Taking a step back from my usual viewpoint of miles and points, here's a post about more general tips.
Whatever side of the Atlantic you live on, and however much you have travelled, I've condensed the most important tips I learnt from the school of hard knocks:
- Jetlag is far worse going eastbound (i.e. North America to Europe). If you can only afford an upgrade in one direction, do it on the eastbound.
- If arriving in the USA from an international destination, try to sit as far forward in the plane as you can to save on queuing at immigration. (But if you are eligible, consider applying for Global Entry)
- Check if your electronics can take both 110V and 220V mains. Most modern electronics have relays built into the transformers which allow both voltages.
- In USA, dates are written MM/DD/YY. In Canada and Europe it's DD/MM/YY. Do yourself a small favour and write dates in a way that's unmistakable, e.g. “4th May 2014” especially when trying to meet up with people!
- Learn the difference between: European Union, European Economic Area, Schengen Area (and also realise that UK and Republic of Ireland are not part of the Schengen Area!!). It'll become important for determining how much time you need for airport transfers, immigrations and customs.
There were several others that didn't make my list of 5, but what do you think? What are your top tips for other readers?