Travelling, while extremely rewarding, also has its share of challenges, which can be made easier if you know what you are doing. Normally, the first time you receive tips about flying it comes from the expert airhostess; politely explaining how to buckle your seatbelt, how to reach for oxygen, and where the nearest exits are. All of this is essential travelling information… especially if the pilot decides to pull a ‘Sully’ manoeuvre and land in the Hartbeespoort Dam. 
That handles the basics but what about the rest of the trip? From booking through to the actual trip, Andrew Shelton, Managing Director of Cheapflights.co.za, knows the value of experience when it comes to exploring new places; “We specialise in making travelling as easy and enjoyable as possible and the best way to do that is to gather the combined wisdom of frequent flyers that’ve learned how to maximise the positives and minimise the negatives," he said. 

Zola Nene, celebrity chef 


Best advice when booking flights? 
I always get advice from people I know and hear what their experiences have been. I don't rely on reviews by strangers because I can never be sure of their standards versus mine. When booking flights, layovers play a huge role in choosing a route, so I always choose the option with the shortest layover. 
One thing you can’t fly without?
If it's a short local flight then I always make sure I have reading material, whether it's a magazine or a book. I tend to find the in-flight magazines boring. Also, once you've paged through it once, you're pretty much done for the rest of the month's flights because the same magazine stays on the flight for the entire month.
If it's a long distance flight (i.e. longer than 4 hours) I always take my earphones. The in-flight ones are uncomfortable. I often wonder how many other people have used them before me which creeps me out a little. 
“Long flights can become boring, especially for small children so it’s a good idea to bring along a few of their toys to help keep them entertained”, advises Shelton. 
Making the best of inflight travel?
For me, the first 5 hours of a flight are the most exciting, I am comfortable and happy. As soon as I go into hour 6, the struggle begins. You're uncomfortable, feel cramped and cabin fever sets in. So, to combat the struggle, at the beginning of the flight, I check out what movies or programmes are available, then save the one I want to watch most for the last stretch of the flight, that way I have something to look forward to when the going gets tough.
Dealing with jet lag?
Ignore it! Not sure if that's a trick or just denial, but it works for me. I think resetting my watches somehow tricks me into thinking that I'm running on my normal schedule. 
Favourite destinations and tips for when you get there?
My favourite destination so far has been Paris - it's magical. I'm a foodie, I choose my destinations based on the food scene of a place. I do the touristy things, but my main focus is always the food spots. I always ask the staff at the hotel where I'm staying for advice on where they eat. The main stream places the ones that the tour guides tell you to go are normally overpriced.

Jan le Roux, CE of REBOSA 


Best advice when booking flights?
Avoid lay overs, two hours while you are booking flights feels like nothing, two hours at an airport after a long flight feels like ten. 
One thing you can’t fly without?
A good read.
Making the best of in-flight travel?
Pre-book your seat of choice, check in early. Skip the food…sitting with a tray for a long time after a mediocre meal is not worth it. 
“Many airlines have stopped offering free meals on their short flights, so have some cash on hand for a sandwich if you get hungry. If you have special dietary requirements it would be good to bring your own snack and importantly, to specify your requirements on long-haul flights where free meals are provided”, shares Shelton. 
Dealing with jet lag?
Synchronise with the local time as soon as possible.
Favourite destinations and tips for when you get there?
I have two: Kenya and Thailand. 
Kenya: catch a ride on a boat with the fisherman to the next island/village, best experience ever and the best sea food. Thailand: this sounds irresponsible, but try a night out with the hotel staff and you’ll get to experience the culture of the area.

Zenani Fiyani, Human Resources at Rand Trust Financiers 

Best advice when booking flights?
I use travel agencies, this makes my life much easier and I have one contact point should anything happen. I also prefer to travel early, checking-in by midday in my destination, allows me time to rest and just chill before my activities the following day. 
Shelton also advises taking special care when booking hotels; “Always check what time you can check into your hotel, and if need be whether you can check in early. There’s nothing worse than arriving in a country after hours of travelling and having to wait for hours before you can check into your hotel”. 
One thing you can’t fly without? 
Music and two amazing page-turner books and yes, travel insurance.
Making the best of in-flight travel?
Watch every movie on the flight, dress comfortably and move to an empty seat (if possible) so that you’ve got more space.
Dealing with jet lag?
Don’t sleep. This sounds crazy but it does wonders for me, I don’t know what jet lag is. I just stay up and watch movies or read.
Favourite destinations and tips for when you get there?
Thailand; skip the restaurants and try the street food. Sit on the beach and watch the sunset or sunrise and get a street massage.

Hans Spielthenner, CEO of Indigenious 

Best advice when booking flights?
Always try flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday – they tend to be cheaper (less children). I don’t mind layovers as long as they are not longer than 3 hours or shorter than 20, that gives you time to visit a new place (unless it is a dull place like Frankfurt).
“Generally mid-week flights are cheaper, unless a national holiday falls on those days or there is a big event like the Argus Cycle Tour happening in town that week so pay attention to events happening in your destination before booking a flight”, advises Shelton. 
One thing you can’t fly without?
Water, water and water.
Making the best of in-flight travel?
A good entertainment system (either a back seat screen or a wifi option), enough space, friendly treatment – can make up for a number of inconveniences.
Dealing with jet lag?
Start adapting to your schedule some days before you travel. Having a stopover midway works best, but this is not always easy. 
Favourite destinations and tips for when you get there?
Some of my favourites are Porto, Hong Kong, Cape Town, New York. I tend to read up on the latest blogs and travel sections of The Guardian, NY Times. This keeps me clued up on what’s happening and where to go. 
“Be it local or international; take time when booking flights, bring your best reads and earphones, start adapting to a new schedule days before and speak to the locals for the best advice on where to go and what to do in a foreign country” says Shelton.


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