Talk to your travel agent early about booking your flights. Many will pencil in a preliminary booking well in advance that can be altered should a special fare come available.
Take time cultivating a good relationship with your travel agent, as they are often great sources of information. Consider going to an agent who specialises in travel to Australia.
Breaking it up
To limit stress and help you arrive in Australia reasonably refreshed, consider breaking up your travel, incorporating a short stopover on the way. This can help you unwind before taking in all the sights and sounds of your new home.
Consider your onboard luggage carefully. Think of it as your emergency entertainment pack. Pack a few favourite snacks (though any opened packets need to be discarded before going through Australian customs), and paperback books or magazines.
If you have children, bring food they enjoy, and their pyjamas to help encourage normal bedtime routines and sleeping. Pack ear plugs and a sleep mask if you want to sleep during the flight.
If the flight is not fully booked, most airlines will allow you to space yourselves out a bit to make the journey more comfortable.
You are able to take toiletries aboard as long as they are in travel-sized packs, less than 300mls each and all placed in a clear plastic bag for examination by Customs. Full-sized toiletries can be packed in your checked luggage.
There is a comprehensive list of banned hand luggage items available from travel agents, or on the websites of most major airlines.
Dressing for travel
Layer your clothes so you can easily take off or put on garments depending on the climate on the plane. You will also be changing seasons, so the clothes that suited your departure may not fit with your arrival temperatures.
Pack an extra, clean shirt in case of spillages. This is particularly important when travelling with children!
If you suffer from food allergies or have any special requirements, make sure this is noted when booking, checking in at ticketing and then again as you confirm your tickets. Most major airlines cater for a range of needs from vegetarians to diabetics, though you must request special meals at least 48 hours in advance of your flight. You can also request children’s meals.
If you have a severe food allergy, ask your doctor for a medical certificate, and inform the airline well in advance.
Keeping hydrated during the flight helps to reduce jet lag. While you are not permitted to carry full water bottles on board, you are able to take an empty bottle to fill once you are on the flight.
It is important to move your legs during long flights to avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is a potentially serious condition that can be remedied by wearing good support stockings or moving about during the flight.
If you plan well, your flight will be a pleasurable experience.