In 2017 alone I’ve flown 29,921 miles. That’s 62.5 HOURS of flying or over 2.5 full days (although lemme tell you it felt like a heck of a lot longer than 2.5 days). It’s enough miles to fly the circumference around Earth plus a little further! After racking up all that air time I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way to make sure that the journey goes as smoothly and as comfortably as possible.
• Find out if you’re going to need a visa
My parents made this mistake before they visited me in Australia. I think my dad registering for Australian holiday visas the night before they got on their flight to Oz will be a longstanding lesson.
• Do your research
What’s the typical climate going to be during your month of travel? Are there any holidays or festivals going on during that time that may effect your trip? Are there any cultural rules or traditions that you may not have been aware of?
• Make sure your passport is in date! (And that you know where it is)
Border control typically isn’t very lenient with that one…
• Check if you’ll need any vaccinations or medications
For travel to Asia and the Africas this may be especially pertinent.
• Check in on your flight and pick your seats if possible
Are you an aisle seat kinda guy or do you spend the whole flight gazing out the window? And if you prefer the middle seat… who even are you?! Either way do yourself a favor and try and pick your seat online. Online check-in usually opens about 24 hours before you fly.
• Double then triple check the time and date of your flight
Sounds super obvious but in the midst of planning a big trip you’d be surprised what things can slip your mind. Make sure you are positive you’re flying at 9PM not 9AM and that you’ve booked your flight for the 25th March not 25th February. (May or not be speaking from experience, oops!)
• Figure out how you’ll get to your next destination after the airport
The last thing you’ll be in the mood to do after a long flight is figure out how you’ll get to your next destination (whether that be your hotel, tour group, AirBnb, etc). Plus, you probably won’t have cellphone service or WiFi to do any research when you do land.
• Stock up on plane snacks and books/magazines before you get to the airport
Airports boost the prices up SO MUCH it’s insane. $5 for a water bottle? I think not. Having some of your favorite snacks and magazines ready for your long haul flight makes sitting on a plane for hours on end sooo much more tolerable. Plus you’ll be well supplied in case the airplane food is, well, airplane food.
• Take advantage of your home wifi and pre download some movies and music
These days there is usually free WiFi at most international airports and even on some planes but there’s always that chance that there might not be. That lead’s me to my final tip…
• Prepare for the unexpected!
It’s all part of the journey!