Category: Advice

Long-Distance Flights: Practical Passenger Tips

If you live in Europe, reaching all other continents takes hours upon hours of flying – be it transatlantic flights to the US or flights to the exotic destinations of Asia, or going down under – you need to fly long distances.

Long-haul flights (6 to 12 hours or more) can be a true challenge even for the experienced traveller, especially if there are intermediate stops. To make your time onboard more comfortable and peaceful, here are some pieces of advice for passengers travelling on long-distance flights.

Outfit
We’ve already covered the perfect plane outfit in detail. What we can add is to preferably dress in layers, so that during the flight you can take off and on certain articles of clothing only. This is also important if there are stopovers, where the weather might require different clothes.

Seat
What would be the best seat for a long flight? If you can choose, try to avoid seats located near the lavatories, as these are the most frequented spots on the plane. Selecting a seat to the front of the plane will allow you to enjoy a more quiet and undisturbed trip. Like stretching out? Go for an aisle seat. If you easily doze off on board, opt for a window seat – this will give you something to lean against. The exit rows are usually wider, so pick up a seat next to the overwing exits for more space.

Sleep
Some people never sleep on planes. But even the most hopeless of insomniacs eventually flake out after 10 hours in the air. Make sure you take your pillow with you. It doesn’t have to be a travel pillow – some people find them pretty uncomfortable. If can be your favourite cushion that you cuddle on the sofa.

Fellow travellers
Don’t forget that you are not alone in the cabin. There are people in front of, next to you and also behind you. When you want to lean back, take extra care when lowering the back of your seat. Sudden and abrupt lowering can cause injury and damage. You could easily break someone’s nose or laptop. We know that after hours of flight you might have grown slightly heedless, but, please, check before you mess around at the seat.

Entertainment
You know that time is relative. It runs in different ways depending on what you’re doing. You don’t need to take a mountain of books. But if you are prepared with entertainment for your long-haul flight, time will fly faster and you’ll reach your destination in indulgence. Get your Kindle, a hardcopy book, iPod with loads of music, player with films and what not. Make sure you follow the cabin crew instructions for use of electronic devices.

While air travel can be an annoying experience, and long-haul flights even more so, think of your dream destination and the great time you’re going to have there. If travelling for business, enjoy the time you’re out of office.

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The Perfect Plane Outfit

Pleasure or a challenge? What is travelling by plane for you? For many people it’s a promise for an adventure, but for some, it is a serious trial. For yet others, flights are routine. They know what’s the best travel outfit for long-haul and short-distance flights is. Here are some good pieces of advice to keep in mind when you open your wardrobe before departure.

Metals

Belts, jewellery, watches, cuffs, metal elements on your clothes and the likes will make the scanner go “beeeep”. In fact, even if we know this rule very well, we often neglect it or forget about it, when we look for the most comfortable plane attire. For example, we usually travel wearing jeans or skirts, and such garments by rule take a belt. So, make sure you have a belt with a plastic or wooden buckle, which won’t create any trouble at the security check.

Tight clothes

I’ve always marvelled at fine ladies who choose short skirts and tight shirts for their trip. While this will give you a tempting outlook, tight clothes can be pretty uncomfortable. Think about the overhead compartment and your short skirt going up with every attempt to put your bags there, or with every step you take… Well, this might call for help. But picture a situation where there are no gentlemen around and the eyes of grumpy old ladies are all on you! Besides, loose-fitting tops and trousers won’t restrict blood flow and will make you feel more comfortable during the flight.

Reasonable shoes
Yes, high heels are attractive… when you’re in a night club, perhaps. But it’s a different matter when you fly. Even if we forget about the fact that you might get foot pain or (heaven forbid!) a sprained ankle, remember about the restrictions at airports – they will make you take your shoes off and walk barefoot through the scanner. The best choice is either hiking shoes (which will otherwise take up a sizeable space in your suitcase) or loafers (slippers, moccasins, Venetian loafers, espadrilles or other type of laceless shoes), which are easy to take on and off during the flight. Foldable shoes are yet another smart idea.

Stay-warm accessories
If you are not a fan of air-conditioners or cold, make sure you have a warm garment on you. While a hat of a fur stole might not be necessary, a knit scarf, a vest, a cardigan or a pair of warm socks are among the top in-flight accoutrements to keep you warm and cozy when the air-conditioner is on full blast.

Cotton lingerie and underwear
As flights usually take a lot of time starting with the early arrival at the airport to the passport control at your destination, wearing cotton underwear is very important for your overall comfort. Lingerie made of synthetic fabrics reduces absorption of moisture and might cause issues such as skin problems. Mind you, if you are travelling to Russia and run out of underwear, you won’t be able to buy lacy underwear as it was banned from the market.

Perfume and eau-de-toilette
It’s crucial that you get acquainted with the latest restrictions at airports affecting lotions, perfumes and other liquids. Apart from these restrictions, try to avoid strong odours before boarding. While they might smell nice to you, other passengers might find them unpleasant. Not to mention the fact that some people have asthma and allergies to perfumes. Also, do have in mind that strong scents get extremely pungent in confined spaces, where people sit close together, sometimes even crammed.

Any more ideas for the perfect plane apparel? Share them with us.

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Baby On Board or How To Survive Travelling with a Child

Travelling with kids can be pretty stressful as well as fun. Flying with babies or very small children is twice as challenging. Here is a short guide on how to survive your first flight with a baby or small kids on board.

Flying Child

If your kid flies for the first time, and if they are able to understand you, make sure that he or she knows what will happen step by step. Tell him about the trip to the airport, what will happen there – that you are going to bring your suitcases, check in, watch the planes take off and touch down before you board. When a kid knows what’s ahead of them, they find it easier to cope with the new situation.

If your child is reluctant to embrace new situations, tell them a funny story about flying by plane. Kids are always eager to experience positive and exciting emotions, so telling them about an exhilarating event on the way, will most certainly help them look forward to the day of the flight.

Now, what about kids that cannot understand speech and explanations. Babies can sense adults’ emotions very well. They are like radars of our moods. So, before the flight, make sure that you are well rested so that there is as little anxiety as possible. For this purpose:

  • don’t leave the packing of your suitcases for the very last time. This will create a lot of stress that the baby will feel;
  • let your toddler or baby take part in the packing if possible; boxes, suitcases and pleasant, as much as it can be, fuss can become an exciting game;
  • sing songs imitating the drone of planes;
  • show them images or models of planes – something that they will see a lot on the next day.

Non-stop flight Vs. Connecting flight
Kids’ moods change like the weather, and even more quickly when they have to wait in long queues, when among lots of people, and at a place where they can’t run free. To minimise the agitation resulting from the very length of the flight, try and pick up a direct (i.e. non-stop) flight whenever it is possible. Night flights are also a very good choice, as kids doze off on the plane pretty often, worn out by the day.

Touchdown and Takeoff

On Board

Take-off and touchdown are the two moments when kids might feel uncomfortable. There are several things to help you avoid unpleasant situations:

  • put the baby / kid to sleep
  • breastfeed him / her or give them the dummy
  • let the child look out of the window
  • bring their favourite toy on board

On Board Alone…

Children can travel on their own, which requires a fee for the additional attention that the ground and onboard crews have to pay to your kid. Usually, a child can travel by plane on their own when they are at least 5 or 6 years old, depending on the airline company. Most airport authorities require a special declaration signed by both parents that the child is going to travel alone, plus contact details of the person who is picking them up at the destination airport.

This is pretty much what you need to know when you plan your trip with a child. Bon voyage!

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