travel Archives – Angry Expat

So you are moving… international freight can be very confusing and intimidating. Take a deep breath… we will get through this together.

Moving to the UK is an exciting experience but all of a sudden you realise you have too much stuff to take? Your airline says you can only take a certain weight and that’s not going to work for you. Come on, you have that amount of shoes alone!

Our advice, think about it first, do you really need to take it with you? It is very expensive. Most of the time when you price it out it is more affordable to purchase your goods new or 2nd hand (more on that later).

We do know that some things can not be replaced and there are some things you just can’t live without.

If it is just one or two boxes of books and things you love but know if something terrible happens the world won’t collapse, consider sending with a freight company. If you need it fast think more like UPS and FedEx but remember it’s going to be pricey. Air freight is always more costly than shipping however, it is also much faster so it really depends on what your budget is like.

If you are over just by a suitcase or two it is generally cheaper to add another few suitcases onto your flight.

International Freight companies

If you do need freight sent from your home to the UK we suggest using a freight company. The reason for this is that they know exactly which paperwork is needed to make sure that your stuff does not get stuck or lost.

Here are a few suggestions. Each of them will provide you with a free quote.

These guys have a top rating on Yelp for international freight companies so you know you have your fellow travellers reviews.

View their consumer affairs report

What to look for when you are selecting a freight company

Make sure that they have the correct accreditation

Make sure that the moving company is part of the following organisations. This basically means that they carry responsibility for getting your stuff to you.


Before you ship there are a few things you should consider

How long shipment will take – sea freight can take several weeks, even months.

Insurance costs and documentation – make sure the company that you ship with has all of the correct information to deal with customs so that your belongings do not get held up.

Customs – does the company you are hiring deal with Australian Cutoms laws and prepare all carne’s and shipping documents

Insurance –  check in on how much the insurance is to protect your belongings during shipping as this can all add up.

Read current reviews – this industry changes quickly so be sure to check for recent reviews and company recommendations


It is important to get quotes. It is difficult for us to give numbers because we don’t know exactly where you are sending your stuff from and how much so our recommendation is to get three quotes and pick the bestsellers.

Make sure that the cost quoted includes delivery to your new property. Some companies will quote you to the UK dock and you are expected to transport your goods from there, don’t get caught in that trap, it will become very expensive very quickly.

What you need before you ship

Pick up address

Delivery address

All information for international shipment

A list of all you are sending

Make sure that all of your electrical goods are compatible with your new home. Take a look at our

Protecting yourself

Make an extensive list of what you are sending. We also recommend taking photos in case your belongings are lost or damaged. This will help in your international freight insurance case if one happens.


We will always recommend insurance when discussing international freight in these cases as a precaution. There are a lot of parties involved in the process and opportunities for problems so make sure that you are covered.


Be aware that you can bring in and what you can’t. Be aware that this can change so make sure you are keeping up to date with the latest information.

This is the list given by FedEx.

Sell it before you leave

If it is furniture that you are thinking of moving it is going to be incredibly expensive. Consider selling your things at home and using the money to buy when you arrive. Consider selling on Craigslist.

Here are a few good places to start if you need something quickly.

2nd hand

London works on a lot of 2nd hand furniture. There are people moving in and out constantly so there are always options on Gumtree. There are also a lot of 2nd hand stores around, google your area for 2nd hand shops when you arrive. I guarantee you will find some!

(Click the link)

(Click the link)

The answer to your travel pillow nightmare is finally here. No more drooling on the shoulder of a stranger! Woot.

I have been trying everything for years to avoid a sore neck on long haul flights, those beanie bags, the blow up pillows but inevitably I end up with a sore neck or drooling on myself, plus I have to lug the thing around!

The trtl’s unique design allows for easy packing (not entirely flat but about half the size of the beanie ones).



Where can you get it?


How does it work?

The trtl travel pillow has plastic inserts that work on what they call the ISS (Internal Support System) which is a flexible plastic that moves with your body. It has a thin foam layer inside which helps support your jaw when sleeping. You wrap the trtl around your neck and secure with the velcro section to get it to your preferred strength.

If you liked this and want more – head to our blog section! We love so please leave them below and tell us about your experience with the trtl.

We have all had that problem of how to avoid jet lag on a long haul flight, break it up, get there fast? Whatever your reason for travel, chances are you will have to fly a long haul at some point so how to you make the most of it?

I know the pain of a long haul flight, being an Aussie I have done the 22-hour flight from Sydney to London and it is LONG! I have now done it a few times and have learned a few valuable lessons along the way.

Before you fly

When you check in or manage your booking with your airline, take a look at your flight on  before you lock in your seat. It allows you to see notes on that seat from previous travelers. Most travelers give advice on things like a position of the seat, noise and if the seat is damaged or the leg room is small. From there you can go onto manage your seat knowing you don’t have some hidden surprise waiting for you.

Get to the airport early

Take the stress out of it. Part of the pain of long-haul flights is the stress of actually getting everything through the airport.

