Wednesday, June 11, 2008

6 (unpublished) tips when flying

Having posted about 7 (unpublished) tips when planning for a trip, it seems natural that tips for flying should be come next.

Fight jet lag with your watch

Jet lag normally sets in during long distance flight that transcends several time zones. Most of us finds it difficult to reset our daily biological clocks to the correct sleeping pattern of our destinations. As a result, many holidays were spoilt by headaches and lethargy.

Other than popping over-the-counter medication, the effects of jet lag can be reduced by simply resetting your watch to reflect the destination's local time the moment the plane takes off. The time is usually announced by the captain.

Doing so will fool the brain into thinking in terms of the new time zone, thus easing your biological clock for the change.


To drink or not to drink

Some passengers took the opportunity to drink to their heart content while flying, especially if those drinks happen to be complementary.

Though being abit tipsy may ease the fear of flying for some, the resulting dehydration may lead to headaches, which will render the flight a very miserable one indeed.

Drink if you must, but top it up with a glass of orange juice for rehydration. That will make you rest easier and hopefully the plane would be much nearer to the destination when you wake up.


Be pleasant to custom officials

Two golden rules at the Customs
Rule no. 1: The Customs Officer is always right. Rule no. 2: refer to Rule no. 1.

Never, ever argue with the officers. Regardless of your nationality, you'll find yourself with surprisingly little rights when you're dealing with a Customs officer. The last thing you want is to buy a return ticket and fly back immediately.

I've heard of a guy got into an argument with an officer and was subsequently blacklisted, never able to return to the country again. Just accept whatever that is thrown at you and seek redress another day.


Shop Duty Free

Contrary to the popular belief, there are some great deals to be had in duty free shopping. Although the discount very rarely applies across the board, it's usually true for an entire category. i.e. electronics, perfumes, toiletries.

Just do your homework before that by finding out item prices online before making the purchase when you're departing or arriving at the airport.



Print out itinerary

After 9/ll, Customs officers are told to look out for travellers with certain profile. Once you fit into a particular profile, you'll be drawn aside for additional questioning. Trust me, you wouldn't want to go through that.

One such profile is "an Asian female travelling alone". The situation becomes worse if the ticket is bought very close to the departure date.

One way of getting around that is to print out an itinerary of what you'll be doing during your stay. A good tool to use will be Outlook's Calendar. That should satisfy the Customs officer's curiosity. Cut them some slack, they're just doing their job.


Fill in landing card
I've seen a couple of tourists having to rejoin the queue after going up to the Customs counter with a blank landing card. That made me wonder what the heck they were doing throughout the flight.

Try to fill up that landing card before you turn your attention to the inflight entertainment (if there's any in the first place). If in doubt whether there's a need to, just check with the air steward/stewardess. Any half decent airline would be able to provide you with a landing card when the need arises.

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7 (unpublished) tips when planning for a trip

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17 comments:

Liza said...

nice tip. why didn't i think of adjusting the time, hehe.

while traveling our tummies get jet lagged too. may i add that aside form keeping ourselves hydrated it is best to avoid eating foods high in fats and calories to adjust to this discomfort.

great post CK!

My Bug Life said...

Hahha..the one on the Customs Official is so true..only rule #1 rules!

Wenbin said...

Great tips! Discovered, reviewed and tagged on stumbleupon!!!

SheR. said...

"Asian lone female traveller"..
That'll be me. Hahah.. most of the time. No choice. No one flies with me! I love to fly alone. Shoot me. I don't give a damn.

I'm very nervous when I am at the customs desk (exception only in SG). I'm so scared I'll say something wrong and refused entry... Yikes..

Billigflüge Singapur said...

I´m used to drink during long flights just for relaxation and to sleep in quickly, just as you mentioned you´ll be closer to your destination when you wake up. Thanks for the hint with the orange juice!

Deb said...

I get all the problems and questions at Customs & Immigration when travelling to the West i.e. the States, even Australia. Bullied right and left, it's quite nailbiting stressful. But thanksfully that hadnt happen in the East - I usually breeze through easily. The only thing that bothers me are the haphazard queues.

Oh well, I'll stick to the Asian region anyway. Guess where I'm going next month? Angkor Wat! Hehe, booking tickets now.

Jasmine Shanea said...

Haiz, now you make me wanna go on holiday. But I'm still on probation period for my new job, so I'm grounded for six months. ARgh... :( sadness.

kyh said...

sorry if i sound noobish, why do we need to fill up the landing card? (question from a guy who has never boarded a flight for about 18 yrs)

C K said...

@liza,
Thanks for the tip! But I'm a sucker for those airline food... haha!

C K said...

@my bug life,
Oh yah, I tried so hard to smile at the Customs officer that he looks at me with suspicion nowadays...

C K said...

@wenbin,
Thanks! Very much appreciated!

C K said...

@sher,
Smile at the Customs officer! Or even better still, crack a joke or two... haha. It can work both ways for that one.

C K said...

@Billigflüge Singapur,
The orange juice tip was told to me by another frequent traveller. I am really not used to drinking on the plane myself though...

C K said...

@deb,
Try looking confident helps. Another tip would be bringing along a jacket and change into a more formal wear just before the plane descend. It helps quite abit. :)

C K said...

@jasmine shanea,
Well, six more months to save up for the upcoming trip.... ;)

C K said...

@kyh,
It's required for foreign nationals who wish to enter a country. For example, I would need to till in a 'white card' when entering Malaysia.

capybara said...

Great tips I never drink alcohol when flying as I get de-hydrated due to the cabin environment.