10 Easy Ways to Avoid Infuriating Excess Baggage Fees

10 Easy Ways to Avoid Infuriating Excess Baggage Fees

 

So, you’re heading overseas for a holiday. That’s awesome. Few things beat experiencing the sights, smells and sounds of a different culture. Is everything packed? Be careful — you don’t want to receive a hefty fee for too much luggage. That’s a real joy killer. With this in mind, check out these 10 easy ways to avoid infuriating excess baggage fees.

1. Research baggage allowance

Don’t guess and hope for the best. Before you buy a ticket, find out how much baggage your fare allows for. This information should be easy to find on your airline’s website, like this from Air New Zealand.

2. Pay for additional bags online

If you know your luggage will be overweight, don’t wait until you get to the airport; pay online. As this post from Flight Centre illustrates, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money.

3. Check your frequent flyer programme

Are you part of a frequent flyer programme? If so, check your benefits. Depending on your level of membership, such as Air New Zealand’s Gold, you may be entitled to an extra baggage allowance.

4. Get Smart, lightweight luggage

Older bags and suitcases can be bulky. Modern designs are not only robust but also lightweight, which will help you avoid excess baggage fees. Here's a useful post on things to consider when choosing luggage.

5. Make a packing list

When travelling overseas, you don’t want to forget to pack something important. Don't overdo it, though, because there is no point in carrying around unnecessary belongings. To choose your luggage wisely, make a packing list. This post provides a step-by-step guide with pictures.

6. Pack efficiently

There are several things you can do to ensure you pack your belongings efficiently. For example, roll soft garments, like t-shirts and underwear, and fold stiffer garments, like starched cotton shirts and dress trousers. Also, it pays to favour cotton and woollen fabrics, which don’t wrinkle much. Here are some more tips.

7. Transfer liquids into travel-size bottles

By transferring fluids, such as gels and creams, into travel-size bottles, you not only cut back on weight, but you also avoid leakage. Nalgene bottles are designed specifically for travellers. 

8. Wear bulky items

To save as much space as possible, wear heavy clothing, like heavy jackets and shoes, on the plane. You can remove them once you get to your seat, and a jacket is handy as a pillow. Also, have you heard about wearable suitcases? Check out this video.

9. Buy luggage travel scales

Not knowing whether or not your luggage is overweight when checking in is stressful. You can remove the stress and uncertainty by using travel scales. Here is a video that reviews 10 options.

10. Pool baggage with a partner

If, when you arrive at check-in, despite your best efforts, you discover your luggage is still overweight, all is not lost. Will you be travelling with friends? If so, see if you can spread the load.

We hope this post helps you avoid the unpleasantness of excess baggage fees. If you found this useful, please share.

 

The Essentials to Pack in your Carry-On Luggage for a More Relaxing Flight

You might be thinking that you have to pack a lot to stay comfortable and healthy on your next flight. But, that's not true at all!

This is a handy checklist of essentials to pack in your carry-on so you can enjoy your flight!

The essentials to pack in your carry-on luggage for a more relaxing flight

 

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We've just written a new eBook, The Ultimate Guide to a Comfortable Flight. It's jam-packed with travel tips that can help you have a more comfortable flight and arrive at your destination fresh, happy and healthy instead of tired, jet-lagged and sick.

If you're planning a trip which involves a flight, you'll find this eBook really useful and we'd like to share it with you - for free. Just click on the link below enter your first name and email address and we'll send you a copy right away.

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How to Recover Quickly from Jet lag

how to recover quicker from jetlag

You’ve now learned some travel tips to help you stay healthy, sleep better, pack your carry-on bag and prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) on your next flight in our other blog posts.

Did you know that there are things you can do during your journey that will help your body recover more quickly once you arrive at your destination?

Your internal time clock is controlled by the hormone melatonin. When it gets dark, melatonin makes you drowsy and controls your body temperature while you’re sleeping.

