I think back to my first long haul flight to Asia that amounted to a total of 18 airborne hours. I didn't know what to expect as a first-timer.
Most avid travelers are ritualistic in nature and we all have our personal proven magic formulas. For others, you may just not know, like I did many years ago, and want to avoid being the victim.
Each tip will begin with a bad habit and end with a proven bonus tip.
Bad Habit #1 - I am not sleepy, I can’t sleep.
When they turn off the lights sleep people. The flight staff is doing this for a reason. Firstly, it’s to get you acclimated to the time zone you’re travelling to.
Bonus Tip #1 – If you’re in a window seat, close the window shutter, wanna be left alone or avoid chatty people - wear sunglasses or a sleeping mask, and take some melatonin when you board the flight.
Bad Habit #2 – I don’t drink water or I am not thirsty.
Not hydrating 48 hours before and during a flight can wreak havoc on your body. Examples of what happens when you don’t drink water are chapped lips, dry skin, swollen legs, ankles, hands, and feet just like an elephant for 24-48 hours.
Bonus Tip #2 – After you pass through airport security, buy water. Drink whether you like it or not. Coconut water is an excellent last minute hydrator if you forget to juice up in advance. If you are a person who goes to the bathroom a lot or has a child travelling with you, select an aisle seat opposed to window. Your fellow neighbors would greatly appreciate that.
Bad Habit #3 - I am perfectly healthy.
Yea yea – probably the case Dr. Know-it-all, but it could change in a drop of a dime. There’s also a lot of dry and recycled air during a flight especially with a lot of passengers who are coughing and sneezing. You might be lucky and draw the winning ticket and end up sitting next the sickest passenger. Then What?
Bonus Tip #3 – My rule of thumb is I juice up on Vitamin C, 2-3 day prior to a flight. This way, it gives your immune system the extra boost and protection from germs.
Bad Habit #4 – Losing your passport.
Happens to the best of us. Don’t ask, but on two occasions, I ended up dropping my passport at the check-in counter and either forgetting it or it fell out of my passport case. Thankfully, I did get it back both times.
Bonus Tip #4 – In the event of losing your passport or in my case stupidity, which we’re all guilty of, make two copies of your passport before you leave on your trip. Leave one copy at home so someone can retrieve on your behalf, if needed. Take the other copy with you to put in the hotel safe or secure it safely in your locked luggage.
Bad Habit #5 – Never assume your luggage will arrive.
I know – it’s skeptic attitude, but the one chance it happens, it’s always an inconvenience beyond what you can imagine especially if you have a multi-city trip.
Bonus Tip#5 – Always pack 1-2 days worth of clothes in your carry-on luggage.