I can’t concentrate on anything right now. I’m far too excited about my pending trip. I love travelling so much, the lead up, packing, the flight itself and of course arriving in said destination!
In the spirit of my current state of excitement here are a few travelling tips that I have picked up over the years.
I like to make sure I have everything ready in my home for my return. It’s not much fun coming back to a home in disarray.
• Have fresh sheets on your bed. When you arrive home at an ungodly hour, you can sink into a clean, fresh bed and sleep off the jetlag.
• Do a preparation shop. Stock up on toilet paper and essentials for when you return. Stock the freezer with bread, frozen veggies and potato wedges or similar easy frozen meals for when you return. If you live in Germany and you arrive back on a Sunday you will want to have pre bought food available when the shops are closed and you want an easy dinner.
• Write down all important phone numbers in a notebook to carry with you in your hand luggage. It is easy to become reliant on storing numbers only in our cell phones. I have been in a few situations where I really don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t written down phone numbers instead of relying on a cell phone battery to survive.
• Further to the above – Charge cell phones and camera batteries!
• Arrange for a friend to come and collect your mail and air out the place while you’re away.
• After the packing madness has subsided, clean up! Arriving home to the chaos of your pre departure madness is no fun.
I know a lot of people who really hate to fly and opt for taking sleeping pills. This is a good option if you are a nervous flyer and if you have taken sleeping pills in the past. I prefer not to take anything, I enjoy the flight experience and I like to arrive in the new destination feeling clear headed and ready to roll.
• Make sure you have pens and paper in your carryon luggage. There will be arrival forms to fill in and odd things that may come to your mind during the flight that you want to take down. It also doesn’t hurt to have something to write down the number/email of the cute passenger that you’ve struck up conversation with during the flight.
• Have a good supply of personal hygiene products in your hand luggage: deodorant, baby wipes, moisturiser, chap stick, maybe a little make up if you need to arrive looking fresh as a daisy. The air in the cabin can be very dry and affect skin and lips during the flight. It is also worth packing your toothbrush so you can freshen up. Some airlines provide a few of these things for you but there have been occasions where I have regretted not bringing my own.
• It goes without saying to wear something comfortable if you are going to be sitting for a number of hours. Try to avoid wearing anything with lots of zips or ties. I made the mistake recently of wearing a top with a big zip all the way up the back on a domestic flight and of course set off the metal detectors.
• Even though it is tempting to settle in to watch movie after movie while you are served food and drinks, make sure to regularly move your body. Get up and walk to the back of the plane and do lots of leg exercises while seated. If you are very worried about the risk of deep vein thrombosis, purchase some of the flight stockings they sell at airport shops, or you can take a baby asprin at the beginning of the flight.
• When you first get on the plane, avoid putting your passport and important documents into the seat pocket in front of you. This is so easy to do thinking you will move them later. Put these things back into your carryon luggage. I have heard of so many people that have left things on the plane.
• Drink lots of water and hold back on the caffeine. The pressure in the cabin causes you to become dehydrated faster than normal. So opt for water and less carbonated or caffeinated drinks. The dryness of the cabin will cause your skin, nasal passage and throat to dry. Drink plenty of water to avoid this developing into a cold. Don’t be afraid to ask the hostesses for more water.
• Someone told me recently that something about flying causes you to crave tomato juice. Apparently our taste buds are affected by the cabin pressure and we taste 20% less than we do on the ground which causes us to crave salt more than usual. The potassium levels in tomatoes sate this craving. I’m going to try it and see if it makes a difference.
We are flying with Korean air. I really like this airline the staff are always pleasant and I enjoy the meals. However, they tend to provide solely seafood based mains. Whereas on any other airline you would probably be given the option of beef or chicken, every time I have flown Korean air it has been shrimp and noodles or fish and rice. Twice I have sat next to a passenger who does not eat seafood and had no prior knowledge of the limited meal options. Both times the passenger has complained and was kindly served a beef meal from business class. One hostess even offered the passenger her own apple! Once again it goes to show you need to speak up to get what you want.
I’d love to read others suggestions and personal tips for a comfortable flight or pre departure routines, so feel free to comment.