Category Archives: Travel Tips

Social Media Adventure Travel Tips For Students

If you want to be an adventure travel influencer that shares the love through insta, snap chat and the like, there is a way to do it and a way to totally not. Don’t let the pressure tocapture the most unique content land you in hot water – (and possibly prison!) – follow these top tips on how to be a responsible and respectful social media traveller instead.

taking a break machu pichu adobe stock courtesy of studentuniverse.co.uk

Image courtesy of studentuniverse.co.uk

  1. Keep your clothes ON

This should go without saying: don’t pose naked at tourist attractions anywhere in the world. What might seem funny and harmless to you is disrespectful, and in many countries public nudity is illegal and can come with heavy penalties and punishment.

It’s also worth researching whether countries have a preferred dress code for those religious and cultural temples. Some countries will require visitors to cover up, so even though it may be 30˚+, a swimsuit or shorts won’t be appropriate when visiting a sacred place of worship.

  1. Don’t climb on ancient sites

While a selfie in front of some of the world’s most famous and recognisable landmarks is a must for many travellers, unfortunately the perfect shot can sometimes only be achieved by climbing to a spot where you shouldn’t.

Although ‘getting off the beaten track’ is encouraged when travelling, it’s important that visitors to ancient sites and attractions stick to the designated path. These guidelines aren’t in place to restrict freedom, but for the safety of those who visit and the site itself.

Image courtesy of StudentUniverse.co.uk - Credit: Unsplash

Image courtesy of StudentUniverse.co.uk – Credit: Unsplash

  1. Check the rules for filming and using drones

Video content is increasingly popular on social media platforms, and with easy access to GoPros and drones, more and more people are able to capture epic footage from all corners of the globe.

However, there are strict rules for filming and flying drones in most public places. Whether they’re landmarks, national parks, or even entire cities, drones are off limits. It’s important that extensive research is carried out before launching a drone, in some countries a permit or formal permission may need to be pre-arranged or granted. Most importantly, never, ever fly a drone near an airport.

  1. Treat wildlife with respect

Photos posed with animals are extremely common on social media channels, but the lengths some people will go to get these pictures can cause a lot of problems. Most revolve around food, as people use snacks to lure animals close enough for the perfect image. Firstly, the choice of food might be harmful to the creature. Secondly, it risks making them too used to humans, and seeing them as a ready source of tasty treats. This can lead to them turning aggressive and causing disturbances amongst travel groups. Remember, the best animal experience is observing them in the wild at a safe distance, and in their natural habitat.

  1. Stay safe!

Status-destroying backlash and imprisonment are very real responses to irresponsible, illegal and disrespectful social media content from photos taken in dangerous locations – but so is DEATH. There has been a steep rise in accidental deaths caused by travellers risking their safety to take a selfie, which has led to many destinations and tourist attractions implementing ‘no-selfie zones’.

It may be obvious, but the numbers of accidental deaths show that it’s common enough for it to be taken seriously. According to Student Universe, the latest figures revealed that between October 2011 and November 2017, there were 259 selfie deaths, with the highest occurrences in India, followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan.

No matter how good you believe a photo or video shot might look on your channels, it’s never worth endangering your safety.

Get longstay backpackers travel insurance!

If you are off on a round-the-world trip, either for fun or for a gap year, get travel insurance that covers you for every adventure worth posting on instagram! Find out more at worldwideinsure.com.

Eco-Friendly Travel Tips

Eco Friendly Travel Insurance

Image courtesy of Health and Fitness Travel © Chris Allan Photography

Seeing this beautiful planet we live on doesn’t have to be bad for the environment, or the local communities you are visiting. In fact, tourism can play a big part in helping make this world a better place, as well as benefiting the lives of those who rely on tourism. Here are some top tips for being an even more eco-minded traveller on your next trip and ways to support the community you are visiting.

