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Prep, Travel

My Top 5 Tips for International Flights

December 18, 2014


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For many people traveling internationally doesn’t happen that often, so a flight that is more than fours hours long can be uncomfortable and long. This is especially true if you are flying in economy.  I have now flown four round-trips transatlantic flight, so eight flights total.  While this isn’t much for some, it has been a lot for me. So as I prep for my next transatlantic flight on Thursday, I thought I would pass along my tips to make the journey more comfortable.

1. Hydrate – this is my most important tip. Planes are extremely drying and a long flight makes it even worse. For me, this isn’t just drinking water. I use a water spray on my face, like this one from Evian. I spray it on my face several times during the flight to help with hydration. Sometimes, I also use it to take off my makeup. After I remove my makeup, I spray it on before reapplying. I usually do this right before we land. This way I look less tired. Putting lip balm/chapstick helps keep your lips moist.

2. Nest your suitcases – This may only apply to expats or people planning on shopping while traveling, but it is still a useful tip. As you can see above I am putting a small suitcase inside my large suitcase. I stock up on items in the US when I go home and need the extra space. This way I only have to pay for two bags one way! On this trip, I may be able to put my current carry-on into one of the suitcases on the return and still only pay for one bag.

3. Snacks  – I usually fly Qatar Airways and they are good about feeding you and having snacks out on long flights. However, the snacks are not always things I want to eat and sometimes they don’t feed me when I am hungry. They are on a schedule of course. I bring snacks with me. I bring nuts, granola bars, and fruit. Be careful though, some countries won’t let you bring fruit into the country from somewhere else. If you are flying in Business or First Class, don’t worry, you will have to refuse food! They love to feed you in the fancy seats!

4. Earplugs/Eye masks – These two things are a must. You will want to sleep at some point on the flight. With drink carts and crying babies, you will need these. I will be investing in noise canceling headphones on this trip as the last time I flew, there was a child screaming bloody murder in the row next to me. Eye masks help when your neighbor decides to read or open the window shade.

5. Entertainment – Most transatlantic flights have some kind of in-flight entertainment. Most of the flights I have been on, it has been in the seat back in front of your seat. I still suggest you bring your own entertainment. Twice on flights the entertainment system either hasn’t worked at all or only worked after they reset it several times. Also, on really long flights you may run out of movies or shows that interest you.

I hope this helps you enjoy your next long flight!