If you’ve been following my blog lately you know that I recently made a huge move overseas to South Korea. After spending almost fourteen hours on a plane from D.C. to Seoul, I now know a lot more about traveling long distance than I did before; and today I would love to share some of my newfound knowledge with you.
Airports, airplanes, and the whole shebang can be very confusing and stressful if you aren’t properly prepared. Of course something always falls through the cracks, but flying prepared is the best way to fly. Do yourself a favor and make sure you check the following off your list for a smooth and enjoyable flight.
Confirm that your ticket has been booked
I know this sounds like a no brainer. ‘Duh, Amaris, of course I have my ticket.’ However, reserving a ticket is not the same as purchasing a ticket. There is nothing more frustrating than getting to the airport, ready to fly out, with only a reserved ticket. I’ve had it happen before and it is not fun.
Check for the max luggage weight and amount allowed
Each airline is a little different about this one, but you can usually find out how many luggage you are allowed on your airline’s website. Also, a good rule of thumb is usually 50 lbs. per luggage.
Always under-pack your luggage
This point kind of feeds off of the last one. Scales at home are different than the scales at the airport. Somehow the airport scale always adds extra pounds to your suitcase. By under-packing some or all of your suitcases, you allow yourself room to move somethings around if need be.
Don’t forget to tag your luggage
Pack a carry-on
Since the last three points focused on your luggage I’m going to switch gears here. Sometimes you can’t fit everything you need in your purse. A carry-on is good for holding books, a change of clothes, etc. God forbid you find yourself on a particularly long layover without as much as a change of clothes. You can find some good guides on packing a carry-on here
Buy some snacks
Don’t worry, people won’t look at you funny. Well, some might; but I won’t because I will be right next to you eating my own snacks. Stock up on a few healthy granola bars or fruit snacks to help tide you over between the meals on your flight.
Invest in a neck pillow
Neck pillows are one of the greatest things ever invented. They are great for long flight, car rides, and home use. You can keep your neck supported and your head comfortable during your flight and they store easily in a carry-on.
Store your passport/ticket somewhere convenient
So, story-time. Once my uncle stored his tickets under the baseball cap he was wearing. This was, of course, in order to keep his tickets in a ‘safe’ place. However he promptly forgot where he put them and then proceeded to freak out when he couldn’t find them. The moral of the story is to put your ticket or passport in a safe place that you can access easily and won’t forget about.
Wear comfortable clothes
Choose clothes that are comfortable to wear for the whole flight and then layer. Try wearing thick yoga pants with a t-shirt. Then add on a jacket or a sweater. Even if the weather is nice where you are before you fly out, airports and airplanes tend to be inexplicably cold.
Wear some compression socks
Sitting down for a long time can take a toll on your body. Compression socks can help prevent poor blood circulation which can lead to blood clots or a heart attack. They aren’t hard to find and feel like regular socks. You won’t be able to tell the difference.
Wear slip on walking shoes
The shoes you wear can make or break your flight experience. You don’t want to get cold feet; but you also don’t want sweaty feet. Make sure your shoes are comfortable for you to wear for a long time or easy to slip off when you are sitting.
Watch what you accessorize with
Security is a long, painful process that is usually delayed by the removal of metal accessories such as belts and jewelry. In my opinion, wearing no belt or jewelry is the way to go. Anyways, If you are wearing yoga pants than a belt is totally unnecessary.
Get a good nights rest the night before
The night before you depart make sure to get a full nights rest. Being well rested in the morning will help you be more alert. If you are travelling at night take a nap in the middle of the day to charge up on energy.
Set everything you need besides the door the night before
Finally, the night before you leave make a list of everything you should have. This is different than a list of things you need. Then go through and check off everything you have done. Place your luggage, carry-on, and all other items besides your front door. By doing so you prevent anything from being left behind the bedroom door or in the closet.
I hope this list helps you make your long flight more bearable. Let me know if you think I forgot something and I would be happy to edit this. It isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a place to start.