and speak to the operator. They will be able to help you in just the same manner.

Airport image from Shutterstock
Airport Security

20.  Take your own water container through security
We all know you're not allowed to take any liquids bigger than 100ml through airport security but empty roll-up or easy pack drinks containers can be and are perfect for filling up from the water fountain on the other side.

21.  Follow the suits
Well not literally but get in queue behind them when you are waiting to go through security as chances are they are the people who will travel frequently and are fastest. Steer clear of the lanes full of families. Research also shows that lanes to the left should be quieter as with most people being right handed their natural tendency is to head to the right!

22.  Dress for going through Security
Wear slip-on shoes (no laces) and trousers that don't need belts - especially for children. This will speed up security and is much less stressful for you as a parent, as it's already a juggling act helping the kids and making sure you don't leave any bags/coats behind! Tip from Pack the PJs.

23.  Prepare your Liquids
Make sure you separate your liquids out in advance in your hand luggage and be aware of what is actually classed as a liquid. Aside from actual liquids you need to be able to fit any make up and lip balms/ pastes etc into your clear plastic bag. The security guards don't make exceptions (and rightly so). Tip from Diary of a Frugal Family

24.  Liquid Medicines
If you are carrying liquid medicines they must have a prescription label on them and the name must be the same as on your (your childs) passport. Medicines don’t have to be under 100ml like other liquids. Tip from Mum on a Mission Blog

On the Plane

25.  Wear layers
For some reason the temperature on planes is always unpredictable. Therefore it is best to layer up and make sure you remember a light scarf, socks and easy to remove shoes if you have a long flight.

Returning Home

26.  Keep your case contents smelling fresh
If like me you have a little problem with sweaty feet then don't forget to put a couple of tumble dryer sheets in with your shoes and case as this will keep everything smelling fresh.

If you have any great tips or hacks for flying the please do leave them in the comments and I'll update the post and if you want me to link to you, leave your URL as well.

Mich x

Why not pin this post for later?

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