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Archive for the ‘Long-haul Flights’ Category

Flight Booking Tips – Down Under to Europe

As New Zealand and Australia are on the opposite side of the world from Europe, it doesn’t really matter if you choose a flight via Asia or America in terms of flight time/distance. However, it might take quite a bit longer to get through security checks in the USA.

So, if you do choose to travel via the USA it does pay to check the current security regulations on this website. You can find a comparison of different airline baggage allowances here, but it also pays to check the airline luggage requirements on your airlines’ websites (see links to the most relevant airlines below).

When booking an international flight, it’s best to start looking as early as possible for the best deals – three to six months in advance is a good idea. This is especially important if you want to use your frequent flyer miles, as airlines designate a very limited number of seats for these on each flight and they go quickly.

Start your search for flights by checking a few of the major online travel providers like TripAdvisor Flights, Kayak or Edreams. These sites will give you a preliminary idea of which airlines fly your particular itinerary, what the going rate is and any restrictions that apply.

Armed with this information, you can head directly to the appropriate airline website to see if the same flights are any cheaper. We recommend checking on the following airline websites for flights to Europe from New Zealand:

Air New Zealand

Qantas

Lufthansa

Singapore Airline

Emirates Airline.

And here the direct airline links for flights to Europe from Australia:

Air New Zealand

Qantas

Lufthansa

Singapore Airline

Emirates Airline.

If your trip includes more than one destination (e.g. if you want to fly to London and back from Frankfurt), select ‘Multi-city’ or ‘Multi-Stop’ on the flights page, then book one segment at a time. This is sometimes referred to as an ‘Open Jaw’ itinerary.

If you can be flexible, it pays to try shifting your itinerary a few days either way, as this can make a significant difference in fares. You’ll usually find the best deals on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, as this is when most airlines launch their fare sales.

Don’t forget to check out part 1 of our flight booking tips – general long-haul flight booking considerations. Feel like you want to get into ‘flight mode’ already? Check out the latest Air New Zealand in-flight safety video!

Wishing you a pleasant and uneventful flight ☺

Barbara Panettieri and the Sidetracks Team

 

Sources:

http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/air-travel/tips-for-finding-cheap-airfare

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General Long-haul Flight Booking Considerations

Get a flight with the fewest and easiest connections possible, to cut down on your overall flight time. If you do have to kill some time at an airport during transit, here are some great suggestions by Lonely Planet – and have a look at the comments, too ;-).

Maybe consider breaking your journey half-way with a stop-over somewhere if you can spare the time. Otherwise, it is possible to book an airport hotel for a few hours in most major airports, allowing you to stretch out, rest and enjoy a refreshing shower.

Most airlines let you choose your seat when you book, so to avoid being squeezed in the middle of a row, pick a seat as early as possible. Consider an aisle or exit row seat for leg room, or a window if you want to sleep. Note that the last row of seats in the plane usually don’t recline.

Try to avoid seats near the toilets/lavatories, as other passengers will be accessing these regularly (sometimes forming queues) and may disturb your sleep with accidental bumps to your seat and noisy conversations. Noise and light from the toilet door opening may also be disturbing.

And last but not least, review your ticket carefully when you book it. By double-checking your dates, destinations, and exact spelling of your name, you can avoid a lot of potential stress later.

Once you start your Germany Tour with Sidetracks you can just relax and enjoy – we always endeavour to make your European adventure completely hassle-free for you! For  flight booking tips we have specifically put together for New Zealand and Australian travellers see our article on long-haul flights from Down Under to Europe – part 2.

Looking forward to showing you the heart of Europe, Barbara Panettieri and the Sidetracks Team

 

Sources:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/england/london/travel-tips-and-articles/58668

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/fly-to-europe.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Comfortable-on-a-Long-Airplane-Trip

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Long-haul Flight Tips

The long flight to Europe can be daunting to those from Down Under but our frequent trips between Germany and New Zealand mean that we have plenty of tips to ease you into your European adventure.

Tip #1: Pack early to avoid last minute stress and board the plane well-rested!

During the Flight

Bring a pair of thick socks and swap them for your shoes after take-off. Make yourself as comfortable as you can by requesting any extra pillows or blankets that you need and get as much sleep as possible.  We all know that plane seating is cramped, so remember to get up for a walk around and a stretch at regular intervals to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis and to ease any general discomfort.

The air in a plane is very dry and you may feel dehydrated. Limit your alcohol consumption and drink lots of water to keep you feeling comfortable (a plus of this is that needing to get up for the loo will give you a great excuse to stretch those legs!).  So you have a drink handy whenever you need it on the flight, bring an empty drink bottle with you through pre-flight security and fill it up from a water fountain in the boarding lounge or ask a flight attendant to do this for you on the plane.

Bring some eye drops to use whenever your eyes feel dry (these may now be carried through security), and apply moisturising cream to your face and hands frequently. And don’t forget to bring a toothbrush to freshen up.

To check restrictions applying to liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on luggage, see the New Zealand Aviation Security Service website.

Many airlines offer vegetarian, Kosher, Halal and other “special” meals to be ordered in advance. And because the airlines have to specially prepare your meal, it is usually better than the standard food fare. Plus, passengers with special meal requests are almost always served first ;-).

On Arrival

To help relieve the effects of jet-lag and get over it faster, set your watch to your destination time zone and make sure you eat and sleep at the same time as the locals.  Try to resist that daytime nap and enjoy being in Europe!

For more tips on flight bookings check out our articles General Long-haul Flight Booking Considerations and Flight Booking Tips – Down Under to Europe. And in Part 1 of our favourite travel tips you can find New Zealand and Australian Government Tips on Visas, Passports and Insurance.

Looking forward to showing you the heart of Europe on a Sidetracks Germany Tour, Barbara Panettieri and the Sidetracks Team

 

Sources:

http://www.avsec.govt.nz/Traveller/Flysmart/

http://www.contiki.com/contikipedia/articles/avoiding-jet-lag

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/fly-to-europe.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Comfortable-on-a-Long-Airplane-Trip

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