Travel Prep: One Day Before

what does 1 day before travel mean

When a flight itinerary says '+1 day' before travel, it means that the flight lands after midnight on the day of arrival. For example, if you want to arrive on the 23rd of November, you should book a flight on the 22nd of November that says '+1 day'. This means that you will leave on the 22nd and arrive on the 23rd, but after midnight. Some airlines allow you to check in luggage a day before you travel, but this is not a common option due to the risk of lost luggage.

Characteristics Values
Meaning of (+1) in flight search engines The flight arrives the next day
Example of (+1) in flight search engines Flight departs on 22:00, 20th of August and arrives on 05:00, 21st of August
Example of (-1) in flight search engines Flights from Tokyo (TYO) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Departure date one day before Italian Schengen Visa No problem as long as the arrival date in the Schengen area is within the validity of the visa
Luggage check-in one day before travel Some airlines allow it


Overnight flights and time zones

Overnight flights, often called "red-eye" flights, are an essential aspect of the aviation industry. These flights, which usually depart between 22:00 and 07:00, allow airlines to maximise aircraft utilisation and keep prices low. They also enable more use of aircraft that would otherwise be idle at night and can divert the stream of passengers away from peak hours at airports.

Red-eye flights can be beneficial for passengers who want to save on accommodation costs by arriving early in a city and returning the same day, or who want to have a full day at the beginning or end of their trip. These flights are also often less expensive and can be more convenient for business travellers.

However, it can be challenging to arrive well-rested after a red-eye flight, especially if it is at odd hours or too short to get a full night's sleep. The impact of jet lag should also be considered when planning a trip involving overnight flights. In general, it is considered easier to recover from a westbound flight than an eastbound one, as our bodies adjust better to an extension of the day.

When planning an itinerary across time zones, it is important to calculate the arrival time accurately. Here is a step-by-step process to calculate your arrival time:

  • Set the local time of departure.
  • Convert the departure time to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is the international time standard.
  • Add the flight time to the UTC time.
  • Convert the UTC time to the local time of your arrival time zone.

By following these steps, you can ensure that you have an accurate arrival time, taking into account any time zone differences.

Additionally, when travelling across time zones, it is important to be aware of any COVID-19 testing requirements for your destination. For example, the CDC previously required all air travellers to present a negative COVID-19 viral test taken no more than one day before departure to the United States.

Overall, overnight flights can be a convenient option for travellers, but it is essential to consider the potential impact on your sleep and plan your itinerary carefully when crossing time zones.


Checking in luggage early

When preparing for a trip, it's essential to understand the travel itinerary and plan accordingly. Checking luggage in early can be a convenient option, especially if you want to explore your departure city luggage-free or streamline your airport experience. Here are some key things to know about checking in luggage one day before your flight:

Airline Policies:

Most major airlines have specific guidelines regarding early luggage check-in. Some airlines, like Southwest, allow passengers to check their bags up to four hours before the flight's departure. However, this timeframe may vary depending on the airline and the airport. It's always best to check with your airline to confirm their policy and any specific requirements or restrictions they may have.

Domestic vs. International Flights:

The ability to check luggage early may differ between domestic and international flights. For domestic flights, the window for early check-in might be more limited compared to international travel. Again, checking with your airline is crucial to understanding their specific policies for different types of flights.

Airport Considerations:

The airport you're flying from can also play a role in early luggage check-in. Some sources suggest that larger or busier airports, particularly those with a high volume of international flights, may be better equipped to handle early check-ins. Additionally, certain airports might have offsite baggage check-in facilities that accept luggage earlier than the standard timeframe.

Risks and Concerns:

Checking luggage in early comes with its own set of considerations. One common concern is the risk of lost luggage. While this risk exists regardless of when you check in your bags, it's important to weigh the benefits against the possibility of inconvenience or loss. Another factor to consider is the security of your luggage, especially if you're checking in valuable items. Understanding the airline's liability and your rights as a passenger is essential.

Overnight Layovers:

If your travel involves overnight layovers, be sure to clarify with the airline if you need to collect and re-check your luggage at each stop or if it can be checked directly to your final destination. This can save you time and hassle during your journey.

Planning and Convenience:

Checking luggage early can offer peace of mind and allow you to make the most of your time before departure. If you're checking out of your accommodation several hours before your flight, you can explore the city without the burden of your bags. Additionally, early check-in simplifies your airport experience, reducing the time spent at the baggage drop and giving you more flexibility to relax or enjoy airport amenities.