If you cross time zones quickly, the internal time clock in your body desynchronises. This results in jet lag, which disturbs your sleep-wake patterns, impedes concentration and causes fatigue, headaches, irritability and stress.

Jet lag isn't pleasant, and you'll want to get over it quickly if you have things to do soon after your arrival.

How to recover quickly from jet lag infographic from fly healthy with txg

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To help your body recover from jet lag, faster

1. What you should always wear on a plane

  • Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing
  • Wear graduated compression socks - these will help prevent blood from pooling in your calves. They also stimulate blood circulation, reduce swelling and protect you against DVT.
  • Use our simple Compression Sock Checklist to find which flight socks you should be wearing at flyhealthy.co.nz

2. Inflight Exercise

  •  Exercise your calf and foot muscles every half hour:
    • While seated, bend and straighten your toes, feet and legs
    • Press the balls of your feet down firmly against the floor or foot rest
    • Massage your ankles, feet and legs
    • Don’t cross your legs
  • Take a quick walk to get your circulation going once you arrive at your destination

3. Stay hydrated

  • The air inside a plane is extremely dry; humidity may be less than 20%. In comparison, average comfort levels are 40–70% humidity. To stay hydrated:
    • Drink plenty of water to reduce headaches, cramps and fatigue
    • Avoid alcohol and caffeine—try herbal tea instead
    • Avoid salty food

4. Adjust your watch

  • Prior to takeoff, adjust your watch to your destination's time zone. Try to sleep when it's night time at your destination - pillows, blankets, noise cancelling headphones, essential oils and sleep masks all help. 
  • If it's daytime at your destination , try to resist the urge to sleep on the plane.

5. Enjoy the stopover

  • This can provide a welcome break from flying, help you adjust your body clock and give you the opportunity to explore a new city.

6. Allow a few days to adjust

  • If you can, avoid planning any intenstive activities in the first few days of your trip, to give yourself time to adjust once you arrive.

7. Sunlight is key

  • If you travel east, avoid morning light but catch some rays in the afternoon.
  • If you travel west, get as much light exposure as you can right before sunset.

  

We've just written a new eBook, The Ultimate Guide to a Comfortable Flight. It's jam-packed with travel tips that can help you have a more comfortable flight and arrive at your destination fresh, happy and healthy instead of tired, jet-lagged and sick.

If you're planning a trip which involves a flight, you'll find this eBook really useful and we'd like to share it with you - for free. Just click on the link below enter your first name and email address and we'll send you a copy right away.

If you found this post useful, please share

 fly healthy with txg free ebook

 

 

Learning About DVT Could Save Your Life

Learning about DVT could save your life

Swollen and puffy feet are a common problem amongst air travellers. Though uncomfortable, the condition is usually harmless. Deep vein thrombosis, on the other hand, is much more serious.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can occur when the blood coagulates to form a clot in the lower leg. Sometimes a blood clot can travel through the bloodstream. The consequences can be dire if it travels to your lungs, heart or brain.

Learning about DVT could save your life

Learning about dvt could save your life #2

Learning about DVT could save your life

learning about dvt could save your life

Learning about DVT could save your lifeLearning about DVT could save your life infographic

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Learning about DVT could save your life

Swollen and puffy feet are a common problem amongst air travellers. Though uncomfortable, the condition is usually harmless. Deep vein thrombosis, on the other hand, is much more serious.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can occur when the blood coagulates to form a clot in the lower leg. Sometimes a blood clot can travel through the bloodstream. The consequences can be dire if it travels to your lungs, heart or brain.

Shocking statistics

National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) research shows that too many lives are lost because of blood clots. In fact, in the United States, an average of one person dies from blood clot complications every six minutes. Blood clots claim more lives than AIDS, breast cancer and motor vehicle accidents combined! And because public awareness is so low, fewer than one in four people have any knowledge of blood clots or signs of their symptoms.

The NBCA has put the risk factors for blood clots into three categories:

  • High;
  • Moderate;
  • Average.

