How to survive and possibly enjoy a long, international flight
Hi my partenar and I flew from New Zealand to LAX, then across to Tennessee ,onto Amtrak ,transferred to a Greyhound and ended up at our destination 24 hrs later!!...
Happy to say we didnt get bored during the flights ,they were awesome. The train was surprisely relaxing too and great to stretch our legs out fully.
By all means take a good book ,something light ,maybe comedy since I found everytime I would start reading something interesting would distract me.
Definately writing material ,even if its to jot down any ideas you get. Postcards to write.
An Ipod might be useful for down time waiting too.
Enjoy !! youll get tired ,but it will all be worth the scenery , the new people, the experiences.
I'm always a chatter.
Its just me. I can't help it. My close friends from my childhood say that if I start up a conversation, by the time the interaction has ended I can tell you who you and that person are related to.
I've always enjoyed talking to people from different places. Its interesting, and for the most part I learn something new. This is an important thing for me. I seek out to learn something new every day. Generally speaking, I learn more about myself than anyone I speak to.
Outside of the chats, a good book, and some good music. I doodle and write as well. So there's really no down time on a flight. I prefer mystery to comedy, but, that's a personal thing.
I often get ideas for stories through watching the interactions of those in my environment. Its the same as photographing strangers.. although photography is a bit finite. You can make a guess at what happens next after a pic has been taken, but with taking a comment or interaction you actually make it your own.
It sure can be a drag. There are several things that we try to do.
First- Join the airlines frequent flyer club. This makes it easier to get upgrades. When checking in ask if you can upgrade if there are empty seats. This has worked twice for us putting us into business class which is much more comfortable.( the foods better too). You can also use frequent flyer miles to upgrade.
2nd- Choose flights with stops if you have the time. Being able to get off the plane, even for a few minutes and grab a bite really helps. We live in the western US and try to stop in Canada or at least the East Coast before we cross the ocean.
Third- My trusty iPod. I can close my eyes and get lost in the music. It seems to cut the time by half.
On any flight take a set of Bose Nose Cancelling Headsets and an iPod.
Past experience has shown me that there will always be a screaming child close by on the plane. In fact, I think that when a family with a baby or small child checks in, they ask if I am on the plane, and request to sit as close to me as possible. Just paranoid maybe.
iPod - music and videos. Get relaxed as much as possible.
There are many ways to enjoy the time of long journey. Time may be rightly enjoyed by discussing any topic of interest with the adjacent passenger of his liking or by reading interesting topics or playing with the children of a liking family.
I always come with an arsenal of supplies as you never know what you may find when you get there speaking as a longtime 20 plus year road warrior. You may be so lucky to have a great and engaging seat partner which will help pass the time. If this is not the case then I always hit the borders bookstore and stock up on all my favorite magazines to catch up on and then load up my computer and ipod with my favorite movies as well as music. Virgin America and Jet Blue offer great entertainment options in this regard already. Unfortunately, their international routes are just starting to build.
Then my final plan if these aren't enough. I always bring my memory foam travel pillow, some comfy eye pads, jogging suit and bose noise reduction headphones. I will then order a nice glass of red wine with the meal followed with two valium chasers. You are then out cold and dont wake up till the landing gear hits the ground at your final destination city. Always makes for a painless trip when all else fails.
Happy travels to all !
- The Daily Aviation Grind
Porter Lafayette - Aviation Travel Commentator
As mentioned earlier, when you get to the check out ask for a courtesy upgrade. It does work sometimes. If the flight isn't full and you are polite and tell them how often you fly with them and you think their airline is brilliant.
If you want to be a bit cheeky and you are flying as couple tell them you are on your honeymoon and ask them if you can upgrade on this special occasion. You must be comfortable doing it though and it must sound and actually be truthful.
It doesn't have to be your first honeymoon with the love of your life, it could be your 3rd or 4th. Any airline loves helping honeymooners and you are not telling fibs..... and remember the whole world loves a lover.
The best upgrade I ever had was before I was married though. I was visiting South Africa and Virgin upgraded me to First Class. The stewardess even gave me a lovely neck and back massage. I can tell you I survived that long flight pretty well !!
Take a book or some magazines to pass the time. You'll also have the inflight movies, games etc to entertain you during the flight. I also take a small blanket (or oversized towel) in my hand-luggage, it's great to snuggle into when I'm ready for a nap, it makes sleeping more comfortable (sometimes I get a little cold on long flights especially during the night). I also take a coin purse, so that I can purchase some munchies to eat while watching the movies. Pre-book your seat number if you can so you're sitting somewhere you enjoy (ie: window or isle seat). Because meals are served at regular intervals during the flight, all you need to do is relax and enjoy the experience.
Do not sit in the back of the plane, bring your books and eye drops, moisturizers and little things to refresh yourself during your long flight. Think of what you would want to have with you if you were standing in front of a fan all day and night, its kind of like that but so long as you have water and something to cover your eyes, maybe some chewing gum, mints and lotion for your hands also some light shoes and cotton clothes you should have a great long flight. Time your sleep if you can. Try not to book so many stops if you have that option when traveling. Good luck.
Bring a book -- one which you haven't read ye. Listen to music, bring earphones. or write a story, write what will you want to do, plans etc, or just sleep you need it, for jetlag.
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