In conclusion, checking in luggage one day before travel is a viable option offered by many airlines. However, it's important to understand the specific policies, potential risks, and how this option can enhance your travel experience. Remember to always check with your airline and make informed decisions based on your unique travel plans and preferences.


Boarding passes and visas

The day before your trip, it's a good idea to double-check your boarding passes and itinerary. It's easy to make a mistake when booking tickets, and you don't want to be in a situation where you've booked for the wrong date.

A boarding pass is a document provided by an airline during airport check-in, giving a passenger permission to enter the restricted area of an airport and to board the plane. It identifies the passenger, the flight number, the date, and the scheduled time for departure. It may also indicate details of any perks the passenger is entitled to, such as lounge access or priority boarding.

In some cases, flyers can check in online and print their boarding passes at home or access them via a mobile device. Mobile boarding passes are equipped with a barcode that can be scanned by gate attendants. Most major carriers now offer mobile boarding passes, and these can be added to digital wallet apps such as Google Wallet, Samsung Wallet, or Apple Wallet.

However, it's worth noting that some travellers prefer to have a printed copy of their boarding pass as a backup, in case their phone runs out of battery or is lost or stolen. Some countries and airlines may also require a printed copy.

In addition to checking your boarding pass, the day before you travel is a good time to:

  • Check travel requirements for your destination, including any necessary visas, vaccinations, or specific passport requirements.
  • Put your passport in a safe place, perhaps with other last-minute essentials such as sunglasses and your phone charger.
  • Make sure you have any necessary visas for your destination.


Delayed flights

Understanding Delays

Delays can occur due to various factors, including mechanical issues, unfavourable weather conditions, air traffic congestion, or previous flights arriving late. It's essential to stay informed about the status of your flight by checking with the airport, your airline, or using flight tracking tools. Knowing about potential delays beforehand can help you manage your expectations and make any necessary arrangements.

Your Rights and Options

In the event of a delay, it's important to be aware of your rights as a passenger. Depending on the circumstances and the length of the delay, you may be entitled to compensation or other benefits outlined in passenger protection regulations. Some airlines may offer meal vouchers, accommodation, or rebooking options. Staying informed about your rights can help you navigate these situations more effectively.

Minimising Disruptions

To reduce the impact of delays on your travel plans, consider booking flights with a longer connection time, especially if you're travelling through busy airports or during peak travel seasons. This buffer can help accommodate unexpected delays without causing you to miss your connecting flight. Additionally, enrolling in flight status notifications can keep you updated on any changes to your flight schedule.

Preparing for Delays

When packing for your trip, it's a good idea to anticipate potential delays by bringing essential items in your carry-on luggage. These can include medications, valuables, a change of clothes, and any other items you may need if your checked luggage is delayed or temporarily inaccessible. Having these items on hand can make delays more manageable.

Claiming Compensation

If your flight is significantly delayed, you may be eligible for compensation under certain regulations. The eligibility and amount of compensation vary depending on the distance of your flight, the length of the delay, and the circumstances involved. It's important to familiarise yourself with the applicable regulations and the process for claiming compensation. Keeping relevant documentation, such as boarding passes and proof of expenses incurred due to the delay, can support your claim.

While delayed flights are beyond your control, being proactive and informed can make a significant difference in how they affect your travel experience. By understanding your rights, staying updated on flight status, and knowing the options available to you, you can effectively navigate delays and minimise their impact on your journey.

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Time of arrival

When a flight itinerary says '+1 day' or '1 day before travel', it means that the flight lands after midnight on the day of your departure, resulting in you arriving on the following calendar day. For example, if you want to arrive at your destination on the 23rd of November, you should book a flight that departs on the 22nd of November, which will arrive at your destination on the 23rd of November at 3:00 am.

This is particularly relevant when travelling east, where you will arrive in a time zone that is ahead of your departure location. For example, if you are flying from Tokyo to Los Angeles, you may see a '-1' on your itinerary, indicating that you will arrive in Los Angeles on the previous day, according to the local time.

It is important to note that this does not mean you will be travelling for more than 24 hours. It simply refers to the arrival time according to the local time at your destination.

Frequently asked questions

No, it usually means that your flight lands after midnight, so you will arrive on the day you wanted to, but the trip will technically start a day before that.

Yes, the (+1) or (-1) will still show, even if you are travelling within the same time zone.

A (-1) means that the flight arrives the day before the day of departure. This usually happens with westbound flights.

No, the (+1) or (-1) is not referring to a delay. It is referring to the difference in dates between the departure and arrival locations.

Yes, it is important to check that your visa is valid for the date and time you will be arriving at your destination, especially if you are taking a connecting flight.

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