Trips longer than four hours by plane, car, bus or train are categorised as having a moderate risk factor for developing DVT (blood clot in the leg) or PE (blood clot in the lung).

According to the New Zealand Air Traveller’ Thrombosis Study (NZATT) by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ), 1% of long-distance air travellers develop blood clots. They are usually painless, but some clots can cause pain and swelling. Remember, it can be fatal if a clot breaks off and reaches the lungs, brain or heart.

This NZATT study discovered that 10% of patients admitted to New Zealand hospitals with a DVT or PE had recently travelled by air. This is considerably higher than reported in previous studies and could be related, in part, to our geographic isolation. These findings add weight to the evidence that air travellers’ thrombosis is a significant public health problem, particularly in New Zealand and Australia.

Risk factors

The following factors were identified by The National Blood Clot Alliance as increasing your risk of developing a travel-related blood clot:

  • Over the age of 65
  • Inherited blood clotting disorder
  • Obesity
  • Inability to move freely
  • Pregnancy, including the six weeks after the baby is born
  • Use of a contraceptive pill, patch or ring that contains oestrogen
  • Participation in hormone replacement therapy
  • Previous DVT or pulmonary embolism

Some medications can increase your risk—even without air travel. We recommend checking with your doctor prior to travel.

Some reasons swelling and blood clots occur

  • Cabin pressure—although aircraft cabins are pressurised, the air pressure at cruising altitude is equivalent to the outside air pressure at 1,800–2,400m (6,000–8,000ft) above sea level. The cabin’s low air pressure can slow your blood circulation and cause blood and fluid to pool in your lower legs and feet, leading to swelling.
  • Lack of movement—sitting in the same position for long periods of time can cause blood and fluid to pool in your lower legs and feet. If you don’t move around and stretch regularly the blood and fluid can cause swelling in the lower legs and feet.
  • Low humidity—the air inside the cabin of a plane is extremely dry with a humidity level of less than 20%; the average comfortable humidity level for humans is 40–70%! This makes us more susceptible to dehydration.

Precautions you can take

  • Travel light—keep your on-board essentials in a small bag stored in your seat back pocket and stow the rest of your carry-on luggage in the overhead lockers. This will provide plenty of room to stretch your feet and legs.
  •  Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing
  •  Exercise every half hour. This might include:
    • Bending and straightening your toes, feet and legs
    • Pressing the balls of your feet firmly against the floor or foot rest
    • Massaging your feet and ankles to stimulate blood flow
    • Walking up and down the aisle
    • Keeping your legs uncrossed
    • Taking a short walk once you arrive at your destination
  •  Wear graduated compression socks—the graduated pressure (highest at the ankles and lowest at the knees) helps prevent blood pooling in your calves and stimulates blood circulation.
  • Use our simple Compression Sock Checklist to find out which flight socks you should be wearing at www.flyhealthy.co.nz
  • Stay hydrated—water is your friend! Avoid caffeine and alcohol, and try herbal tea instead. Try to avoid salty food, like nuts and potato chips.

Symptoms of DVT—leg clot

  • Swelling, usually in one leg
  • Leg pain or tenderness
  • Reddish or bluish skin discolouration
  • Leg is warm to touch

Symptoms of PE—lung clot

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sharp and stabbing chest pain that may worsen with each breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus

Learning how to recognise DVT can save your life. If you experience any of these symptoms, either during your flight or after you arrive at your destination, seek medical assistance immediately.

We've just written a new eBook, The Ultimate Guide to a Comfortable Flight. It's jam-packed with travel tips that can help you have a more comfortable flight and arrive at your destination fresh, happy and healthy instead of tired, jet-lagged and sick.

If you're planning a trip which involves a flight, you'll find this eBook really useful and we'd like to share it with you - for free. Just click on the link below enter your first name and email address and we'll send you a copy right away.

If you found this post useful, please share

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9 Tips for Sleeping Comfortably on Your Next Flight

It's amazing how much better life seems when you sleep well. Here are our top 9 tips to help you sleep on your next flight.

