Travel tips

On The Plane.

  • If you can't get out of your seat easily make sure to do the feet and leg movements recommended to prevent possible DVT. Keep moving when waiting for the loo or just stay up for longer when finished.
  • Drink lots of water. Aircraft air conditioning can mess up your skin and fluid levels, and knock your body out of its natural equilibrium. If you're planning to bring your own refillable water bottle make sure it's empty when you board! There's sure to be water coolers and taps to refill from.
  • Always try to get straight into the time zone you're traveling to. So if you board at like 11 pm, but that will be daytime where you're headed, try to stay awake as long as possible (watch in-flight movies e.g.) and sleep when it's nighttime where you're going.
  • Check the seat you have, you can select your seat but sometimes it does cost you to do so. It's still worth the money. Your Options
  • 1.)the window seat is good but if traveling alone it means you have to wake the other people up to get out of your seat.
  • 2.) The Middle is the worst seat as stuck in between.
  • 3.) The Aisle seat -you are free to get up when you want, but get disturbed by people getting past you or walking up the Isle and you don't have the window to lean on. The Aisle is my preference unless I can get a window seat with no seat in front.
  • 4.) Exit rows cost more but have more legroom and you can move in and out of your seat easily.
  • Position in the plane- not too close to toilets as noisy and can be smelly and I avoid the front too as there are often bassinets with crying babies there. I love babies but not when crying all night.
  • Ask for an upgrade on check-in, sometimes you can be lucky.
  • You can use a golf ball on the plane to roll under your feet for a foot massage
  • Avoid the Bar- Alcohol dehydrates you and makes you more susceptible to illness. Try herbal tea instead—it helps you stay hydrated and soothes nerves.

Clothing

  • Choose your travel clothes based on comfort and destination. Airplane temperatures can be a bit chilly, choose baggy, comfortable clothing that doesn't crush so you can relax and sleep on the flight. Keep a simple jacket or sarong in your carry-on bag.
  • Avoid belts, hats, or excessive jewellery or lace-up or buckled shoes—these can slow you down when you’re passing through security as they will need to be removed each time.
  • If you’re landing in a destination with a different climate, have a change of clothes ready.
  • Take a hoodie or coat to keep warm on flights as well it's always cold and if they don't have blankets you can throw that on instead. And if you have two, one can be a pillow!
  • Slip off shoes and take a pair of socks if not wearing any
  • If you are taking a bigger jacket for Scotland you can carry that on so it saves space in your case and you have it ready when you land, put it in overhead, and use it if you get cold.
  • Wear flight knee highs, (compression socks) and try to do a couple of laps of the plane when you get up.
  • Check the weather of the places you are visiting and pack accordingly.
  • Layering is the best way to keep warm in a cold climate
  • A raincoat is often better than an umbrella especially when windy.
  • Carry a scarf or sarong in your backpack, they can be used as a blanket, etc and good if your hair is a mess

Compression Socks

  • On a more serious note, you should always, always travel with compression socks. Long flights can wreak havoc on leg health. Travel-related deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition dubbed “economy-class syndrome” which causes blog clots following long-haul air travel in cramped conditions. Studies have concluded that airline passengers who wear compression stockings during flights of four hours or more can significantly reduce their risk of DVT as well as leg swelling

Luggage

  • Put unique coloured ribbon tied to your suitcase to quickly identify it when collecting your bags. Or a large sticker or suitcase cover as there are so many suitcases that look alike.
  • Put a fragile tag on your suitcase, apparently, it's handled with more care.
  • I carry a backpack as my handbag and a small carry-on suitcase. If you want to take a handbag as well as a carry on suitcase and backpack, leave it out while your bag is weighed, add it to your carry on while you go through security and board the plane and then take it out once you are on board so you conform to the one bag rule.
  • You can take snacks on board, but most flights will provide food. You may have to dispose of any opened packets upon arrival- they are good if you have long stopovers.
  • Can use cable ties to lock your suitcase or you can have your luggage wrapped at the airport, this helps with security and also protects your bags
  • You can take a laptop or notebook  and camera in your carry on the weight is not added in the 7kg (but check with your airline to be sure.) You will need to take them out going through security so if your carry-on has an outside zip/pocket it helps. I usually have my camera in my backpack.

At The Airport And On Stopovers

  • Sit near the lounges and you can often use their free wi-fi
  • Have some snacks in your handbag for long stopovers
  • Some airports have sleeping pods if you have a long wait
  • Take tea bags, coffee sachets, and/or cup-a-soup packets as most lounges or shops will give you hot water for no cost. (If you like black tea or coffee)
  • Apparently, if you roll the clock on your laptop back before your free hour is up you get extra time if you are on the 1-hour free airport wifi but I haven't tried this yet.
  • Check the cost, but if you have a long stopover it's often worth paying for lounge access, you get free food and drink, can charge your phone, etc and it's a lot more comfortable. There is access to showers etc too.