  • Consider travelling by train rather than by plane where possible.
  • Choose non-stop flights to minimise CO2 emissions.
  • Use public transport for transfers and travelling at your destination.
  • Take a reusable water bottle – more and more places are installing water coolers for people to refill from as an alternative to buying bottled water.
  • Say “no” to straws and plastic cups at bars, restaurants, hotels, trains and planes.
  • Eat local cuisine with low food miles.
  • Choose vegetarian dishes over meat dishes.
  • Ask if the food you’re choosing is sustainably caught or grown.
  • Keep showers short.
  • Switch off the electrics in your hotel, apartment or hostel.
  • Ask housekeeping not to change sheets and towels daily.
  • Open windows instead of using air con.
  • Choose resorts and hotels that are eco-minded.
  • Choose packages that give back to the local community.
  • Book excursions with local tour operators rather than the package provider.
  • Join a local litter pick.
  • Choose to do activities with minimal impact on the local environment such as hiking and biking.
  • Share images of plastic pollution on social media to raise awareness and prompt change.

 

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Loads of activities are covered as standard with Worldwideinsure.com, and every policy can be tailored to meet your unique adventure needs.

 

10 Steps to Beat the Holiday Blues

holiday blues

Image by Comfreak CC0

Post-adventure blues can hit like a brick after a trip. If you feel down in the dumps after a holiday, why not give these things a try

1. Re-create your favourite dishes.

There is bound to be a dish that won your heart on holiday. Cooking it up back home will bring back great memories and help that feel-good factor linger for longer.

2. Enjoy a tipple of your favourite drink.

Every part of the world has its own unique beverage. Whether it is a freshly made herb tea or a drop of something stronger. Take time to sit and savour whatever it was you enjoyed while you were away and you are sure to feel the relaxation wash over you!

3. Listen to the music.

Whether it was the music playing in bars and cafes, local performers, or the favoured local station of taxi drivers, you are bound to have heard a few tunes that sum up the vibe of your time away. Playing some choice tracks when you are back will lift your mood in no time.

4. Get together with friends.

Seeing all your friends will make you realise that you are actually pleased to be back, and you’ll get to share all your favourite stories, adventures and experiences. Why not give them a themed treat and cook up your favourite dishes, serve the local drinks, and put on the tunes for added ambience.

5. Create a photobook.

Don’t leave your best pictures to get lost on a laptop or somewhere on social media. Create an album and get it printed. It’ll make for a wonderful coffee table book that you can flick through with friends and family.

6. Journal the best bits of your break.

Make note of what your trip felt like, what stood out, what amazed you, what surprised you, and how you changed during your time there. It can be good to reflect on how the experience of a different culture can change our own perspectives on the way we live our lives back home. You can even add your thoughts, notes, and experiences to your photobook!

7. Meditate.

A great mood enhancer and a wonderful opportunity to recognise what you are grateful for in your life at home, and for your experiences while travelling. Meditation also brings “me time” into our daily routine – a treat that we don’t just have to save for when we are on holiday.

8. Exercise.

This is the number one way to lift your spirits. A short walk, swim, or time in the gym can make all the difference to how you feel. While it might not be an exercise that relates to your recent adventure, it’ll help you banish the blues fast.

9. Explore your local area.

You don’t have to travel far to have an adventure. Try exploring your local area with fresh eyes, make time to see and do the things that attract visitors from out of town. See a local band, eat somewhere that serves traditional fresh food, and take in the sights on a touristy day off.

10. Plan your next overseas adventure.

There’s nothing quite like having a new adventure planned to rekindle the feeling of wanderlust. Make a long list, make a short list, make a bucket list and decide where you’ll be heading next!

beat the post holiday blues

Image by stokpic CC0

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Worldwideinsure.com can tailor your policy to include as many or as little activities and adventures as you’d like, insure you while you are already travelling, and provide car hire excess insurance too.

How To Travel With Friends and Not Fall Out – 10 Top Tips

Travelling with friends Image

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Simple tips to ensure you and your mates make beautiful memories instead of becoming enemies on a group break abroad.

  1. Agree on the type of holiday you’re having – Active? Retreat? Nocturnal?
  2. Decide on a destination together.
  3. Choose a “package level”: Are you going shoestring, or do you want to splurge on eating out every night?
  4. Schedule free time so you have a chance for independent adventures, or just some time to recoup.
  5. Each write a list of things to see and do and schedule an itinerary based on something from each person’s list.
  6. Nominate a group organiser for each individual adventure so the burden isn’t always on the “most organised” person in the group.

