As a neophyte preparing for an international flight in coach due diligence is in order. What better place to keep personal notes than on my blog. Someone else may benefit from them too. Everything I find here will either be told to me or derived from the Internet; no need to reinvent the wheel. I’ll be consulting those who have gone on before me, LOL. As a blogger I am looking forward to writing about the experience the old-fashioned way with pen and paper for my memoirs. There should be plenty of photographs to augment my writing. It would be so good to get a Canon digital camera before my trip (please, oh please – that’s me putting my wish out there in the universe). You know all that “speak a thing into existence” stuff.
Things You’ll Need
Government issued identification card
Be polite to everyone, especially the flight attendants.
Choose exit row or premium seats. Exit rows have miles of extra leg-room and seats towards the front of the plane or in mini-cabins can provide nicer flying conditions (and may also have power outlets, which are a nice perk). If you can’t select an exit row seat, call the airline and ask. Tip: if you snag an exit row, pack an extra sweater.
Use seatguru.com to make sure the seat you choose isn’t bad. Some rows (like the ones in front of exit rows) have limited or no recline. You also may want to choose a seat that’s away from the galley or lavatories, as those areas can become crowded and who wants to be near a lavatory? Note: seatguru doesn’t always get it right but it is better than nothing.
Get an exit row, ask the gate agent for a bulkhead seat. These are usually held for gate assignment in case there are any families that need to use the bulkhead bassinet or for disabled people. While bulkhead seats may have limited legroom, you won’t have to deal with someone reclining their seat into your limited space. Also, bulkheads are usually closer to the exit, so you can get off the plane and get to immigration before the masses.
Are you a germaphobe: Pack a small pack of disinfecting wipes. As soon as you sit down, grab a wipe and wipe down EVERYTHING: TV Screen, console, arm rests, window, window shade, tray, seat belt, plastic parts, fabric parts… EVERYTHING. Take along a saline nasal mist cleaner and good Kleenex. Rinse your nasal passages every 3 hours. It is one of your body’s primary defence against germs.
Find a sleep aid that works for you. Lunesta (have your physician prescribe). One pill at takeoff and within 30 minutes = into a comfortable sleep.
Get a great pair of headphones.
Use an eye mask and ear plugs. Shades block out all light. I also like ear plugs to provide extra noise protection.
Collect all of your important documents and carry them on you while you fly. Important documents that you should carry on you at all times include your passport, identification card, driver’s license, itinerary and a visa if necessary for your travel destination.
Omit any banned or restricted objects from your luggage when packing your bags. Omit liquids and sharp objects from your carry on luggage. Contact the airport you will be departing from if you are not sure about which items are banned. Do not pack your important documents, passport or identification with your checked luggage because you will need to have them on your person while traveling.
Ask for a map of the airport or print a map from the airport’s website before you travel. Familiarizing yourself with the layout of the airports will help you locate your way around the airport easier, saving you time.
Read up on airport procedures, such as the screening process and security checks on the airport’s website before you leave. Understanding the procedures will help you estimate how much time you will need to allocate to make sure that you do not miss your flight.