Travel Thursday: Flying Tips for Rookies

So you’ve never flown before and you have no idea what to expect. No idea what to pack and you are wondering how you are going to kill time on a long-haul flight or any flight for that matter. Here are 13 things you need to know if you’re a first time flyer. Before I start, the most important thing–Don’t forget your ticket!

1. Time is everything. When you have a flight, depending on which country it is. For a long haul flight you have to be at least 3-2 hours in advance. Short-haul 1 hour. It’s not a bus station. Security checks take time.The earlier you get there the faster you get rid of your luggage and go through security.

2. No Smoking please! There are designated smoking spots within the airport but don’t think you can smoke in a flight.

3. No liquids! If you bought a bottle of water to drink on your flight. It will be thrown away. If your favourite perfume, lotion or drink is more than 100 ml. Put it in your check-in bag or risk having it thrown away.

4. Know your gate before boarding. Check out the time you should board and find a spot not too far from your gate. So they won’t have to call your name on the last call. This happens to regular flyers too. It’s usually embarrassing to be the last one on the flight and everyone is waiting for you and giving you dirty looks. The flight won’t hesitate to leave without you though.

5. Time zones the ETA ( estimated time of arrival) is based on local time at your destination, know your destination’s time difference so you won’t miss your connecting flight.

6. Kilos check the maximum amount of kilos allowed before packing your check-in luggage. Some have 15,20,23 kg in short-haul flights. You have to pay for extra kilos. Cheap flights make you pay for check-in luggage. Make sure you pay this in advance when booking as the price is higher at the check-in desk.

7. Stay hydrated and stay warm! Most flights offer blankets and water. If you can buy water AFTER security checks. The reason for this is you may get bad service on the flight. Asking for water may be a problem in-flight. I prefer to have my own light shawl that I carry in my hand luggage to keep me warm during the flight.

8. Back up entertainment. Carry your own earphones, music and  a book or two with you. Some flights offer in-flight entertainment if they don’t– at least you can dull the boredom or sleep. Some flights have WiFi but make sure your phone is on flight mode during the flight.

9. Travel pillow. I use this often even when travelling by road it comes in handy and makes it easier to sleep without hurting my neck.

10. Identification . Having your passport or legal travel document is important. Make sure that it is valid. Also ensure you have copies of them somewhere in case yours gets lost or stolen.

11. Watch your stuff like a hawk.The airport has loads of people and just a second of placing something down to do something could cost you a lot.

12. Special meals if you are travelling on a long-haul or short haul flight that provides special meals; you can request for your option (gluten fee, lactose free or vegan) 48 hours or when booking your flight

13. Don’t over pack Dragging hand luggage can be a pain in the butt if it’s heavy usually 8-10 kg are allowed. It’s annoying to have to run from gate to gate with heavy hand luggage.

Ready to Board?

Ready to Board?

These are basic facts of travelling. If you are going to be flying a lot with an airline from an alliance. Consider getting a frequent flyer card.

Have a wanderlust day,



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