    Travel Advice for Groups Image

    Image bu Ri_Ya CC0

  7. Make sure daily plans fit with each other’s personal routine – early-risers and up-all-nighters may not want to do the same things at the same time!
  8. Give people permission to say “no”, and be willing to accept they may want to change plans or do something different.
  9. Embrace the power of the unreasonable request – maybe you have a bucket-list must-do and it requires your buddies to miss a night’s sleep so you can see it! (Don’t forget number 8!).
  10. Remember your manners. Being in close confines – even with those you like the most – can be exhausting, especially if you are on a longstay adventure. Remember your pleases, don’t forget to say thank you, and keep it in mind that a hug can go a long way.

Did you know we do longstay travel insurance? Excellent for backpacking adventures, gap year experiences – and you can even get covered if you are already travelling!

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Autumn Adventures in Essaouira, Morocco: Travel Guide

Essaouira Morocco Travel Image

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The port city of Essaouira is the perfect place to enjoy some warm autumn sunshine, while absorbing the sights, sounds and smells of one of Morocco’s more low-key – yet undeniably beguiling – cities. Since EasyJet stops direct flights from Luton outside summer months, reaching Essaouira requires a little more planning in autumn, but combining flights with EasyJet, Ryanair, Transavia and/or Royal Air Maroc will do the trick.

From Marrakech

Essaouira is also the ideal chill-out location if you’ve already been exploring Morocco’s more high-tempo tourist targets: when the hubbub and hard-sells of Marrakesh get too much, it’s time to hop on a bus to Essaouira. Located just two-and-a-half hours away, this laid-back seaside town is Marrakesh Lite: You get the buzzing medina and cafe lifestyle – but without the hassle.

Things to do

Known as “Africa’s Windy City”, Essaouria is buffeted by stiff seawinds – which take the edge off the warmer days. These dependable gusts have made the city’s beaches a mecca for wind and kite surfers – although they’re not ideal for swimming. If you enjoy a dip, you’re best off booking a riad (hotel) with a pool.

Other popular activities include sailing tours (10:30 to 14:30) from the port, but these are weather dependent. Spice shopping is another big draw, with saffron topping the shopping lists of many tourists (although it’s still tough to track down!). And if the aroma of all those spices get you in a culinary mood, why not book a cooking lesson at ’Atelier Madada, where Chef Mouna will show you how to create mouth-watering tagines and patisserie delights.

But if you’d rather someone else cooked…

Essaouria offers many exciting dining options, ranging from French-Moroocan fusion to vegetarian. The famous tagine is available everywhere, based around meat, fish, poultry or vegetables. If you love your seafood, head to the Port Grills where you’ll find a tantalising selection of catches: shrimp, langoustine, sardines and giant crab are on offer for as little as 120 dirhams (£10).

Essaouira Building Travel Image

Image by olafpictures CC0

Things to see

The Ramparts – Explore the pink-red hues of the ramparts, a defensive wall built by the Portuguese, complete with old cast iron cannons. Game of Thrones fans may already be familiar with the walls – they provided the backdrop for scenes in the third season. Take a look at the arts and crafts for sale in the archways underneath.

Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah Museum – Explore the history of Essaouira through ancient pottery, jewelry, tools and weapons, showcased in a beautiful former riad from the 19th Century.

Music

Essaouria’s relaxed atmosphere is made all the more so by the plaintive sounds of traditional Gnaoua music. Heavy iron castanets known as qraqeb and three-string lutes are the chief instruments. You can hear this music played in cafes and on the street.

Costs

Essaouira is cheaper than much bigger cities like Marrakesh and Rabat, not least because you’re less likely to face inflated prices at the hands of taxi drivers, street vendors and barbers – since the locals are more genial than in urbanised parts. In general, Morocco remains a low cost holiday destination, despite the pound’s ongoing wobbles – and a hugely rewarding one.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Kids are covered for free on some of our policies!

A Quick Guide To Staying Safe Abroad

Travel Safety Image

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Take a quick look at this little list to maximise enjoyment on your next break abroad!

