How To Make Your International Flight More Enjoyable

Have you flown on an international flight recently? I remember before my first flight. I thought a flight that could easily be eight or more hours would have comfortable seats and fancy food. I knew the flight costs a lot more. So wouldn’t things be a little more comfy? Wrong!

You will notice the airline is also prompting you to pay for upgrades from economy to seat with more leg room. They even charge for emergency exit seats now, really? It has become a new landscape in the world of flying. I won’t try to list every tip. Some things like food quality, entertainment, Wi-Fi, hot towels and baggage allowance is determined by the airline you fly with. If you feeling lucky visit and try your luck before your flight. If you’re not, here are some of my long haul tips for your next international flight:

Arrive Two Hours Early

On my recent flight, we had a layover in Heathrow Airport. I waited at least 45 mins for my bag to be strip-searched. I have a CPAP and other electronics and apparently it sets off every alarm. So make sure you are ready to for the unexpected delay or secondary screening your not expecting. As they say, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Organize Your Documents

Before your flight make sure you have made copies of your Passport and other necessary documents. Be certain your passport is valid. Some countries will not let you in if your passport will expire within six months from your date of travel. Try to have paper copies of your boarding pass, just in case your phone gives you a problem during your travels. Try to keep things simple. I have a habit of keeping all of our passports, boarding passes in one handy document organizer. It is really a lifesaver when you’re trying to board a plane or even a cruise ship.

Seating Assignments

If you can easily afford business class or above, I highly recommend you use it for an international flight. On my last flight, it would have cost $6K just to upgrade to business class. So if you’re in economy class like me, here are some ideas. You can select a window seat or an aisle seat for some extra room. A neck pillow or even a gel seat pillow could also make your trip more enjoyable. I have not brought these items because it just means more items to pack in my carry on. However, I have wished I had them with me a few hours into a thirteen hour flight.

Peace & Love on Wall of Miami International Airport
Peace & Love on Wall of Miami International Airport

Get Some Sleep

Flights leaving from the United States to Europe are primarily overnight flights. So getting sleep is part of the flight schedule. Once everyone has eaten and settled in, they will turn the lights down for sleepy time. You will soon find yourself surrounded by a plane full of sleeping passengers. You didn’t drink a Red Bull did you? On my first international flight I brought nothing to help me sleep. I thought I would have no problems. In brief, I will not do that again. So I have tried taking Melatonin and on my last trip I tried Vicks ZzzQuil. The ZzzQuil worked well, and I was very productive the next day compared to past flights. So I will use it again. The Melatonin also worked well, but the ZzzQuil had an extra punch to help me get some rest with all the distractions on a plane.

Call Your Bank Before Traveling

I admittedly did this for the first time this year. Apparently, it is a good idea. They told me that one location I would visit, would automatically disabled my banks debit card. It was the city I had a three-hour layover in. The bank was super helpful and I’m glad the bank and credit card companies are so protective of my hard earned money. In the city that concerned by bank, I used a Credit Card just to be safe.

Carry-On Worries

After a few international flights under my belt, I’m seriously considering not bringing a carry-on anymore. If you must, then let me share my thoughts. If you have a CPAP or Laptop, they will force you to take it out and put them in separate bins. It got so bad on my last flight I packed the CPAP in my checked luggage and wrapped it in sweaters with no problems. I’m considering doing this again on future flights. The Laptop I bought was not big, but the lady sitting in front of me put her seat all the way back and I could NOT use the laptop. I also had my full sized shampoo and toothpaste confiscated in Tampa by the TSA. Apparently you can only bring small travel size of these items or any other liquid. While I was waiting 45 mins in Heathrow, I decided I would pack no liquids or toothpaste in my carry-on anymore either. A young girl had been allowed to bring items through from the TSA but, London had its own restrictions. So just keep it simple. If you bring these items be sure you know the limits everywhere you go. You will go through TSA like screenings in almost every airport.

Travel Can Be Fun

International travel can be fun and challenging. I hope some of my advice can make your trip a little easier. Be sure to check if you will need a Visa during your trip. I have always been taking cruises and have not had to. Don’t stress about the trip, try to enjoy the entire experience. One of my recent delights was landing in London for the first time. It was fun to be surrounded by people all speaking the Queen’s English. During a brief bus ride between terminals two men were talking about their weekend plans. It was great to hear them talk about their plans in thick British Accents. I have found it is little moments like this that I treasure. I once got lost at a Christmas Market at the Thurn and Taxis Palace in Germany. Well, After running through rain filled streets and christmas markets. We asked a gentleman for directions and the man replied in an accent smiling at us, “You will find your Stone Bridge over there”. It was right out of a movie scene. We will never forget the trip or this moment. We had fun! Even if we were really worried for those moments.

Lastly, You can find the best casino online , oops wrong article. Here is a list of more resources to help you plan your international flight and trip:

Safe Travels!

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John Shallo
John Shallo
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.

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