Dubai: With the holiday season in full swing and people flying in and out of the UAE for the New Year, everyone is busy travel-talking these days. Conversations between people invariably revolve round who’s going where, why and what they’re expecting. Tales about trips from the past and how they coped with the unexpected too abound: from how they lost their passport or luggage to what happened when they were stuck with a dead mobile phone or came down with heavy jet lag.
But all this can be avoided even if you are a last minute traveller. There is little reason to fret if you plan things well. Geet Bhalla, CEO and co-founder of HolidayMe.com. says there are some ‘travel hacks’ that experienced travellers swear by. The tips come in handy whether you are travelling now or anytime in the future. Check them out:
1. Land in cheap flight deals
Who doesn’t want to save some money on those exorbitant flight tickets? If you are looking for cheaper fare, make sure you book your flight tickets on a Tuesday afternoon or on a Thursday, because that is when the air fares drop a little. But when you are browsing an airline or a travel website for flight details, turn on your browser’s “incognito mode” which ensures that these websites do not track your activity and change their prices accordingly.
2. One for ‘Nomophobs’
Entangled wires, broken charger pins or simply a charger that goes missing amidst heaps of clothes and documents - if you want to avoid all that and more, make sure you carry your charger and headphones in a glass case. If you happen to forget your charger, do not freak out, call the front desk of the hotel you are staying in, 99.99 per cent of the time they will have a spare one left by some guest. Borrow it for the duration of your stay.
3. Find your luggage in a jiffy
We all hate that “spot my luggage” contest at the baggage claim conveyor belt and know what pain it can be to pick up someone else’s bag. How about tying a cutesy ribbon or say a sticker on your suitcase for easy identification? If you don’t want to wait forever for your luggage to arrive, stick those “fragile” stickers on your suitcases. They should be among the first ones to arrive.
4. Never lose your important documents
Often we tend to lose our baggage or wallet while vacationing. To be caught without important documents in a foreign land is a nightmare. Scan key documents, passport, tickets etc and have them emailed to you. You will have them in your inbox. If you have no time to scan, click their photo with your mobile phone and upload them on the cloud or email them.
5. Book two one-way flights
Booking two one-way flights through two different airlines can be cheaper than a round-trip flight. It may also get you better arrival and departure times as you can mix and match flights.
6. Get upgrades by booking an economy ticket with a Y or B booking code
Requesting an upgrade while booking will get your ticket marked with a Y or B booking code, which means the flier is looking for an upgrade. Thus, if there are any open seats in the next class up from what you booked, you might get a complimentary upgrade. This works best if you’re a frequent flier and loyal to the airline that you’re booked on.
7. Keep a go-bag of essential items
Keep a go-bag of your favourite items at the ready instead of wasting time squeezing and packing and unpacking your favourite toiletries over and over again. This way you don’t have to think about what you may need at the last minute. Order samples of your favourite products online for free travel-size toiletries.
8. Minimise jet lag by sleeping right
Cut down on jet lag recovery time by loading up on sleep before your trip, as well as starting to shift your meals and bedtime closer to those at your destination.