9 tips for sleeping comfortably on your next flight

 

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9 tips for sleeping comfortably on your next flight

It's amazing how much better life seems when you sleep well. Here are our top 9 tips to help you sleep on your next flight.

1.    Choose your seat in advance

Choosing the best seat is possibly the most important tip for a comfortable sleep on a flight.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all seats, so your choice will depend on personal preference:

  • The window seat—it can be quieter, and you can pull down the window shade and rest your head on the cabin wall. Unfortunately, you will need to disturb your fellow travellers if you wish to get up.
  • The middle seat—according to a less than 1% of passengers prefer the middle seat. And, quite frankly, we can’t think of any advantages to choosing this seat. Avoid it!
  • The aisle seatthis can provide extra leg room because you can take a stroll down the aisle without disturbing anyone. You will be disturbed by those in the window and middle seats trying to get past you, though, and watch out for clumsy passengers or wayward trolleys traveling up and down the aisle.
  • If you’re travelling as a couple, book a window and an aisle seat. If you’re lucky, the middle seat may stay empty and give you more room.

2.    Travel light

Keep your on-board essentials in a small bag and stow the rest of your carry-on luggage in the overhead lockers. This will leave plenty of room for you to stretch your feet and legs to keep the blood circulating.

3.    Keep warm

Don’t let the cabin temperature before take-off fool you. In most cases, it will plummet once you’re cruising at altitude—goose bumps aren’t really conducive to a comfortable sleep.

Bringing your own blanket/scarf/sarong and inflatable pillow can be a smart idea. You will need to carry these with you for your entire trip. Items that can be used for dual purposes are practical traveling companions.

4.    Fasten your belt above your blanket

If you don’t want to be woken by the air crew every time the seat belt sign is on, just fasten your seat belt above your blanket and try to keep it uncovered and visible at all times.

5.    Ask not be disturbed

Air crew make many trips up and down the aisle offering drinks, food or merchandise products. Kindly let them know you would like to be undisturbed.

6.    Use earplugs or noise cancelling headphones

There’s no way to avoid noise on a plane, but noise-cancelling headphones can block out most of it. If your headphones come with a two-pronged plane adaptor, they will also work with the on-board entertainment system.

7.    Wear a sleep mask

You might be travelling through a different time zone and have to sleep while it is still bright outside, or maybe the lights on the plane keep you awake when you want to rest. In these situations, a sleep mask will filter out light and (perhaps) convince your brain it’s time to sleep.

8.    Adjust your sleeping position

Research by the British Chiropractic Association found that sitting upright contributes to lower back pain. Try leaning slightly back in your seat, which will put the least amount of pressure on your spinal disks. You can also try placing a small pillow in the small of your back or a light inflatable pillow behind your neck.

9.    Use essential oils

Do you become anxious when flying? A few drops of lavender on your wrists, forehead and neck can lead to better sleep by calming the nervous system and helping you relax. Eucalyptus oil, on the other hand, can give you an extra spring in your step upon arrival.

 

We've just written a new eBook, The Ultimate Guide to a Comfortable Flight. It's jam-packed with travel tips that can help you have a more comfortable flight and arrive at your destination fresh, happy and healthy instead of tired, jet-lagged and sick.

If you're planning a trip which involves a flight, you'll find this eBook really useful and we'd like to share it with you - for free. Just click on the link below enter your first name and email address and we'll send you a copy right away.

If you found this post useful, please share

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How to make sure your flight doesn't make you sick

Getting sick is never fun, but getting sick while you're on a plane is even worse. Here are my top 7 tips for staying well on your next plane journey.

 How to make sure the flight doesn't make you sick infographic by TXG

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Our top 7 tips for staying happy and healthy on your next plane journey

Getting sick is never fun, but getting sick while you're on a plane is even worse. Here are my top 7 tips for staying well on your next plane journey.

