Flight Centre, as you know, has successfully served seasoned local and international travellers for over 40 years. And while seasoned travellers may be acquainted with the intricacies of foreign travel and know what to prepare for and pack before boarding a plane for that trip to a new destination, the whole process may be daunting to the first-time traveller.
So we have put together a quick and easy reference for you as a first-time traveller that will take you gently by the hand and steer you through the ins and outs of what may seem to be a somewhat overwhelming experience. In this edition of our first-time traveller guide series, we will cover the issues of what you should pack in your carry-on luggage, some neat packing tips, the meaning of duty-free shopping and how to survive long-haul flights (especially jet lag).
We will close off with a list of some other tips provided by seasoned travellers that we suggest you explore further at your leisure.
What to pack in your airline-approved carry-on luggage
Electronics (phone, tablet, spare batteries.)
Small toiletry bag with toothbrush etc.
Regularly prescribed medications (with a copy of the script)
Flexible silicone water bottle
Change of clothes and underwear
Large oversized scarf
Leak-proof travel mug
Small first aid kit
Pen and paper
Place heavy items at the bottom of the suitcase
Roll clothes and pack them first
Choose travel-friendly fabrics
Pack the first outfit you will wear on top
Layer plastic dry cleaning bags between clothing (do not discard when unpacking)
Avoid over- and under-packing
Take a mini (travel) iron and multi-adapter plugs
Surviving long-haul flights
It is highly recommended that you get up from your seat on the plane when it’s convenient for the airline staff and walk up and down the aisle. When sitting down, make circular movements with your ankles to keep the blood flowing. Perhaps purchase a pair of flight socks which go a long way towards helping to ease the swelling of your feet and ankles.
Jet lag is a temporary sleep problem that can affect anyone who quickly travels across multiple time zones. Our bodies have their own internal clock which signals us when to stay awake and when to sleep so jet lag occurs because our body’s ‘internal clock is still synced to our original time zone, instead of to the time zone where we have travelled to. Symptoms can vary from disturbed sleep patterns to feeling unwell to general mood changes.
The best ways to counter the effects of jet lag are:
Keep calm, don’t stress
Get good rest before taking your flight
Break your journey (have a stop-over)
Drink lots of water before, during and after your flight. Skip alcohol on the flight!
Make yourself comfortable (ear plugs/headphones, inflatable neck pillow, etc.)
Eat healthy foods after arrival - avoid junk food
Take light exercise after arrival
Stay outdoors as much as possible within the first couple of days after arrival
The "duty" in duty-free simply refers to taxes. Duty-free shops are allowed to sell their wares exempt from various national and local taxes on the condition that the goods will be taken out of the country by international travellers. In the absence of taxes, duty-free shops are therefore able to offer lower prices on their goods and international travellers can save money on a whole variety of products: from clothing and cosmetics, photographic equipment, to tobacco and hard liquor to name but a few.
Some other useful tips
Draw up a detailed checklist well before departure
Always take out travel insurance
Learn a few common phrases in the language of the place to which you are travelling
Make photocopies of important documents
Always pack the night before
Put your room number and hotel address on your phone
Speak to the locals
Beware of free public Wi-Fi, especially when doing banking
Notify your bank of your travel plans
Wear sunscreen if you are travelling to sunny country
Let someone know of your plans - keep in touch
Separate your sources of money
Keep an open mind
Use common sense
So, there you have it! What may seem to be overwhelming and you not knowing where to start has been made simple and pretty easy to follow. We hope the above goes a long way towards eliminating the stress for you as a first-time traveller remember, our experts at Flight Centre are always there to help you and please look out for and visit our first–time traveller guide series.
Enjoy your journey!