Unless you’re a fan of people watching, heading to the airport to catch a flight (and waiting for long periods of time) is not your thing. Between the overpriced food, power hungry personnel and potential to lose that darn checked luggage, there are other places that you’d rather spend your time. While getting over the one and done process of a domestic flight is doable, taking an international flight and facing a stopover (or two) is another story. Cue the tired eyes and increased frustration. To take notes on how to survive a long-distance flight in style, scroll down.
1. Minimize Packing
First thing’s first, the best way to minimize packing and master the process: choose an outfit of the day for each day that you’re away. Forget about the folding, the filling and the stuffing; count on multi-functional wear – including shoes to save space and lighten the load. While it’s usually preferred to have options on the spot, minimal packing is especially beneficial when travelling to more than one place and tackling re-packing on repeat. We always recommend packing the first couple days of outfits in your carry on luggage, just in case there’s a delay on receiving your checked luggage.
2. Organize Your Documents
The fanny pack isn’t only for festival season. Whether purchasing an official travelling document holder to store your passport, identification card and boarding pass or sporting a fanny, choose an easy to reach place to keep everything together. There’s no need to hold up the line while searching and scrambling through your bag. If you’re not into the fanny pack style, or you’re afraid they will count it as an extra bag, go for the thin, hidden under your shirt wallet to hold your passport, credit cards and phone. This will also come in handy when going to a country with known pick-pocketers.
3. Select Your Seat
When it comes to a long-distance or red-eye flight, splurge on selecting a seat in advance. While it might cost a little extra, comfort is key. Be sure to choose your preference (aisle vs. window) and try for additional legroom. The exit row usually has extra leg room as well, for the same price as a regular ticket. Tip: before boarding the plane check with the flight attendant about getting an upgrade. It’s worth a shot!
4. Prepare for Your Stopover
Snack, check. Charger, check. Currency, check.
Whether you have a couple of hours or a half-day to kill, don’t forget to bring the basics. Although screen time is a given, take a break from scrolling by reading a book, listening to music, chatting with others or exploring the surrounding area. Carry a limited amount of money in cash to fill up on munchies and grab a drink.
5. Make a New Friend
Since everyone is in the same position: waiting around and watching the clock, it’s easy to strike up a conversation to pass the time. Before getting chatty with your neighbor, read the crowd. Tip: look for a familiar face (one from your previous flight) or a fellow solo traveler to swap stories with. Be mindful of those plugged in or tuned out. Travelling can be a stressful time for many people; solo time required.