Stella has written several travel related articles which include useful information and travel tips for families with young children
'Up, up and Away' - on your Summer Holiday!
Checklist of Things to do In Preparation for your Flight
However seasoned a traveller you deem yourself to be, it's always possible to arrive at your destination feeling dreadful if you don’t take some preventative measures beforehand. This is especially true when flying during the summer months when the heat and the sheer volume of people travelling can be enough to make even the best of us lose our cool.
Planning your Vacation
1. Plan Ahead
Even if the flight duration is short you can still suffer from a number of ailments and inconveniences if you don’t prepare for the journey. It’s important to allow yourself sufficient time for getting to the airport to avoid unforeseen delays; this is vital when travelling in a group or with young children. It’s better to be waiting an hour or so before check-in than to arrive at the last minute already hot and bothered. Better still; check in online if this is an option.
Make sure you are informed regarding your chosen airline’s baggage allowance weight restrictions and are aware of their individual policies as this can often waste time at check in if you are over the limit or have to switch items between bags. Scenarios like this will be certain to irritate the people in the queue behind you.
Strict airport security measures are necessary nowadays but remember they are in place to ensure your safety and you can help procedures run smoothly by cooperating with airport staff and making sure that you pack only the correct items in appropriately sized bags to avoid delays.
What to Pack?!
2. Be Familiar with your Flight Itinerary and Destination
Familiarise yourself with all your travel details to keep stress to a minimum. Check your flight is on a schedule before you leave for the airport and check again frequently whilst in the departure lounge to see the flight is still on time.
It is unbelievable but true that many folks have no idea which part of the world they are travelling to. It's not unknown for them to arrive at the wrong destination by confusing place names such as Grenada and Granada. I know someone who went to the travel agents to book a package holiday to Tunisia and was sold one to Turkey instead. She still enjoyed her vacation but didn't have a clue where in the world she was! It's recommended to know at least the very basics of your destination and familiarise yourself with some of the names you'll need to remember for the duration of your stay, even if you don't intend to venture far from your hotel.
3. Drink Plenty Water
Never allow yourself to become dehydrated; this can lead to problems with headaches, constipation and general debilitation whether you're visiting a hot climate or not. You don’t want to spend the first few days of your well-earned summer holiday languishing in a hotel room feeling decidedly unwell. Always carry bottled water (either still or carbonated) or flavoured spring water if you find plain water too bland.
4. Keep Alcohol Consumption Low
Alcohol causes dehydration so drink responsibly on board a plane and in the departure lounge before your flight. The effects of alcohol are intensified whilst in the air although drinking in moderation can have positive effects in helping nervous fliers to relax and is thus beneficial.
5. Eat Light, Nutritious Meals and Snacks
Avoid heavy meals before or during a long flight and carry a range of nutritious snacks or cereal bars to boost flagging energy levels. A few of these sweet treats will do no harm as long as they are not used to replace proper meals.Nervous fliers especially should remember to eat regularly before a flight so as not to add to the stress. Being as relaxed as possible will always help to sooth your nerves so avoid foods that are known to irritate you.
6. Get Enough Sleep Before you Fly
Although it’s not possible to bank sleep, if you're already tired as your journey begins, things will only get worse. Try to pack your case a few days before the day of departure and don’t leave anything to the last minute such as cancellation of newspapers and pet care arrangements so that you still have sufficient time for at least a few quiet hours to yourself to de-stress before travel. Jet lag will make sleep deprivation even worse so be extra careful before flights that carry you across several time zones.
'Love is in the Air!'
7. Wear Sensible Shoes and Clothing
Light layers of cool, cotton clothing are absorbent and allows skin to breathe so you don’t become overheated. Synthetic materials even lightweight ones can make skin sweat and are best avoided. Don’t wear huge metallic belts, shoes or jewellery that will set all the bells ringing at the security desk and will have to be removed and replaced several times. Avoid high heels and tight fitting footwear or waistbands and tights that restrict circulation.
8. Don’t Overburden Yourself with Luggage
Travel light whenever possible but vital items to include in your hand luggage include headache pills, indigestion tablets, mints or gum to keep breath fresh and help with the change in air pressure during take off and landing. Wet-wipes are a modern day wonder and can be a godsend in helping you remain cool and fresh in the claustrophobic environment of an aircraft cabin. An eau de cologne stick can also help to cool a throbbing head. Remember to carry all important travel related and financial documents, cash and medication in your hand luggage in case of delays or loss of hold baggage. Quality reading material is also important; if you become absorbed in the latest blockbuster, chances are your flight will seem much shorter. If books don’t appeal then a selection of quality magazines will help to pass the time.
Having a selection of lightweight clothes that don't crease and can be rolled up in your suitcase is a good way to avoid ironing on holiday
You can always buy things when you get to your destination and it's unlikely nowadays that you won't be able to find an item even though it may be a bit more expensive than back home. Most tourist areas are so well catered for that you won't be hard done by if you decide to travel light. Some folk just take hand luggage only and buy everything once they arrive!
Soak up the Sun and Forget the Traumas of Travel
9. Be Patient and Courteous to Everyone
Summer is the busiest time for airlines so staff will be pushed to the limits. It can be stressful for employees and tourists alike but this doesn’t mean that politeness has to be dispensed with. Be civil in all your dealings with airline and airport officials and other passengers and this will ensure you don't become embroiled in a heated dispute that could otherwise be swiftly resolved with a little diplomacy.
Crying babies and fractious children who keep kicking the back of aeroplane seats are often a cause for heated arguments between fellow passengers; Then there are those who over indulge in alcohol and become loud mouthed and aggressive. It's not always easy to know how to respond in such instances but the best course of action is to alert one of the cabin crew before things get out of hand.
Family Travel Tips
10. Smile – You’re on Holiday!
A smile costs nothing and is a sign of appreciation. Airline employees work long, unsociable hours and are highly trained to ensure your flight is as safe and enjoyable as possible. Without air travel, you’d perhaps never have the opportunity to visit many of the world’s premier resorts and destinations. There’s nothing worse than the perpetually disgruntled tourist who decides to give his fellow passengers a hard time, so remember to smile and add to the enjoyment not only of your own holiday but of everyone else’s too.
Dealing with Travel Anxiety
© 2016 Stella Kaye
Stella Kaye (author) from UK on April 21, 2016:
Thanks very much for your comment I'm pleased you found my article helpful. Keep drinking the water - I always get headaches if I don't when on a flight as I get quite dehydrated. Even a few frequent sips helps if you don't want to gulp too much down all at once.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 21, 2016:
Really good tips! Number 3 makes me a little uneasy because plenty water might translate to plenty trips to the bathroom. Still I understand the reason. Thanks for the hints.