For Packing

  • If you wear glasses or contacts take spares
  • Medications - scripts - check if they can be filled overseas
  • Rolling clothes takes up less space
  • Portable scales are handy to check bag weights, especially for return flights after shopping. Don't pack it in your check-in luggage if it contains a battery.
  • Carry a copy of your paperwork etc. in your luggage and one in your handbag and leave a copy with family
  • A travel pillow, earplugs, and eye mask are handy.
  • Carry a facemask and sanitiser
  • Some airlines provide a basic travel pack with mask, earplugs, blow-up cushion, sox, small toothbrush, and paste but it varies
  • A power pack for your phone and/or computer is handy.
  • Wipes and tissues
  • Headphones
  • Book, audible on your phone or a kindle as books can be bulky.
  • Power converters/adaptors, chargers, and cords - can store in a glasses case or small cosmetics bag or pencil case etc.
  • All liquids into zip lock bags. For carry on they need to be under 50mls.
  • Pack the heaviest items at the bottom of your bag.
  • Put rolled up socks inside your shoes

Washing Clothes

  • Bring a few small garbage bags - to hold wet/soiled/dirty stuff between washes so they don't stink out your whole suitcase. And to bring the last few days of dirty washing home.
  • Bring elastic washing line to wash smalls in hotel rooms when we're there for 2-3 nights anyway. And my own washing powder in double zip lock bags.
  • I often take a small nylon cord to tie in the bathrooms (if they don't  have a pull line) just to rinse and hand small stuff.
  • Always great that there is usually a towel warmer in most hotels great for drying clothes.
  • Some hotels have washing machines and dryers but not all so pays to check if you are travelling for a few weeks. Most have laundry services but they are pretty expensive.

Paperwork, Insurance and Safety

  • Carry a copy of your flights, itinerary, passport, and insurance in your checked luggage and a copy in your handbag. Leave a copy with family back home. It's a lot easier to arrange replacement documents should you need help from your local embassy
  • Travel agents of tours will want details as well
  • Register your travel on Smartraveller.gov (check address). As it means the gov can contact loved ones in case of disaster/emergency where you are.smartraveler.gov.au
  • Add your travel agent as your Scotland contact if you are on a tour so they can be reached in an emergency as you may be traveling. Your guide and driver will be in contact with your agent
  • PASSPORT EXPIRATION DATE -at least 6 months left before expiry from the end date of your trip
  • Check the expiry date on your credit and debit cards and that they don't run out while you are away

Keep Emergency Numbers in Your Phone

  • While it is not essential to have an international phone plan while you are traveling, a pay-as-you-go SIM card with a cheap unlocked phone can be very helpful.
  • Save the local emergency number on your phone, so that if you do need the police or an ambulance, you can call quickly for help. If not taking a phone have them written down

iPhone users.

  • You can save PDF copies of insurance, e-tickets, passports in iBooks. So you have a back up copy if bags go missing. In iBooks

Flights

  • Check flight times have not changed and double-check your dates
  • When booking flights to and from don't forget to factor in the travel time to the airport and the time you have to be there prior to your flight departing.
  • Check baggage allowances
  • No departure cards required for AU anymore
  • Clothing tips above
  • Usually allowed min 20 kg up to 32 economy and 40 kg business class checked, 7 Kg carry on plus handbag, camera bag, computer, umbrella and coat etc.
  • The Maximum per bag is 32kg so if its a 40kg allowance you will need to put it in 2 bags.
  • Seat choice - see above
  • Liquids on board must be 50ml or less or they will be confiscated.
  • Join the airline's points club you might as well get points if you are booking a flight. Once you have enough points you get free flights. Im with Qantas and was able to upgrade to business class on one flight and have received free economy flights using my points.

Transport

  • Airport transfers usually included in tours, if not they can be expensive unless shared and charged per car, not per person
  • The airport bus/shuttle is a cheap option but depending on the number of travelers may take a while to reach your accommodation. You need to check if they drop to your hotel or just to a depot or street and where it is in proximity to you accommodation.
  • Uber usually cheaper than a cab and better if you have luggage as trains and buses can be hard with bags
  • No luggage public transport is cheaper
  •  You need an Oyster Card in London not sure about Scotland.
  • In the UK National Express Buses are an economical way to travel around.

Money

  • In Scotland -Scottish or English Pounds are the local currency.
  • In England, they do not like the Scottish pound. English Pound Sterling acceptable in  Scotland.
  • Better to withdraw once you arrive in Scotland for better rate, just take enough local currency with you to cover any initial costs. Don't withdraw at the airport it wont be a good exchange rate
  • Bank of Scotland ATM are everywhere
  • Cash/Travel cards - Preload pounds onto the card
  • You can use Visa/ Visa debit or MasterCard/ debit in shops or withdraw at local atm. Will pay a fee, Check with the card company as fees vary.
  • Qantas Money and Post Office travel cards have min fees in AU

Shopping

  • There are Souvenir shops everywhere and most have similar items and are more expensive than markets or local shops
  • There Tartan/Kilt shops everywhere in Edinburgh, good one near Edinburgh Castle.
  • Markets are usually the best and cheapest place to shop for local produce and craft.
  • There are pound shops everywhere in the UK that stock lots of great items on the cheap

Staying In Touch

  • Roaming can be expensive, check with your phone company, some like Vodaphone have a $5.00 per day cap, can still add up if a long trip
  • Use free wifi to update Facebook, msg, or call. Its available in most hotels, hostels, cafes etc
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with family so they know where you are if they need to contact you in an emergency
  • Have a portable power pack so you won't run out of charge

Memories Of Your Trip

  • Keep a diary. Take photos. Recap your days with your travel mates. Afford yourself every ability to look back on this trip and remember the most wondrous of details, big and small. Check with fellow travelers in case you've forgotten something. That's one of the great things about our tours, we have an online chat that continues after the tour is over so you can ask your fellow tour members if you have forgotten any  details
  • Remember to put the camera or phone down and experience some fo your holiday without looking at a screen or through a lens.

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