Recently I went home to Taiwan to visit my family and friends for the Lunar New Year. It meant lots of food and merriment (more about that later), and also of course, the long-haul flight!
Flying is something we all love to hate, especially the long ones! It's one of the coolest things to be nonchalantly annoyed about. I mean, it does get pretty intense: the plane constantly smells like food (and babies), you get gassy, and if you're blessed with long legs... well, it'll feel like a curse before the plane reaches cruising altitude!
But it's also pretty amazing. You get to see sunsets like never before, and views from airplanes are always a little bit spectacular...
Yep, that's Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport! Look at the gorgeous sky!
Anyway, there are always things that you wish you brought with you, so here's my list of what I was grateful I remembered/upset I forgot.
1. Ask! Ask for stuff! Most airlines will either provide you with some travelling essentials, or you can ask for them- flight socks, eye shades, ear plugs, and even toothbrushes are often available. I dare you to ask for playing cards too- the tray tables are a bit small to play Solitaire but a hot guy picked up a card I dropped and I whiled away a few more minutes having a nice chat with him.
2. Your USB charger for your phone/tablets. Most large planes today will have a pretty good in-flight entertainment system and also a USB charger. It's not going to turbo-charge your phone or anything, but it's good to have when you are addicted to 1010! (like me).
3. An e-reader. For the book-lover: I really, highly recommend you look into the e-reader. I love a good, long book to get into, but they're so difficult to travel with! The e-reader you can charge while you read (see number 2), and is just excellent for space-saving!
4. An empty water bottle. Help the environment out a little and bring your own water bottle on the plane. Once the seat-belt sign has been turned off you can go to the back of the plane and ask a flight attendant to fill it up for you. Saves you having to use all those tiny plastic cups, and you can have more than one sip of water at a time. Win, win!
5. A super friendly attitude! I know this is a bit cheesy, but omg is it worth it. I'm always extra nice to flight attendants because they have a tough. freakin'. job. And because I was nice to Robert he gave me not one but TWO packs of playing cards. I made sure to make an occasional joke, be quick and efficient in deciding what to eat and drink, and always say a genuine thank you! It really goes a long, long way to having a smoother flight.
All in all, make sure you have some stuff to entertain yourself, and a way to continue doing so by keeping all your devices at a reasonable battery level. Don't forget about the other people on the plane, so please don't have a conversation about your personal hygiene issues at a noise level where everyone in a 7 foot radius can hear you.
In case you didn't know, this below is one of the flight paths to London. It'll take you 12 hours with a crying baby, sleep is not guaranteed (the image isn't going to getting sharper, sorry. What do you want I was on a plane for 12 hours).