1. Don’t Get Robbed

  • Invest in a slash-proof backpack.
  • Keep valuables locked up in a hotel safe.
  • Or better yet – leave valuables at home unless they are essential for your travel plans.
  • Research travel scams for your destination.
  • Carry a second “fake” wallet or purse.
  • Beware of what you wear, it could be a sign of wealth even if you don’t think it is that valuable or just scream “tourist”, making you way more vulnerable to scammers and opportunistic thieves.
  • Keep your bag attached to you at all times, either with a carabiner or with a strap wrapped around you.

2. Don’t Get Lost

  • Make sure all maps are available offline.
  • Take a hardcopy map in case you lose your ‘phone or it runs out of power.
  • Tell someone your itinerary and keep friends and family updated with travel plans.
  • Pay attention to where you are going!
  • If you are travelling on a package holiday have the helpline number handy.
  • If you aren’t on a package, make sure you have a phrase book to help you ask for directions and/or help.

3. Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance – it can cover you for:

  • Medical costs in case of illness or injury.
  • Repatriation.
  • Cancelled or missed flights.
  • Lost or stolen passport.
  • Lost or damaged belongings.

At worldwideinsure.com we can tailor a policy to suit your needs and situation – whether that is travelling with expensive equipment, or an existing medical condition, or making sure you are covered for specific activities and excursions.

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4. Don’t Get Injured or ill

  • Pack a first aid kit.
  • Use a filtered water bottle.
  • Check any bottled drinks you are given have not been previously opened.
  • Only eat peelable fruit.
  • Avoid salads, opt for fully cooked food.

5. Be Prepared

  • Write down emergency contact numbers.
  • Have digital copies available somewhere of all essential info such as passport info and travel insurance emergency number.
  • Hide emergency cash in a chap stick/hairbrush/underwear.
  • Learn basic self defence.

The Safest Holiday Destinations in the World 2019

New Zealand Beach - Safe Holiday Destinations

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Can’t decide where to go on your next holiday? Why not take a look at the Global Peace Index? It is used to rank the safety of 163 countries worldwide, a great tool for picking your next family-friendly holiday spot! Here are the top 10.

Iceland

For the 11thyear in a row, Iceland has been declared the safest place in the world to be. For family fun, we recommend heading to this glorious country in the summer. You’ll be able to enjoy a healthy dose of fun-filled outdoor adventures around the clock as the sun barely sets this time of year.

New Zealand

While the long haul flight might not be child friendly, New Zealand has plenty to offer for families with young children. Top tip: head to Ngarunui Beach where the kids can learn to surf on some of the most gentle waves going in full view of the life guards.

Australia

With deadly critters roaming on land and sea, you might be surprised to find Oz in the top 10 safest places in the world, but here it is. Why not head to Kangaroo Island with the kids to enjoy getting up close to a diverse range of wildlife on this secluded island, over a third of which is a nature reserve.

Australia Safest Holiday Destinations

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Portugal

Head to central and western Algarve for all the best kid-friendly family fun. From Lagos in the west through to Vilamoura in the east, you’ll find plentiful zoos and waterparks that will keep the kids entertained the whole holiday. Its popularity with families does however mean that it is a pretty chokka place to holiday during the summer break!

Denmark

If you are heading to Denmark with the kids, there is no way you can’t stop for a bit in Billund, the birthplace of Lego and home of the original Legoland theme park and resort. Billund also has an impressive activity park, Lalandia, and Givskud Zoo, making the place a perfect paradise for kids of all ages.

Canada

For a winter break the kids will remember forever, book a stay at Whistler. This place has a ski-scene like no other, and the vibe will definitely impress older kids in the group, especially if you are there during one of the many ski and snowboard festivals or competitions. Plus, if the older kids are entertained, you might find time for a bit of après–ski fun or relaxation without them!

Canada Safest Holiday Destinations

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Czech Republic

Another great winter destination for families, especially near Christmas. The Christmas Markets in Prague are some of the best in the whole of Europe, lit up by thousands of lights, and selling everything that makes the festive season magical, from gingerbread treats to glorious gifts.

Singapore

This is the most family-friendly destination in Asia. It is sparkling clean, the public transport is great, and it seems that everywhere is buggy friendly. The place is packed with eye-catching attractions, lots of activity parks, and of course a Universal Studios Theme Park, but our must-do is Singapore Night Safari, open from 7.15 pm to midnight daily.

