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Top tips for effortless air travel

You’ve contacted us through our website, Facebook or Twitter pages and we’ve worked with you to plan your ideal self-drive trip through South Africa. Chances are you’ve got a long-haul flight to take before hitting the South African roads. To help you make that trip easy and fun, we’ve put together a few tips for effortless air travel.

Pack less to enjoy more!

Pack less to enjoy more!

Pack less – Traveling with only hand luggage is the end goal. Of course, this is impossible in certain cases (like when you’re setting out on the golfing trip of a lifetime), but how often have you returned home from a journey only to realize you’d hardly worn everything you’d packed? Traveling with less means that you spend less on check-in luggage fees, you spend less (none, really) time waiting for your luggage and you have to lug less around airports and hotels.

Roll with it – Once you’ve packed a suitcase with rolled clothes, you’ll wonder why you’d never done it before. Trust us.

Pack smart – Bring a sarong and hooded top in your hand luggage. A sarong makes an easy scarf, balled-up pillow, beach blanket and emergency towel. Pull the hood of a top up over your head and it goes a long way to providing privacy, light and noise reduction. Definitely bring one or two pairs of ear plugs.

Check-in – Many airlines allow for online check-in, which cuts down on standing around in queues at the airport. Read the fine print, as you might even be able to pre-book your seats for most of your connecting flights. Aim for the security with the professional ‘suits’ – they always move along faster than those queues with lots of kids in them.

Be prepared – Planes are notorious germ carriers. Drink an immune booster for a few days before and after your flight, and be sure to pack a small, regulation-sized tube of water-less hand sanitizer.

Pre-order a special meal if you want to eat first.

Pre-order a special meal if you want to eat first.

Chicken or beef? – Most airlines let you specify any dietary or religious requirements regarding your food. These ‘special meals’ are usually served first, so if you don’t want to take the chance of being left with the only option no one else wanted, order ahead.

You’re on holiday, so smile – Keep in mind that the hostesses and stewards have probably already been in the air for 12+ hours. Not only are they probably tired, but they’re still working. Be polite with the service staff and that G&T might reach you a bit faster.

Plan to relax – Your flight status, along with certain bank cards allow access to specific airport lounges. If you have a long layover waiting for you, find out if you’ll be able to enter one of these – and book in advance. If you don’t get in by default, it might be worth while paying the fee to enjoy a hot shower, soft chairs, free food and drink, and the relative quiet compared to the rest of the departure lounge.

Many people see air travel as an irritating chore to get through before enjoying your vacation. We believe that flying is part of the fun – it is where your journey begins, after all. So follow these easy tips and flying can become fun. But not as fun as the amazing road trip you’re about to have…

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