I detest flying. Gone are the days when I felt like the arrival at the airport signalled the start of the holiday. Now, it’s not until I’m sat on a balcony with a chilled glass of wine in one hand and a bottle of factor 30 in the other that I truly feel like the holiday can begin.
I’m not scared of planes or anything like that. I just find them really, really boring, and thanks to a few sinus issues I get a really uncomfortable sensation in my nose and ears. I know, woe is me.
Over the years I must have read umpteen articles about air travel with zillions of tips about how to look like a celeb when stepping off the plane. I have to be entirely honest, I’ve never been particularly successful with this (unless the celeb I’m trying to look like is Pete Doherty). Rather than arriving recharged and relaxed I usually look a bit frazzled.
I don’t have any foreign travel planned for the foreseeable future but I know that some of you have holiday plans. I have decided that for my next trip I’m going to commit to a few flight commandments to see if I can enjoy the experience a bit more. (Here I am again going on about pretend holidays. I think I’m going doolally). Here goes…
I will take a photo of my bag before it gets loaded into the hold
No, not to put on an instagram but just in case it goes missing. A friend of mine recently lost her luggage and it was very difficult to explain to the airline staff the distinguishing features of her very generic black cabin case.
I will drink more water
I’m sure we all know that flying is incredibly dehydrating so experts tell us to keep topped up on water and avoid the alcohol. There is one thing that does terrify me about flying and it’s those aeroplane toilets and I will do anything to avoid them. However this does seem to be the number one flight tip around and so there must be some truth in it. I will make sure that if alcohol does pass my lips I will follow it with two glasses of water.
I will take off my make-up
I have NEVER done this. This would make the small children cry even louder but perhaps I can commit to taking off my foundation to let my skin breathe. Reapplying makeup before landing is also a great way to pass the time too and I am quite looking forward to boarding with a smokey eye and departing with a glam beach look.
I will be more strategic with my seat allocation
Not only will I set my self a reminder in my phone so I can get first dibs at online check-in, I will be tactical with my selection.
If I’m flying with James I plan to reserve a window seat and an aisle seat leaving the middle seat empty. If its a quieter flight then surely no-one will choose to sit between us? This may not go to plan though and we could just end up sat next to an awkward passenger who thinks we need marriage guidance counselling. Has anyone tried this in an effort to get a full row to themselves?
I will try to get some shut-eye
I really struggle with sleeping on planes so I’m going to download a white noise app next time I travel to block out all the cabin noise. For some reason I always have a tendency to zone in on seats at the back or the front of the plane which is daft as this is usually where the toilets are located. Having a barrage of strangers hustling pass my seat doesn’t usually make for a peaceful nights sleep so as above, I will be mindful of this next time I check in.
I will enjoy some down-time
There are some fancy flights where you get wi-fi etc, but for the vast majority of people I’d assume there won’t be any internet connectivity. Rather than have palpitations about not being able to check my emails I am going to revel in the knowledge that this is truly “free time”. I don’t need to do the washing up, dash to Sainsbury’s etc I can be truly indulgent and watch, read and listen to all the things I haven’t been able to find time to do on the ground.
I will remember that I am in the air
Many a time a yoghurt has exploded all over my top or face as I have forgotten that at 40,000 feet the air pressure changes. I will remember to place a napkin over my food when I open it so on landing I am not covered in suspicious stains.
I will remember not to put things in the seat pockets
Apparently the seat pocket rarely gets cleaned so it’s not the best place to slot your personal possessions. Think of all the nappies, tissues etc that could have found their way in there… While I’m at it I’ll remember the hand sanitiser too.
I will get up to stretch my legs
Despite knowing the risks of deep vein thrombosis I often forget to leave my seat and do a quick lap of the plane. I’m also usually guilty of keeping my bag under the seat rather than overhead lockers leaving almost no room to stretch out. I will don those flight socks with pride and do inflight exercises at every opportunity.
I will break up the travelling into chunks
A few years ago we had a eight hour wait at Johannesburg airport. In preparation we downloaded loads of old TV series. We passed the time by splitting it into hourly chunks. An hour for lunch, an hour for watching a TV show on the iPad, then an hour of shopping before another episode. I can’t say the time flew by but we didn’t die of boredom.
So these are my flight commitments, what are yours? Have you got any top tips for travelling, particularly with little ones? Have you ever bagged yourself a free upgrade just by dressing to impress?
My husband James is about to embark on a bit of an epic long haul flight jetting off to New Zealand for work. I’m really hoping to get an invite next time so I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to share your tips for dealing with the inevitable jet lag.