Japan

Give the kids a high-tech holiday in Tokyo, it’s packed with futuristic fun. If your kids enjoyed Spirited Away or Howls Moving Castle, go to Studio Ghibli, it has a museum guarded by a 5 metre robot! A trip to Honda Plaza and the kids can meet ASIMO, the most advanced humanoid robot in the world. Or take a trip on the bullet train, which connects Tokyo to most major cities at speeds up to 200mph!

Ireland

With a culture steeped in fairy tales and folklore, Ireland is the perfect place to wow the little ‘uns on holiday. Top Tip for parents is to become National Trust members. While most places, such as the fantastic Giants Causeway are accessible to the general public, you have to pay to access the visitor centres. This is where you can find out the folklore and facts behind such amazing natural wonders in an array of interactive displays.

KIDS GO FREE! Did you know that on some of our family travel insurance policies, the kids are covered for free? Call us to find out more!

16 Secrets To Booking A Cheap Flight

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If you save money on your flight, you’ve got more to spend on holiday right? Here are 16 superb tips that might just help you secure yourself a cheap flight for your next holiday!

  1. Follow the airline’s social media, it is a great way to hear about upcoming offers and deals.
  2. Search the airline’s website direct, it can often show tickets at a very different price to third party travel websites.
  3. Get on your airline’s mailing list, anothergreat way to hear about the latest deals, discounts and promotions.
  4. Always search incognito,sometimes you can get a better price if your search history doesn’t show you’ve been shopping for holiday clothes!
  5. Erase all search history before doing a new search, because believe it or not, repeatedly searching for a particular flight/destination can actually cause the price to show higher!
  6. Choose off-peak travel times, it might be less convenient to travel at 5am, but the savings could make it worth it.
  7. Sign up to a frequent flier programme, so you can work towards those elusive perks.
  8. Get a credit card with air miles, because indulging in a bit of retail therapy and to then get rewarded with cheap flights is a solid win-win.
  9. Don’t fly direct, just one short stopover can make a huge difference to the ticket price.
  10. Mix (don’t match) airlines, sometimes the return flight is the costly one, but booking two one-way tickets with different airlines you could save a pretty penny.
  11. Search one ticket price at a time if travelling in a group, that way if there is one cheap spot it will show up.
  12. Check prices of nearby airports, as it may be cheaper to land a little further out and pay the transfer.
  13. Use a flight booking app, Skyscanner and Hopper are both great tools to analyse and predict flight prices.
  14. Sign up for email alertsfrom cheap flight websites and apps, so you know about the best deals before they are gone.
  15. Consider going all inclusive, as bundling hotel, transfers and flights with just one provider is often cheaper than booking the separate elements.
  16. Wait for last minute deals, it is a risk that just might be worth taking to save a few quid.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! The emotional and financial impact of missed flights, delays or a cancelled trip can be huge – make sure you are covered before you jet off on your next trip!

Best Places For Backpacking in 2019

Backpacking travel insurance Image by Pexels CC0

Image by Pexels CC0

Here are the top places to head in 2019 with a pack on your back and just enough money in your wallet for a hostel. Idyllic whether you are backpacking for gap year giggles, travelling on a budget, or you just fancied having a wholesome adventure!

Philippines

Seeking adventure? Tick! Seeking tropical beaches, with crystal clear sea? Tick! A unique honeymoon location? Tick! You’ll need to think of things to add to your bucket list after backpacking in the Philippines.

backpacking Philippines Image by my000693 CC0

Image by my000693 CC0

Made up of over 7,000 islands, you’d expect a taste of paradise, adventure and excitement and that’s exactly what you get. Go scuba diving, swim with great white sharks, indulge yourself under the tranquil waterfalls or relax with a beer by a lagoon. It’s also cheap – a pint of beer is about 75p at the going rate.

Iceland

Spectacular, rugged, breath-taking, glacial – it’s hard to describe Iceland within a limited word count. You’ll be able to honestly hashtag #nofilter when you snap the majesty that are the northern lights in all their prancing, dancing, ethereal beauty.

backpacking Iceland travel insurance Image © 43kcreative.com

Image © 43kcreative.com

Hire a car to tour the glaciers and ice fields, bathe in the geothermal springs for a unique getting back to nature experience and take in the local Reykjavik culture, with its charming Nordic nightlife. Be warned Iceland isn’t cheap, but this small island nation packs in more natural beauty per square mile and you get more than what you pay for.

