Travel Hacks: Flying Like a Champ

I fly a lot, across time zones and continents. Over the years I have built up an inventory of tools saving me money and generally making what can be a miserable experience, less miserable.

  • Finding your flight – My go to is Momondo. I check others from time to time, but this has consistently been the best travel aggregator for the last 5 years.
  • Finding the best available seat – Use Seat Guru to identify the good and bad seats. I generally go for a middle aisle towards the back, as they are the last to fill up and people travelling together are more likely to bother the people they know.
  • Surviving the overnight flight – I go nuclear, giving myself the best chance of sleeping. Potentially saving wasting a day on recovery.
    • Compression socks – I put these on for flights longer than 3-4 hrs.
    • Sleep mask – Definitely worth the money over other options, it blocks out more light and muffles the sound.
    • Ear plugs – Don’t bother without the above sleep mask. They work well together.
    • Antihistamine – There are so many allergens, that I find it helps reduce the risk of getting travellers flu.
    • Melatonin – Helps me with changing time zones.
    • Vitamin B complex – An effervescent at the beginning and end of the flight helps reduce fatigue.
  • Other Tips
    • Straight after breakfast on an overnight flight, before a tray has been collected, go to the loo. Once the trays are being collected, there is limited time and big queues before landing.
    • If there is a break, between flights (e.g. London to Auckland), then shower. The second flight will be so much more bearable.
    • Rent a Car – Sign up for Avis Preferred – It means shorter queues and in most countries they are the same price or cheaper than other providers, but did I mention shorter queues – I’ve saved hours at a time.
    • Amex Platinum (Referral bonus) – If you fly more than 10 times a year, the Amex Platinum offers some useful benefits (it is expensive though) such as:
      • Priority pass – lounge access for me and a guest (the free supplementary card), has the same.
      • Full comp insurance – including medical, car rental and normal travel.
      • Boingo – wi-fi access all over the show.

What other flight hacks do you use?

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