I love to fly! I love the idea of mid-century Pan Am travel where the stewardesses served up martinis in ups glasses, well done steaks and a pack of cigarettes for dessert. When the Pan Am series aired a few years back they released the stewardesses bags and I have happily scored two of them thanks to eBay. I take them as my carry on and I offer up my assistance to the flight team. (Not really, but in my head I do).
However, we all know that this method of travel no longer exists. Now it is people trying to avoid bag fees and on time departures by cramming bags in the overhead much larger than the limit, crying children who HATE flying and people hopping on board like they are dressed for bed. In the past few years my husband and I have racked up lots of miles by taking multiple trips around the globe. We have been in and out of a lot of airports and endured the long flight times and I thought I’d share a few of my own personal rituals and experiences specifically for those long international flights.
Finding the right seat: When we book flights we make an effort to book the two seats on the side as opposed to that long claustrophobic row in the middle. It’s easier to get up and walk around this way. We flew Atlanta to Tokyo in a row of 3 with a man in the aisle seat who slept, or meditated, with his head pressed against the in-flight entertainment screen the entire 14 hour flight. He also had a broken leg.
Stay hydrated: You hear it time and time again that you should drink water on flights. However, on domestic flights alcohol is $7 minimum and in this day and age of entitlement, whenever we get on an international flight where it’s all free, people drink alcohol like it’s going out of style. On a recent flight where my husband and I were in separate rows, I sat on the runway for an hour with a woman who was in the center seat. She was on the phone with the airline rewards program explaining that she should never sit in the back AND in a middle seat based on the amount of miles she racks up. When the drinks came around she ordered two bottles of white wine. She showed them who’s boss. But I digress, my husband and I have our own little ritual that we always order a beer for the first round and then we’ll drink water and hot tea throughout the remainder of the trip. Or if you want something extra special, get one of these Carry On Cocktail kits. We have one but it’s too cute to use. It comes with everything you need to mix up your own classic cocktail in the sky including a mini bar spoon.
Close the shade and adjust your clock: It’s hard to do but the minute you get on a flight where the time zone is going to change dramatically, you need to start putting yourself on the body clock of your new time zone. Also if you close the shade it will help by closing you off to the outside. It’s like putting yourself in a little capsule (think Planet of the Apes) and waking up in a new world. Of course you can do all of this after you’ve taken your obligatory flight photo that you will #regram later.
Watch movies: This is the best way to pass the time. Have a 14 hour flight? You’ve got 6 movies to watch. I always opt for The Sound of Music because it takes 3 hours. I just have to be careful to not start singing out loud. This is what I like to sing in the clouds: “How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?”
These are a few of my favorite things. Okay, this post has turned into my love affair for The Sound of Music. I’d love to hear what you do to pass the time on flights as well.