If you are going to be dong a 12-hour flight, what’s another hour? Stress can cause mistakes due to having to make quick decisions, you can end up at the wrong terminal, park your car in the wrong place or get stuck in a very long security line which then has a domino effect. Really, the worst thing that can happen at an airport if you are early is that you have to wander around the stores for an hour… not the worst thing in the world.

Give yourself time. If you hate the stress of getting there and parking consider taking an Uber. If you don’t have Uber yet or don’t know how to use it, check out our

During the flight

Move around

Studies such as the report in the

are showing that sitting for long periods of time is one of the worst things as it can bring on heart disease, we are crushing our spines, organs and now helping the general flow of things… there have been scares of deep vein thrombosis and mini strokes due to the lack of blood flow. Don’t let this stress you out,  just get up and walk around. Do ankle exercises they are easy and you can do them in your seat.

Ankle exercises

10 x ankle roles

10 x heal and toe raises (basically rocking back and forward while pressing into the ground

Most long haul flights have a card at the back of your seat with additional exercises and some even have in seat yoga and stretch videos that you can do.

Use your bathroom breaks to stretch out, roll down your spine and move your legs to keep the blood flowing.

What is Jet Lag?

The following are typical jet lag symptoms:

The National Sleep Foundation (USA) have an extensive study on things you can do to prevent jet lag. Here are a few tips to help you get adjusted.

Give yourself some options. The meals on the flight are generally well sized for what you should have in your belly when you are not doing much moving around.

I now tend to take a few healthy snacks on the plane in case there is a meal I don’t like. It gives me options and doesn’t leave me hungry. I have once been on a long haul flight where each meal was a bad ham and cheese sandwich three times over! I’ll generally take an apple, some nuts that I buy at the airport and a salad sandwich of some kind. If I don’t eat it, doesn’t matter but

and Health notes that timed meals can assist with resetting your body clock.


I know it is a major pain but the best thing you can do on a plane is drink water. Studies have shown that a major cause of jet lag is dehydration. This is always a difficult one as you don’t want to be that person on the plane that gets up all the time but really… who cares. I have never judged anyone for using the restroom on a flight.

Avoid alcohol. Stay away from the booze. I know this is hard when it’s free and you have twelve hours to kill but if you genuinely want to avoid a heavy version of jet lag stay away. Alcohol dehydrates you which means you will either have to drink a lot of water and need to use the restroom every five seconds. This mixed with the lack of oxygen from the pressurized cabin can have larger effects on the human body.


I now take a , or

to pop into a bottle of water during the flight. I have found the extra boost of Vitamin C has really helped with the prevention of catching a cold on the flight (perhaps it’s a placebo effect but it works).  Take a multi vitamin leading up to the flight if I remember. My doctor says it can’t hurt.


If you are one of those lucky people who can sleep on a plane, congratulations… for the rest of us here’s a few things that can help you get some shut-eye on that red eye.


Take a few things to help you out.

A pillow of some kind – this really depends on your personal preference but something with neck support is always recommended.

An eye mask – you may laugh now but they genuinely do help.

Ear plugs – you can get small travel cases to take with you which have an eye masks, toothpaste, ear plugs etc but I have found those foam ear plugs don’t stay in my ears very well. I get the silicone ones from the pharmacy before I leave, they are here for around $4.00.

Socks – this might sound a little funny but I always travel with an extra pair of socks. Sometimes the air conditioning is ramped up during the night section of the flight and my feet always freeze.My feet tend to get cold and if you are a traveler who likes to travel in sandals your feet can freeze when the plane is cooled down for the ‘night’ period of the flight. I take an extra pair because inevitably one gets a bit gross and I want clean ones when I am at the other end.

Pashmina – this has been my latest addition as it is so versatile, use it as an extra pillow, extra blanket or just to keep your neck warm if you feel the beginnings of a cold coming on.

Sleeping pills

Some people are big fans of sleeping pills however, for me, I like to be in control when I am on a flight in case of an emergency. I once saw a girl who had taken too many sleeping pills and she was basically incoherent. You never quite know how your body is going to be affected by a flight. Instead, I asked my pharmacist about natural sleep remedies that were light and came across something like this … (I have an Aussie version)  they are available in most pharmacies and health food stores. The beauty of this is you can take as little of it as you want. There is a calming agent and it’s all natural so you won’t go from one extreme to the other.

Some people swear by sleeping pills and if you know what’s right for you then go for it but if you are new to the sleeping pill world, don’t experiment on a flight.

Though Ambien is one of the more popular sleeping pill brands, I’ve had excellent results with . It knocks me out faster than a light on even half the suggested dosage. For a flight, I would suggest to take only a quarter of a pill. Personally, I’m not sure if I would try a sleeping aid for the first time on a flight without knowing how it affects me beforehand. (Its active ingredient is doxylamine succinate but clearly check with your doctor before trying it. It can also leave users slightly groggy.)

Can’t sleep?

If you are one of those people who really struggle to sleep on a plane come prepared. Do you have some paperwork that you have been meaning to do for ages or want to get some writing done? Now is the perfect place to do it.

Buy a book or a few magazines at the airport. Keep yourself distracted with movies and entertainment.

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