Travel

How to travel smart this holiday

Hacks to take the pain out of travelling

BEAT JET LAG

What: Crossing time zones on long-distance flights can cause jet lag, which can take days to clear. But there are ways to help minimise the effects.

How:

• Regardless of where you are travelling to, it is important to start your trip well rested. Get a good night's sleep before boarding your flight, so you will not be doubly tired by the time you land.

• If you have a watch, set it to the time at your destination as soon as you board the plane. This simple trick helps you mentally adjust to a new time zone and sleep or stay awake as needed.

• When travelling west to cities such as Paris, London and New York, the challenge upon arrival is to stay awake till a normal bedtime. To stay alert, keep your body moving. Go for a walk, do some light exercise and spend as much time as possible outside in the daylight. Avoid taking a nap if you can.

 

 

PHOTOS: FELINE LIM, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

 

• When travelling east to countries such as Australia and New Zealand, jet lag often keeps travellers up into the wee hours. Ease your body into sleep mode before arrival by wearing sunglasses on the plane and through the airport, so that your eyes and brain become accustomed to dim light and you are not re-energised by bright lights.

• About one hour to 30 minutes before bedtime, take a low dose of melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the brain to regulate sleep. Its production by the brain's pineal gland is triggered when it becomes dark outside. Melatonin supplements, which can be bought in pharmacies, can help re-set the body's natural circadian rhythm and promote a good night's rest.

 

 

PHOTOS: FELINE LIM, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

WRINKLE-FREE PACKING

What: Wrinkles in clothes are often caused by fabric being held or pressed in a static position for a length of time. While cotton shirts and pants can be rolled to prevent creases and save space in your luggage, finer, wrinkle-prone fabrics cannot be packed that way.

How:

• Clothes that tend to wrinkle can be packed in a thin plastic dry-cleaning bag. The plastic helps reduce friction against the cloth and allows it to slide a bit in the bag, which keeps wrinkles from sticking.

• Fold clothing over tissue paper (pictured) to help reduce friction. Use tissue paper - like the kind that comes in shoe boxes and can be bought in most craft or stationery shops.

 

 

PHOTOS: FELINE LIM, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

 

KEEP TOILETRIES FROM LEAKING IN THE SUITCASE

What: When flying, the change in air pressure can sometimes cause toiletries bottles to pop open and leak their contents into your suitcase.

How:

• Travellers should avoid using bottles and jars with flip-top openings and transfer gels and liquids into those with screw caps. Screw caps are less likely to pop open accidentally.

• For added protection, place a layer or two of plastic wrap over the bottle opening, then screw the cap over the plastic sheet, which acts as a barrier.

• For even more protection, place the toiletries in resealable plastic bags.

CLEAR YOUR WEB BROWSER'S COOKIES

What: Most websites use cookies, a data tag which stores user behaviour as they browse the site. Cookies allow companies to target advertisements based on recent searches, purchases and preferences and websites to track your tastes and highlight their products accordingly.

Some say airline and hotel booking sites use cookies to store your search history for routes and destinations and then increase the listed prices of airfares and accommodation on subsequent searches, thereby prompting you to make a purchase before the price goes up again.

Some travel hackers suggest booking flights and hotels from a friend's or an office computer which does not have your account history. Or you can clear your cookies and search history before making an online purchase.

How:

• To clear your search history, open your Internet browser and go to Settings. Scroll down or click on Advanced Settings until you can see your privacy settings.

• For Google Chrome, select "clear browsing data", and make sure the box for "cookies and other site and plugin data" is ticked.

• For Mozilla Firefox, pressing "ctrl alt delete" on your keyboard opens a pop-up window where you can choose to clear your data and search history.

• Do your searches and make purchases in Chrome's "Incognito" or Firefox's "Private Browsing" modes - private windows which do not save visited pages, cookies, searches or temporary files.

 

 

PHOTOS: FELINE LIM, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

 

PREVENT CLOTHES FROM SMELLING MUSTY

What: Clothes packed in a suitcase can smell musty. This is especially so when sweaty or dirty clothes are packed together with clean ones.

How:

• In your suitcase, place a dryer sheet or a scented sachet, like one you might place in your drawers at home. For the best effect, pack one near the bottom of your suitcase and one near the top, so that the scent will permeate all the clothes.

• Separate your shoes from your clothes. If the suitcase does not have a separate compartment for shoes, place them in a plastic bag or a shower cap (pictured)

This story first appeared on The Sunday Times on 19th Feb 2017

72 Travel 13 Lifestyle
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