Beginning to adjust……10 Tips for a Long Airplane Journey!

Okay, so sooner or later you knew I would write something that might vaguely resemble a travel post! This is my attempt to enlighten any of you who would like to make (or are simply forced to make) a long distance airplane ride. Here are my ten tips for making the journey easier:

1.) Also 2.) 3.) 4.) and 5.) PACK LIGHT!

How many times have I read this in travel books? Answer: BILLIONS (or at least it seems that way!). How many times have I followed that advice? Answer: ZERO (and that includes this trip!). And for that reason, this tip also cover tips 2, 3, 4, and 5! Obviously just making it one tip is not doing the job! I can’t tell you how important this is. And guess what, whatever you need that you didn’t put in the backpack, you can easily find when you to get to your destination. How do I know this? Because of all the things I packed, the one thing I didn’t pack was shampoo. I know, some of you are wondering how that could have possibly happened, but who cares? It did! No worries though – as soon as I walked in the hostel in Singapore, there was a little shelf with shampoo, toothpaste toothbrushes, etc. for sale.

Instead of heeding this wise advice, I packed too heavy and found myself struggling with my backpack consistently. Going to the restroom in the airport was an ordeal. Managing an overweight backpack (not to mention an overweight body) in the small stalls was frustrating! Going thru security wasn’t a picnic either! The nightmare of all nightmares was tackling the overhead bins on the aircraft. Ladies, don’t assume you’re going to get help with this – I think the men have figured out that if you put on your big girl panties to go travel the world, you damn sure are able to handle your luggage without their help. And of course, I would have been able to handle putting my luggage into the bins if I hadn’t overpacked. Put simply: DON’T OVERPACK. Shame on me!

6.) Drink water. A bottle of water does not consitute “drinking water”. I’m talking enough water to float a boat. Seriously folks, you simply can’t drink too much. Not drinking enough water when taking a long flight can lead to headaches and swollen ankles. How do I know this? Because once again, I didn’t listent to this valuable advice I’ve read dozens of times. I ended up with the headache from hell that lasted well into my first full day in Singapore. My ankles have turned into “cankles”! It’s not pretty folks. However, while you are working on Tip #6, make sure you follow Tip #7 also.

7.) DO NOT (UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES) SELECT A WINDOW SEAT!!!!! I tend to always get window seats so I can see the ground for all 2 minutes of the take-off and about 10 minutes of the landing. I mean really, that is just stupid. Because for the rest of the 14 1/2 hours to Hong Kong, I was stuck next to the window and far, far, far, far away from the aisle that led to the bathroom. The magical aisle that would allow me the opportunity to get up and stretch my legs. I felt like I was in Cell Block D. Don’t do it folks – don’t think that sitting next to the window means you get sleep against the edge of the plane….forget it…you’re not going to sleep that many hours on the flight anyways. How do I know this – you guessed it. I booked the window seat. NEVER, EVER AGAIN! I will give up everything to be near the aisle of freedom!

8.) Release your inner “bubble” syndrome. We all have it – that space that’s mine and only mine. That bubble around us that we don’t want invaded. Forget that luxury on a long flight. Your bubble is going to be compromised over and over again. I sat next to a very pleasant lady from Malaysia on my flight. Bless her heart – she told me all about what to see and where to go in Malaysia. She talked about her time in the U.S. – she was quite lovely. But here’s the deal. She sat in the middle seat next to me and felt 100% comfortable using both armrests, some of my footspace, and to top it all, she was left-handed and with me right-handed, it was a constant clash! She just sort of occuped the seat fully, taking up as much of the room as she needed. I kept praying for some “space” of my own. Forget it, it’s not gonna happen!

9.) Get up and walk. Now, if one follows Tips 6, 7, and 8, this should be a breeze. As stated earlier, I didn’t do this. I didn’t drink enough water so I didn’t feel the need to get up and go to the bathroom. I was in a window seat so the aisle to the bathroom looked as far away as another planet. The lady next to me was occupying so much of my space I couldn’t get past her to find my own. Finally, about 7 hours into the flight, we all did manage to get out of our row and go walk. Trust me folks, 7 hours is way too long.

10.) Take everything in stride. That’s the best tip I can give for a long flight because in the end, attitude is everything! I could have been a little piss ant the whole time I was on that plane. But travel is about learning who we are and what we can handle. It’s about putting on our best smile and enduring things because complaining is not productive. Most of all, it’s about recognizing our mistakes and moving forward with new wisdom. For me, that means accepting the fact that since I’m apparently not ever going to learn Tips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, I’m going to take my swollen ankles and bottle of water down to one of the stores here in Singapore and look at some new luggage!

Wisdom through experience is a wonderful thing!



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