As you may recall I have booked flights for the Aussie and I to travel to the UK for Christmas 2018.
Every time I have flown long haul has been between the UK and Australia and I have had to do it on my own which I really don’t enjoy. This time round the Aussie is coming home with me and I am so incredibly excited about that because firstly we will spend Christmas together and with my family, he will meet members of my family and friends for the first time which is crazy as we’ve been together a long old time now and finally I won’t have to fly on my own!
I always fly with Singapore Air because they are a great airline once you get in the air (I haven’t always had the best customer service). Previously the flights have been Darwin to Singapore which is about 5 hours and then 13-14 hours between Singapore and London which is quite the journey when you factor in at least a 2 hour stopover in Singapore.
This time it is 8 hours from Brisbane to Singapore so even further and then the 13-14 hours to London with a 4 or 5 hour stopover. Hence I am particularly excited the Aussie will be with me.
To prepare for my flights home I will do a few things beforehand as follows:
1. Tell the airline about my allergies
I have had an allergic reaction to shellfish a few times in the past and as it’s a flight I will always email customer service after booking to request a non shellfish meal. They are usually great at responding to confirm this has been arranged. I think I’ve only had one flight where the information didn’t filter through and after telling the staff they sorted out a meal I could eat.
There are a few benefits to letting the airline know your allergies. Firstly of course you don’t accidentally eat the food and have an allergic reaction! Secondly, if you have a special meal requirement they will feed you quite quickly and then you can go to sleep / watch your movie etc.
I have also done the same when arranging special assistance for my parents when they’ve flown over and they have had a great experience.
2. Check visa requirements
Now the Aussie being Aussie means he doesn’t need a visa to get into the UK at least at the moment which is strange as my family needed a holiday visa coming here but I will keep an eye on that just in case the rules change. I will also do this for other countries I visit just to make sure.
3. Travel insurance
I know some people think this is a waste of money but I will usually get a policy arranged so that we are protected. The last thing I want is to be in an accident and unable to get treated or worse home. When we were stuck in Bali because the volcano erupted the insurance covered some of our expenses and whilst we felt they geared the policy for their benefit and to not cover us fully, it was better to get something back than nothing and we got back more than we paid for the premium.
4. Book airport parking
Our flight this time leaves at 11pm or sometime around there and whilst we could get a bus or train from our house to the airport fairly easily I would rather just drive to the airport.
We were recommended a great company called Andrew’s Airport Parking in Brisbane and they will even wash and service your car whilst you are away for an extra charge which is worth it. I have already booked the car for a clean whilst we are away.
I love the service they provide because they will drop you to the terminal and when you return you just call them after collecting the luggage and they will come and pick you up and return you to your car.
5. Book annual leave
To be fair I do this before I book flights because it would be no good booking the flights only to discover you can’t actually go!
I will always check if the dates I want to go are suitable with my employer and then get it booked. It then goes I’m the work and personal calendars so everyone knows the dates.
6. Put the dates in a countdown app!
Everyone laughs because when there is an event I can usually look on my app and tell them how long to the minute until it happens!!
I know people say you shouldn’t wish your life away and I certainly try not to but I do enjoy the countdown. I have everything from holidays to sporting events and even my post weight loss shopping spree in my countdown app.
7. Plan the schedule
I am a bit of a planner and don’t like not knowing the plan! I use my calendar for everything, even events we do every week like Parkrun so we know where and when we need to be in a specific place.
We are only home for 2 weeks this Christmas and so I have a schedule of when we fly and land, when we will be picked up from the airport and when we are seeing friends and family during that time.
I also diarise down days because I can’t wait to just spend time with my Mum, Dad and brother.
This way I know where we will be and when and can ensure we see / meet up with everyone. It also makes my planner heart happy!