Traveling is always tough, especially when you are taking an international flight. If you haven’t flown abroad before, prepping for your trip can be very overwhelming. Many people don’t realize that you should take more care with how you pack and how you travel when you are flying internationally since the flights are longer and you’re spending more time in the air. Here are a few guidelines to help make your international flight more bearable!
As we all know, no two airlines are the same. That’s why its so important to do your research when choosing who you fly with! Some flights will naturally be more expensive than others, but don’t shy away from paying a little extra for better food options, a more comfortable seat, or an extensive list of movies to watch. Though a flight might be between $150-$300 more than the cheaper options, things like having more leg room and comfort really matter after you’ve been in the air for 13 hours! Not to mention the fact that how rough your flying experience is directly effects how much jet lag you’re dealing with when you arrive at your destination, so choose wisely!
The one thing you don’t want to do is over stuff your carry-on bag, particularly if you have connecting flights. If you end up having to walk a mile and a half through the airport to make your connection on time, lugging a heavy bag on top of the trek will make you miserable by the time you board the next plane. Also don’t forget to put all your liquids in the correct size containers and ziplock bags so that they are easy to pull out with you go through security. You don’t want to be that traveler that holds up the whole line and makes everyone late for their flight. For all the correct container size guidelines see the TSA.gov website.
Do you want to spend your flight by the window or in the aisle? If you tend to be antsy or have long legs (or both!), going for an aisle seat is by far your best option. Be sure to avoid getting a seat near the bathroom too, because though it seems very convenient at the time, sleeping through the constant flushing and bathroom smell build up is something you’re sure to hate within the hour. Another tip is to pick a seat that’s not near the front of the plane, since that’s typically where babies and newborns are seated. This is important to keep in mind if you have any hope of getting some shut-eye on the flight.
When it comes to dressing yourself for travel, comfort is key! You should also take into consideration the fact that going through security requires you to take things like belts, keys. jewelry, and shoes off. It’s recommended that you wear slip-shoes so that it’s easy to get through security and to slip them back on when you are in the air and need to use the bathroom. Both airports and airplanes have a tendency to get pretty chilly, so having a scarf, sweater, or sweatshirt with you is something you won’t regret.
When you’re spending half of the day in the air, the noise of the engines can really get to you and you may find yourself wishing for some peace and quiet, particularly if you are a light sleeper. This is why bringing earplugs and an eye mask will make the experience much more relaxing all around. Don’t be afraid to bring a neck pillow or blanket for extra comfort too. Typically, international flights will provide you with a small pillow and blanket, but having your own stuff is always nicer when you’re traveling.