MANILA -- Planning to travel this holiday season? Here are some tips from an airline pilot.
Mann Ed Demalata, who is also a content creator, has more than a decade of flying experience.
He said he is used to the hectic schedule leading up to the holidays, having spent many Christmases in the skies.
"I consider my job a huge blessing rather than a burden during these times. I remain grateful and happy to be of service!” he said.
Here are some of Demalata's travel hacks for passengers:
* Come to the airport early. Anticipate heavy traffic during the holiday season and give yourself allowance in case of any unforeseen incident at the airport.
* Take the earliest flight. Based on experience, early flights are less likely to get delayed and you have more time for activities when you arrive at your destination.
* Plan ahead. Book your tickets and accommodation in advance. Nothing is more stressful than scrambling to find a roof over your head in another city or a foreign country.
* Travel light to avoid excess baggage. Go for just the essentials.
* Expect delays. There are more flights during the holiday season so come prepared for the waiting game. Download games into your mobile phone, set up episodes of your favorite series, or come up with a feel-good travel playlist.
* Check the weather forecast. Align your wardrobe with the weather in your destination and types of activities you will be engaging in.
* Prepare your Plan B (or C and D). In case of flight cancellations or delays, come up with an alternative plan like traveling by sea and land.
* Customize your luggage and make a marker. Pack your bags on your own to ensure that no prohibited items are included. Put a colorful bow or a unique bag tag that will help you easily recognize your luggage at the baggage counter. There is always a risk of bags getting mixed up as some look identical.
* Carry fully charged power banks. Connectivity when traveling is important especially in cases of emergency.
* Bring a basic medicine kit. Keeping a few pieces of over-the-counter medicines you can pop in case of a headache, bout of dizziness or nausea, or sudden allergy attack can be life-saving.