Some of my friends frequently ask me how I handle those long international fights and I would say I have some basic guidelines on how to make them fun.
1.Sleep as much as possible
Well, sorry if you have expected a better answer, but I strongly presume everyone’s goal when they get on board, especially for a long flight should be “to sleep as much and deep as possible”, just in order to sync with the time zone you’re headed. Thus, my tip is to do some research before you fly, like how long you are going to fly, what time you are going to land (local time) and so on, so that you will be able to get used to a new time zone.
I know it’s really hard, especially if you are someone who can’t live without coffee, like me but it will definitely help you with headaches and jet leg.
3.Bring ear plugs and an eye mask
Some flight companies provide them for free but mostly don’t. If you are sensitive with small sounds, some ear plugs would be very helpful. As I travel quite often, I’m currently thinking of getting some premium noise cancelling headphones that block any kind of noises nearby, they gotta be life savers.
4.Get some movies / music / books
I’m not really fond of using my Mac on board, thus I use my I-phone or I-pad in stead. Or better use the screen your flight company offers, though they tend to not update often. Personally I like to listen to class music as they calm me down on board and oftentimes it leads me to fall in sleep. Some books must be great for entertainment as well.
5.Take a window seat
Unless if you go to the restroom often, I don’t for example, so I prefer to take a window seat. It couldn’t be more annoying once you get some sleep but the person next to you asks you to get up to pass. Besides it’s easier to take some pics on a window seat.
Honestly I don’t really do it but it could be a great idea, if you are social and eager to get to know some new people around. Mostly the person sitting next to you travels to the same destination as you do, which means there will be at least a few things to share and I believe that’s going to be a good thing to start off with.
7.Bring a note
I get full of thoughts when I fly, I really don’t know why, it never happens when I’m on a bus or a train, but only when I’m on a long distance flight, such as travel plans and even some serious thoughts like friendships, love, job hunting, regrets about the past and so on and since I noticed it, I always bring a note to spill out my thoughts. I write and I draw, sometimes I create a ridiculous poem that never makes sense. Well, at least those are nice to kill flying times.
How to avoid missing flights
As painful as it sounds, I have experienced that a couple of times. Once from Dublin to Amsterdam, once Madrid to Paris, another time from Seoul to Hanoi…not all of them were my fault, but it’s always great to have a back-up plan, or rather be smart enough not to miss your flight.
1.Use your phone to remember your departure time
I always do it, I cooly admitted that my I-phone is a lot smarter than I could ever be, so I let him help me to memorize everything.
2.Check the details
Especially if you travel from a big city that has two or even three airports. Check the name of the airport you are flying from, just to make sure. It’s always nicer to be safe, right?
3.Be in the airport earlier
I know it’s annoying, but it’s helpful. I hate security search and passport check and hate it even more they get delayed in particular in busy airports (NY John-Kennedy Airport, Amsterdam Airport, Tokyo Narita for example). Thus my tip for this is to arrive in the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.
My favorite flight companies
1.Japan Airlines – Just because it was the first one I took. Attendants are nicely educated and ready to help passengers. I loved my stay over in Narita Airport 10 years ago.
2.Air France – They have the best airline food ever.
3.Aeroflot Russian Airlines – If you wish to fly to Europe from Asia through Russia, Aeroflot must be the best you can ever choose. They are usually the cheapest you find and provide helpful schedules to transfer. Almost every time I have used this one to get to Europe and despite all the complaints I have nothing to compare. The more you pay, the more you get. I know some of you might have a different view but for me it doesn’t really matter how luxury you get, it’s just half a day, you don’t live in the airline.
My favorite airports
1.Amsterdam Schipol Airport – Perhaps Europe’s best. Clean, stable wifi, comfy toilets and sometimes you get free piano performances in the airport.
2.Chicago O’hare Airport – Not relatively clean or comfortable like Amsterdam’s but I love it just because the airport itself makes me think I’m on an American film as Chicago O’hare Airport has been shown through lots of American films or series. I also found out a very nice pizza place (quite small to be found) there.
3.Tokyo Narita Airport – Customer service in Japan is brilliant, as a matter of fact, there’s nothing more important than that in Japan. Narita Airport is super clean and people working in the airport are always there to help people, despite some clear language barrier (sometimes).
All the love,