Nepal

Nepal is a mountain nation. Get your head around that for a moment and think what that can offer. You don’t even have to climb a mountain (only recommended with proper guidance) to have a life changing experience in Nepal. Paraglide through the soaring valleys, take a plane ride across the Himalayas, visit temples, national parks and stunning monuments.

backpacking insurance nepal Image by Squirrel_photos CC0

Image by Squirrel_photos CC0

Nepal is a true adventure. If you do choose to trek around Everest, put at least a week aside and go off season – it gets extremely busy. If you’re after an experience that doesn’t require as much extra oxygen, take a trip to one of the national parks and observe tigers in their natural habitat.

Turkey

If you’re looking for a unique backpacking experience at a low, low cost, you can’t beat The Shoestring Cave House in the Cappadocia region. From just £7.00 a night, you can sleep in a cave, relax at the outside pool and even enjoy a ride in a hot air balloon.

backpacking turkey Image by adibalea CC0

Image by adibalea CC0

With views that are going to set your Instagram alight, balmy Turkish evenings and a once in a lifetime opportunity to sleep below the ground, this is a perfect stop off for any backpacker. Be warned, Turkey is politically unstable at the moment and this may not be the time to go. If you’re determined however, the people are some of the most charming on the planet and a joy to share a shisha pipe with.

Worldwideinsure.com Longstay Travel Insurance has been tailored to meet the needs of those on extended breaks and backpacking adventures! It has greater flexibility than standard travel insurance, and you can add activities as you go.

 

Airport Travel Hacks – Tiny Tips To Save Your Sanity

Airport Travel Hacks Image by skitterphoto CC0

Image by skitterphoto CC0

Air travel is a mixed bag of experiences. Waiting, rushing, mild panic, boredom, elation, feeling travel sick… Here are a few things you can do to even out those highs and lows and be a bit less stressed next time you travel by aeroplane.

Hacks for before you check in

  • Customise your hold bag – bright tape is perfect for making your luggage stand out at baggage collection.
  • Pack all essentials in your hand luggage – just in case your hold bag goes missing, you’ll still have your chargers and toiletries to get you through the first day.
  • Download all your tickets and passes – just in case you have no connectivity make sure you can access them offline!
  • Have a hard copy of all essential travel documents – just in case your phone gives up altogether.
  • Take a photo of where you park – bay 6B is not memorable after a week in the Bahamas.
  • Wear your bulky items – to avoid paying for extra baggage.

 

Hacks for before you go through security

  • Pack your devices and liquids at the top of your hand luggage – it saves time!
  • Empty your pockets before you get to security – it saves time!
  • Finish up the water in your bottle – so you can get a cheap refill the other side.
  • Choose the security queue with business travellers – they tend to be more prepared so go through faster.
  • Never queue behind families, hen parties or stag dos – they tend to faff more and be less prepared so go through slower.
  • Choose the left queue – apparently most people are right-handed so will go right as it is easier. Left hand lanes should therefore be quicker.

 

Hacks to get you through the wait the other side

  • Use headphones for noise cancellation – not for music so you don’t miss important announcements.
  • Connect to the airport Wi-Fi – or risk maxing out your data allowance before you even get to your destination.
  • Brush up on key phrases – Duolingo is an addictive language learning game and will make the time fly while you actually boost your language skills!
  • If you haven’t already got it, get your travel insurance! A call with the lovely team at worldwideinsure.com will make the time fly while you’re waiting for your flight.

 

Hacks for on the plane

  • Board last – if you are the last on, you may well get that elusive upgrade.
  • Sit over the wing – you are less likely to feel turbulence. Morning flights are less likely to be turbulent too.
  • Don’t sit by the bulkhead – that’s the safest place to secure babies in bassinets, so more likely to be where the screaming is.
  • Ask for seconds if you are hungry – not all passengers take their meal so why not have what’s leftover if you are still hungry.