Monday, 13 August 2018

How to: fly (in a plane, anyway).

I have flown a lot in my life; I'm very fortunate in that the Latter parents have always been keen travellers and I have some very adventurous friends – some of whom live permanently abroad. Growing up with these people around me could be why I crave and adore taking trips here and there, or maybe it was something in me anyway that's been nurtured and encouraged appropriately? Who even knows! 

Before I start to psychoanalyse myself (one of my favourite forms of torture), I'll get to the point of this post. It's a little different to my usual stuff (i.e. intense health stories, ridiculous anecdotes...and fun bookish geek-outs) but I wanted to share some tips on flying! 


(Photo: Erin Veness)

Wear socks.

Get yourself some special compression stockings to wear, at least during take off and landing. I have a whole box of these bad boys (some from long haul flights, some from hospital) and cannot recommend them enough for stopping you getting light-headed (see also: blood clots) when you're in the air. 


Wear shoes.

...to the toilet. No, seriously. People are gross, especially in a confined space flying a few thousand miles off the ground, and I cannot count the amount of times I've sleepily walked down the aisle to the loo – barefoot or in my sexy compressing stockings - and felt a definite warm wetness under my toes when I sit down to do my business. Yep. 


Take a pillow. 

Legit, you can take a pillow as hand luggage. You don't have to stuff it in a tote, or anything! Just stick it under your arm, shrug on your rucksack and boldly walk through security. It's 100% permitted, don't let anyone tell you otherwise – and you may even get a nod of respect from the stewards as you board, for your commitment to comfort. 


More than one distraction. 

I know I'm one of a lucky few who don't get scared when they fly (apart from take off, because thundering down the runway is never pleasant) but I can often get restless and bored. Friends who get scared have told me they have to distract themselves constantly, to forget they're in the sky, and that's the case for boredom, too. 

I take two books, at least (both have to be very different; maybe one novel and one non-fic?), a fully-charged iPod (yes, I'm old fashioned now) sometimes with a couple of new albums on it just for this trip (which will then become this holiday's soundtrack forever more), and also a phone with several different podcasts pre-downloaded (for podcast recs, see this post and plz feel free to share your favourites in comments!). I also throw a notebook and pen in my bag, in case I get some #inspo while flying and need to scribble important ideas down - or y'know, I think of something that could be a funny tweet when I land. 

And obviously when I went to Australia for Christmas last year, I came to appreciate my mini laptop and its Netflix app; I raced through almost the whole first series of 'Broadchurch' on a domestic flight, and felt sorry for the other passengers who had to watch me cry numerous times between Melbourne and Gold Coast. 


(Photo: Erin Veness)


Move around. 

Get up from your seat (when you're allowed) and have a walk through the plane. Even just stand up for a bit - stretch your legs and wake yourself up. I went a bit crazy on my long haul into Australia last November and eventually climbed over the sleeping passengers beside me, stuck my iPod in and full-on danced for a good half hour or so at the back of the cabin. Kills time, keeps energy up (or knackers you out, ready for a tactical nap, either way you win) and also gives you the chance to look around for better seats to swap to... 

Oh, and here's a quick general airport tip to round this off: get to your gate IMMEDIATELY. 

Don't sit around drinking your coffee on the ugly but weirdly comfy seats in Departures, or waste time browsing WHSmith for some trashy mags or scoping out the deals in Duty Free (lol, there are none these days anyway!) - as soon as your gate number flashes up on the board, you get up and go go go. Trust me, I've seen a lot of naive travellers running through the terminal, screaming at each other for taking too long in Jamie's Italian, pink boas and penis straws flying out behind them, to know that it's not worth it. Be a nerd and get there early. 
Bonus: you'll get your pick of seats at the gate, and can make sure you're right near the entrance to the plane and won't be queuing! 

For those of you who do get nervous when flying, maybe watch Lex Croucher's video about her relaxing tactics. 
Have I missed anything? Are there any more tips and tricks I need to add to my list? I’m hoping to build up the travel content on this blog in the next few months, so any help is appreciated. Comment below, or tweet me
Safe travels! 

1 comment

  1. Thanks for a great article! Taking a pillow as hand luggage is really a good idea! You can't even image how traveling with a newborn on a plane may change your perception of life :))) There are a lot of things I wished I had known earlier.

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