 1.    Mind those germs

Planes make multiple trips each day and carry hundreds of passengers. Consequently, every surface is a potential breeding ground for bacteria and germs. When flying, antibacterial wipes are your best friend.

As soon as you take a seat, wipe down the following:

  • Tray table—the place where your food sits is actually one of the dirtiest parts of a plane!
  • Arm rests
  • Air vents above your seat
  • Belt buckle
  • Window shades

Also beware of potential nasties, like used tissues or rubbish, which may be in the pocket of the seat in front of you.

2.    Give yourself plenty of leg room

Keep your on-board essentials (see our other blog post for our list of suggestions) in a small bag. Stow the rest of your carry-on luggage in the overhead lockers. This will provide plenty of room to stretch your legs and keep your blood circulating.

3.    Beware of the bathroom

As we said, antibacterial wipes are your best friend when flying. When answering the call of nature, make sure you wipe down any areas you might touch. Use a hand sanitiser once you return to your seat.

4.    Stay hydrated

The air inside a plane is extremely dry. Average comfortable humidity levels are between 40 – 70%. Humidity levels on a plane, however, can sink below 20%.

You can stay hydrated by:

  • Having a water bottle on hand at all times—continuously sipping water will help prevent headaches, cramps and fatigue
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol—drinking herbal tea will make for a more comfortable flight
  • Using nasal spray to moisten your airways
  • Using eye drops—wearing contact lenses reduces oxygen supply to your eyes, and sleeping with them on reduces the supply even more. If you wear contact lenses, remember to frequently apply saline eye drops to reduce irritation. Or, even better, wear your glasses instead
  • Applying lip balm—low humidity can quickly dry out your lips, causing them to chap
  • Applying moisturiser to protect your skin from becoming dry, flaky and itchy
  • Using the air vent above your seat—turn it to a low or medium pressure to create a refreshing breeze

5.    Skip the bubbles

According to an Aerospace Medical Association report, changes in air pressure can cause gas in the body to expand as much as 25%. Bubbly beverages do the same, so skip them to feel less bloated and “windy”. How about that herbal tea?

6.    Chew gum

When a plane ascends or descends, the air pressure around you changes faster than the air inside your ears. This can cause pain and discomfort. To equalise the pressure, chew some gum or inhale and exhale gently as you hold your mouth and nose shut. You can also yawn, suck on lollies, or wear air pressure ear plugs.

7.    Avoid motion sickness

If you are prone to motion sickness, try booking a seat over the wings. This is the steadiest part of the plane and should be less turbulent.

8.    Keep your blood flowing

An aeroplane’s low air pressure can slow your blood circulation. This, in combination with sitting in the same position for a long time, can cause two complications:

  • Swelling in your legs—while usually harmless, it can be uncomfortable and unsightly, giving the appearance of being swollen like a puffer fish.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)—this is a serious condition that occurs when your blood coagulates to form a clot in a vein (usually in the legs). Sometimes a blood clot can travel through the bloodstream. It can be life-threatening if it travels to your lungs, heart or brain.
  • See our other blog post for more precautions you can take to protect yourself from DVT.

We've just written a new eBook, The Ultimate Guide to a Comfortable Flight. It's jam-packed with travel tips that can help you have a more comfortable flight and arrive at your destination fresh, happy and healthy instead of tired, jet-lagged and sick.

If you're planning a trip which involves a flight, you'll find this eBook really useful and we'd like to share it with you - for free. Just click on the link below enter your first name and email address and we'll send you a copy right away.

If you found this post useful, please share

Fly healthy with txg free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Steps to Enjoy Safe Travel & Keep in Touch While Travelling

We all look forward to departing on a new adventure. However, unfortunately, sometimes the best laid travel plans don't go as expected.

A few simple precautions can help you stay safe and contactable if things go wrong while you're away from home.

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Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): what travellers need to know

There’s an old saying that goes (I paraphrase), “The joy of travel is in the journey, not the destination.” This is all well and good, but if you suffer from Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), the journey can be a “joyless” experience.

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