10 Tips to Have an Enjoyable International Flight Experience

Taking an international trip can be daunting. You’re out of your elements, out of your country and more than likely, you’re fighting some serious jet lag. To make the most of your trip, from takeoff to landing, use these tips after scoring a cheap flight.

1.     Check in online. Even if bags need to be checked before boarding a flight, it is a good idea to check in online prior to arriving at the airport. Most airlines allow passengers to check in 24 hours before takeoff. Some airlines also allow passengers to choose their seat during the online check-in process, which is usually first come, first serve. Additionally, checking in online speeds up the entire process as passengers will only have to check baggage and show ID before heading to security.

How Early Do I Actually Need to Arrive at the Airport?

2.     Allow plenty of time. Take all details into account before deciding on departure time including the amount of time needed to get to the airport – drive time, parking and how long it takes to get to the terminal from the parking lot. When traveling internationally, the check in and baggage check process can take longer than when flying domestically. Check your airlines website before you travel to get their recommendation on how far in advance to arrive at the airport prior to departure time.

3.     Distinguishable luggage. When checking bags for a flight, be sure to remove any tags from previous flights as it may cause confusion that could cause delay on delivering the bag upon arrival. To easily identify a bag, place a sticker or ribbon on each checked bag. Be sure to inspect all luggage before leaving the airport because if anything is broken, the damages can be claimed.

International Travel Accessories 

4.     Drink lots of water. Flying has been scientifically proven to dehydrate passengers, as the humidity is extremely low. A person?s comfort zone is usually around 50 percent humidity. Air in an airline cabin can fall as low as 1 percent especially on long flights. Drink water before, during and after a flight.

5.     Avoid sugar and caffeine. Sugar and caffeine bring on a feeling of anxiousness and nervousness. Especially before a long international flight, try a cup of non-caffeinated tea or a glass of wine to calm any nerves before takeoff.

How to Keep from Drying Out on a Plane

6.     Noise-canceling earplugs or headphones. The vibrations and loud hum heard during a flight is normal, but this type of noise does cause stress especially on long flights. Passengers can reduce this stress by bringing along earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. These products will reduce stress levels and help passengers sleep easier.

7.     Educate yourself. Flying makes many people nervous, especially when there is turbulence. To calm these nerves, we recommend passengers educate themselves on what causes turbulence, how the plane is built and the take off and landing process. By doing research, passengers will discover that planes are built to withstand the forces of nature even during extreme turbulence.

8.     Ask for a seat close to the front of the aircraft. Passengers always feel more turbulence when they are sitting in the back of the aircraft so ask for a seat up front to experience a smoother ride. If you are looking for additional room, aisle seats provide some additional space compared to window and middle seats.

When to Turn Off Your Electronic Devices

9.     Bring entertainment. Flying is much more enjoyable with a good book, magazine or puzzle to keep passengers entertained. Especially on long haul flights, good entertainment will help keep passengers occupied and help the time fly by. For budget conscious travelers, purchase entertainment prior to the trip as it becomes much more expensive at airports.

10.  Wear layers. Cabin temperature can change quickly from warm to cool. Be sure to bring a jacket or sweatshirt and socks if you are wearing sandals.


About the author

Ciera Dobecki is with FortyThree PR. Follow her on Twitter.


Published: June 4, 2012