Sofia from the Nature Travels team gives her top tips for making the flight an enjoyable part of your next trip.
It is part of my job to fly a lot and I spend a lot of time at airports and in planes. Over the 17 years I have worked with Nature Travels I have learned how to make this time as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
All it takes is a little advance planning!
Clothes and shoes
Clothes and shoes you are wearing should be comfortable. You don’t need to wear tracksuit trousers, but choose something you’re comfortable in that isn’t too tight.
Also, airports and aircraft can be cold, even in the heat of summer, so I always carry a small blanket/large scarf in my hand luggage. It makes that little snooze on the plane so much more comfortable!
Your shoes should also be comfortable. Major airports are big places and there are often long distances to walk, with at least your hand luggage to carry. So, it helps a lot if your feet are comfortable.
You should also choose trousers that don’t require a belt, so you don’t have to take that off when you go through security.
Talking about security, apart from wearing trousers that don’t require a belt, plan your hand luggage all ready to go through security before you leave home.
Put all your 100ml liquid bottles into a plastic bag and put the bag into an easy accessible outside pocket on your hand luggage.
The same applies for your laptop or tablet – make sure it’s easy to reach.
Even if you travel regularly (or maybe particularly if you travel regularly, as it’s easy to get complacent), take a moment to think carefully about what you have in your hand luggage so you can avoid that “But I don’t have anything…..Oh no!” moment as you see your bag shunted into the “naughty” lane to be checked by a security guard. Are you sure you haven’t accidentally packed an unsuitable liquid container or sharp object?
Anything you need to have in your pockets, put into the pockets of a jacket that you will take off you and send through the security check.
Don’t wear too much jewellery. If you know you have a watch that sets the security system off, put it in your jacket pocket.
Then the only thing left to think about is to make sure your water bottle is empty! It sounds obvious, but it’s so easy to forget and I regularly see travellers trying to gulp down the contents of their water bottle in the queue!
That’s another thing I recommend. I always travel with my own refillable water bottle and all airports have water stations where you can fill up your drinking water. They can sometimes be difficult to find, but ask airport staff or check the information boards.
This is not only an environmental choice, but will also save you a lot of money. Bottles of water are ridiculously expensive at airport shops!
What to do during your journey is something that can be worth planning in advance.
For example, download some films to your phone, prepare some work you can do, try out a new game, play cards, read a new book or listen to an audio book.
Make sure that you have entertainment that will cover both your waiting time and your travel time, plus a bit extra. It will make your travel so much more enjoyable if you put some effort into planning this beforehand – if you’re plane is suddenly delayed by a few hours and the airport wi-fi is slow or you’re close to your data limit for the month, you’ll wish you’d downloaded that movie in advance!
On the way back from your holiday, if you have a photo editing app on your phone, you can spend the time editing your photos and clearing out all the surplus ones.
Some people like to travel with earplugs and an eyemask to be able to shut out their surroundings and maybe sleep a little better while travelling.
I prefer to listen to music rather than wear earplugs, and I always travel with a little hat that I pull down over my eyes rather than a face mask. I can then set the alarm function on my phone to wake me up if I fall asleep waiting for my flight to depart.
Whatever helps you disconnect from the surrounding hustle and bustle at the airport or on the plane, use it.
Things I always pack in my hand luggage
I have a few things I always carry in my hand luggage when travelling:
- Water bottle
That’s it! I hope the tips have been helpful, and I wish you a smooth and enjoyable flight on your next trip!
Sofia from the Nature Travels team