Pre-flight planning. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail…. to enjoy your journey.
Tomorrow I fly to my homeland after almost 4 glorious years away. Fortunately, I am only going for 1 week and then hopefully I won’t go back again for another 4 years. Anyway, with that in mind I figured it would be a good time to remind myself, and by extension, you, what to do before getting on that big metal can with wings. Below you’ll find some of the best habits to get in to as a frequent flyer. Hopefully, these will save you time, effort and potentially, any grief. These won’t apply to all flights of course. Somethings you will already know, at least, you should and somethings you won’t, well, maybe. Anyway, without further ado, Digital Nomad Jobs presents *drum-roll*
tom’s tremendously-top tips to tolerant travel.
ONE. Know where you’re going.
I know where I am going, I lived there for 27 years, but I still need to brush up on a few things. The money is now plastic and angular, the buses have changed and it is now
a breeding ground for hatred on its way out of the EU. Fortunately, the weather is still awful, the price of pints astronomical and the queues obscene. So not everything is new. Make sure you know all that you can know before you land, especially if you are not a native speaker. Research connections, public transport, currency rates, the weather, emergency contacts (better safe than sorry), how to get to your accommodation and anything else dull like that you can think of. The last thing you want to do is arrive unprepared, spend a fortune on an unlicensed taxi and end up the wrong side of town wearing a pair of shorts in a blizzard. I believe that’s called ‘anti-fun’.
two. Make sure you have the right papers.
Ah yes, the story. One time when we lived in Budapest my fellow digital nomad had a flight booked to a neighbouring country. She got up early, left for the airport, got to the check-in desk, flipped open the passport and saw my face staring back at her. That wasn’t a good day for her. A mad dash back to the flat ensued where I was asleep, needless to say, she missed her flight. Prior engagements meant she had to get where she was going that day and ended up on an overnight, 8-hour odyssey via a bus. You probably don’t want to do that. Check your papers. Make sure you have the right boarding card, passport and any visas you might need. No-one wants a night in the gulag.
THREE. know how strict your plane is.
Before you pack have a look at your flight carriers baggage policy. It’s quite soul destroying getting to the check-in desk and realising you have over packed. Not only do you have to either re-pack, overpay or throw away some of your stuff, you also look like a massive berk. Various airlines may also have different regulations regarding what you can and cannot take on a plane. You would be wise to clue up on those. Ditto when it comes to airports.
Remember. You can’t take your own bottle of water through security because it is a risk but you can buy an overpriced bottle on the other side. That’s how they look out for you!
four. now you know. pack your bag.
Since you’ve learnt what the
money grabbing ba*tards airline will and won’t let you take and how much of it you can bring you can pack your bag. I have detailed my ‘one stop, short hop’ packing list before. This is a slightly longer trip but the principle is the same. Whatever you decide to take, make sure you have enough clean undergarments. That’s key! I like to travel light, I pack the essentials and then any extra room is either saved as a ‘my God, I’m great at packing, look at all that extra room’ self-indulgence or else is filled with some books, maybe a bit of food. Each to their own when it comes to it though eh?! If you do have extra room, filling it with some food is a good idea. Airports and aeroplanes are massive cash suck-holes. £6 for a pint?! They’ve got you by the plums.
five. flight fashionista.
Decide on what you are wearing for the flight. Comfort is king/queen/nonbinary monarchal figure but you also want to look pretty good! Tomorrow, I leave a beautifully sunny climate to fly into sleet, snow and sadness. I have to dress accordingly. Jeans, t-shirt, shirt and coat. My classic (outdated) style. I might look a bit daft on 14:18 from Lagos to Faro but I’ll look quite legendary rolling out of East Midlands airport at 22:10 in the freezing cold (by which point I’ll have added gloves and a hat). Ideally, you want clothes you are comfortable in and that are ‘security friendly’. Anything big and metal will need to come off at the scanners. Bear that in mind when dressing for the occasion. Your New Rocks and punk jacket might be better off in your bag.
six. that’s entertainment.
I need to have things with me to keep me sane when travelling. Air travel is quite possibly the dullest (and terrifying) form of transport ever created. At least the big companies used to, and probably still do, attempt to polish the turd that is flying. You used to get food and films and onboard radio stations. Nowadays the budget airlines, whilst incredibly cheap, seem to do their best to put you off. The planes are full and always either too hot or too cold, the booze is expensive, there’s nothing to see and you can hardly move. It’s the one place where I, personally, need an escape to another world. Make sure your electronic devices are fully charged, your headphones work, you’ve packed your book or whatever it is you do on a plane. Failing that, bang a few Xanax down you and zone out for the duration?
seven. plan your route.
Tomorrow I get the train, then I get the bus, then I arrive at the airport, easy. It’s easy because I took the time to plan my route. I have 1 ‘A’ plan and 2 fall back options should the ‘A’ plan not work out (yes, I am over cautious). Take 5 minutes to plan your journey and help take any ‘land’ travel stress out of your air travel adventure.
eight. flight health.
You can read more about nomad health at this link, for now though, you might want to think about staying healthy at the airport and on the plane. Where people go, unclean people go. That’s a fact. I, for one, could do without catching other peoples diseases, call me pretentious if you will but that’s my bag. To avoid the plague of the great unwashed follow some simple steps and (hopefully) keep the germs away.
*Sleep well. A rested body is a more disease resistant body.
*Wear socks. If you have to lose the shoes at security so do other people.
*Hand sanitise. Before, during, after, all the time. Sanitise.
*Stay hydrated. Especially on the plane.
*Know your enemy. Tray tables, toilets, seats, in-flight magazines = germs.
*Give yourself a vitamin C boost. Eat an orange. Or a lemon if your hardcore.
nine. frankie say relax.
If all else fails the best thing you can do is keep your calm and get on with it. It’ll all be OK on the other side so just sit back, close your eyes and think of England/somewhere.