I didn’t die of boredom and discomfort from three different flights: 2 for 11 hours each, then another 2 hours on my recent trip to Thailand. That last leg of two hours was a piece of cake– what? we’re here? already? you want me to get off the plane, now? I was just getting comfortable!
BE PREPARED PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY
Honestly, I was a bit nervous flying alone without my usual partners in crime. I arrived to the airport with enough time to spare. security was totally painless as I made sure I had everything they want out, out ahead of time – like the laptop, shoes, sweater, liquids in a Ziploc etc. I see so many people struggling to take things out right when they get to the security point. That is not the time to do it. It is inefficient and keeps everyone waiting in line. Prep it at home physically and mentally before you get to the airport.
Oh and by the way, don’t clog up the line if your seat is in row 10. You are probably not getting on that plane on an international flight with those in row 46-56 unless you are disabled or has a small child and/or they don’t care. Just get out of the way already!
CHOOSE COMFORT FOR YOU ARE NOT GOING ON A FASHION SHOW
I would recommend traveling with crocks or similar slip on shoes so you can slip in and out of them during security and in-flight. I saw many women in high heels and boots. Are you serious?? Woman, you are traveling on 2- 11 hr long flights- who cares about your fancy jewelry, fancy boots and skin-tight jeans! NOT FOR ME! I like comfort while I am traveling. Do yourself a favor ladies, don’t be a target, wear less fancy stuff if you can help it for security and comfort. I also saw men in business suites– why are you torturing yourself, 11 hours of discomfort, dude, in my humble opinion!
Though it was very cold when I left, I did not bring the jacket with me. I left it in the car because ,well truth is, I will not need it at my final destination in Thailand. Instead, I brought my Indian Wrap (the thicker kind more like a thin blanket) that can serve multiple purposes. I used that as a blanket on the plane and as a blanket here in the guest house. It is not bulky like a jacket and it came in very handy when we were in Moscow. We had to get off the plane and check back into the same plane with a different crew in Moscow. It was snowing and in the single digit of 9F. (And let me just add that my transit in Moscow was probably the closest I will ever get to Russia. I liked it though because I am fascinated by the Russian written language).
Since I knew comfort is important to me during flight and when I have to move about during transits and layovers, I made sure I was dressed comfortably. So I wore my valvety pants (no belts necessary) that kept me warm and comfy during the flight. I brought a pair of cotton crops in my backpack, which I changed into when I arrived to Thailand as it was in the 90’s by 11 am. Took off my socks, threw them in the backpack and waalaaa ready for Thailand weather.
TEACH THE KIDDOS EARLY
For my daughter we usually have a DS, her favorite fluffy stuffed animal the smaller the better, and comfortable clothes like knit (no jeans or fancy clothing) and shoes like crocks. If you plan to travel a lot it is better your kids learn early about traveling light and comfortable early on. Movies, music on long flights are the way to go for us and Emma loves them. She loves having authority and control over the remote! We usually have our own laptops so if the flight is too short and they don’t offer anything for children during a short flight, it’s a backup!
ESSENTIALS VS. NON ESSENTIALS
I kept all electronics c lose with me in my backpack and all important documents in my all purpose purse. I usually make a copy of my passport and place it in my luggage (recommended highly, always have a copy of your passport in your luggage- I know it is illegal to copy, but guest houses/hostels, motor bike/car rentals do it all the time while we’re traveling!) along with things like visas apps for Burma in case I decide to go, a set of passport photos, maps I may need later, pre-printed labels to send postcards whenever I feel like it. Basically what I don’t need immediately while traveling, I pack it in the luggage and lock it. Otherwise, I know I end up with a very heavy backpack and realize later that things I thought I would need I really didn’t will be in that backpack for the next 24 hrs or however long it turns out to be.
## That physical passport copy saved me a lot of chaos and problems while crossing a border in Asia.