Friday, September 19, 2014

Travelling Tips For a Plane Journey

Hello!  In my line of work we do a lot of travel.  Dancers will travel all over the globe for a job, often living far away from our families and friends.  This means making plenty of journeys in a year just to spend time with your relatives as well as potentially going over-seas on tour with the company.  I've passed through quite a few airports and found myself having my own mental travel check list to make the journey more pleasant.  I thought I would share some of these with you in case they might be useful.


I always have a medium sized bag to carry on board.  One that is definitely smaller than the hand baggage restrictions but large enough to fit all the travel comforts I need.  At the moment my oversized Cath Kidston bag is doing the job.  This bag is particularly useful because it is so light.  I always put my luggage in the hold because I don't want to be lugging loads of stuff round the airport and I don't want to be having to worry about whether or not my mini-suitcase is going to be a size issue at the gate.

I used to not bring any cosmetics with me in the cabin because of the hassle of putting them in a plastic bag and then having to get them out at security.  I have since realised that having a few bits and pieces with me is comforting, such as my perfume atomizer for when I feel a bit 'meh' on a long trip.  If you can, bring a small clear freezer bag from home as some airports charge for them.  This also means you don't have to sort your cosmetics stuff out at the airport and can have it ready when you leave.   I will do a separate post on my on board beauty essentials.

Sometimes I will bring a smaller handbag with a shoulder strap with me as well that I can take out of my larger cabin bag to wear around the airport and once I've reached my destination.  I put my purse and valuables in it.  It's good not to have to scramble around in your cabin bag when you want to pay for something at the airport or when you start to continue your journey onward when you arrive.  This bag can go inside the larger bag when you're at the gate to comply with some airlines 'one piece of hand luggage only' rule.

Before you leave home

Think about what you're wearing and make sure it's something that you're going to be comfortable sitting in for long periods of time.  Personally I much prefer to travel in a loose fitting dress made from soft fabric.  I find that the changes in altitude on a flight as well as plane food can make me bloated and uncomfortable in tight jeans.  Also bring something light with you in case it gets cold during the flight.  I like a light knitted cardigan or jumper that you can also easily fold in to your hand luggage if you get too hot wondering around the airport.  I would also sometimes bring a pair of warm fluffy socks in my travel luggage, particularly for long haul flight.

Drink plenty of water so that you don't get dehydrated and pack some snacks for the flight.  It can be much more expensive to buy snacks in the airport so I try to take some with me in my hand luggage.

If you can check in online and choose your seat.  I personally like to do this and make sure I am sitting in an aisle seat.  I feel much less claustrophobic in an aisle seat and I like to know I can get up to use the loo if I need to without clambering over anybody.

Packing your travel essentials

For me this often means a magazine or a book.  A small notebook and a pen.  Chewing gum, some sweets and my i-pod.  I like to make sure I've downloaded something to watch from i-tunes the day before.  The first couple of episodes in a new series I want to start watching, or a classic film you've always wanted to see for example.  If you're planning to sleep an eye mask and some ear plugs are good to have on you.

At the airport

Once you get through security I usually immediately seek out the cheapest place to buy a bottle of water and purchase it to keep on me for the flight.

 If I have time I look for somewhere to have a sit and a nice bite to eat so that I'm not forced to buy the plane food because I'm hungry during the flight.  Even though you have snacks with you it's nice to make sure you've eaten something meal like if your flight is going to be during a meal time and your food is not included, or is and turns out to be unappetising.

If you have time enjoy a nice little sojourn around the airport shops.  If you don't enjoy flying then this can be a nicer part of the experience so I like to make the most of it.  Just make sure you can fit your purchases in to your hand luggage if your flight operator enforces a one piece of hand luggage only rule.  Oh and be prepared to present your boarding pass every time you make a purchase.  This can be where the little handbag comes in useful as you can also pop it in there so you're not scrambling around for it in your hand luggage when you come to pay.

Go to the loo 5 minutes before you have to board if there's one near the gate.  You might be queuing for ages to get on the plane and then needing the loo when you're strapped in for take off.  Likewise try to go to the loo at least 40 minutes before you're scheduled to land so you're not strapped in for the descent needing the loo.

On the plane

Once I've boarded I like to sort my travel essential things out so they're in the pocket at the back of my seat ready for me to use (just don't forget to collect them all when you leave!).  I'll put my coat in the over head locker if I have one and keep my hand luggage under the seat.  Then try to sit back relax and enjoy the trip!  I like to start off with my book/magazine until the seat belt sign has been switched off and then you can enjoy using your electronic devices so music or watching something on my i-pod takes over.  I usually get inspired to write ideas down at some point when I'm sat for hours on the plane which is when the small notebook comes in useful.  Sometimes when I get really bored I'll touch up my make-up.  I am quite an anxious flyer and I find keeping myself pre-occupied and feeling productive helps to distract me from my anxiety.

So these are my tips for travelling.  I hope they have been useful even if some of them might be obvious.  Sometimes I travel so much I forget to do one of them so it's good for me to have this to refer to!

Till next time :)


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