Just A Journey, Or A Valued Part Of Your Trip?

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Of all the different ways to travel, flying is probably most people’s least favorite. It’s easy to see why. By the time you stumble off the plane you’ll feel bedraggled, congested, and far from your best. This is often the case no matter whether your flight was ten hours or two hours. It’s just not a fantastic way to travel.

What’s more, this transport method often seems the most detached of all the other options. Hopping on a boat, for instance, feels like part of the trip, as does taking to the road. Who doesn’t love a classic road trip? But, flights? Nah. Perhaps due to the passive nature of sitting back and waiting, these rarely feel like part of your journey at all. Most times, you won’t even be able to see anything through the layer of fog outside your window. As such, flights fast become an unpleasant inconvenience most of us feel we have to get past.

But, given that flights are necessary for many destinations, it might be time to change the way you approach them. Aren’t you tired of starting your vacations on such terrible footing? Well, then; read on to find out how you can improve things next time around.

Treat yourself if you can

There are few better ways to make your flight part of your vacation than to upgrade your tickets. Admittedly, this may not be an option for those of us traveling on a budget. But, if you can afford to do it, it may be worth upgrading from sardine class. If money isn’t an issue, you could even search ‘how much does a charter flight cost’ to provide yourself with maximum comfort. This is especially worthwhile on a long-haul flight where you’re going to need sleep. Anyone’s who’s tried to get a full night’s sleep in an aisle seat on a budget ticket will know that it isn’t possible. But, upgrades come complete with more legroom, reclining chairs, and an added level of peace. If you’re struggling to justify the expense, you could just take this option on the way out. Flights back are less important because they’re a winding down experience. You don’t need to feel fresh when you get home. But, getting there is a whole different kettle of fish.

Get to the airport in plenty of time

Let’s be honest; most of us don’t give our flights any chance. We’re flustered before we’ve even left the airport. What with turning up just in time for baggage drop, and rushing through security, you’re lucky to get to the boarding gate with a minute to spare. But, you can start your flights right by arriving earlier. The recommended amount is two hours before boarding starts, but nothing’s stopping you making that three or more. Most airports have restaurants and bars you could unwind in. This will give you time to de-stress after security debacles, and get your head in the holiday game. After all, most of us don’t settle into the idea of going away until we’re looking at planes on a runway. Bear in mind that you need to be aware of airport prices if you do intend to eat. Markups are often pretty high. Prepare for that to avoid freaking out when you don’t have enough money in your wallet. But, think of this as a pre-flight treat. This also has the benefit of ensuring you get a good meal inside you before jetting off, and that can make a huge difference. Plus, you can then sit back and get into the vacation mood without worry.

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Opt for an in-flight meal

While we’re on the eating theme, it’s also worth opting for an in-flight meal if that’s an option for you. Again, if you want to save pennies, do this on the way out but not the way back. Even if you don’t love the idea of plane food, this could be worth your while. It’s amazing how much a meal can break down your flight. Waiting for the food cart, eating, and then clearing can all take a decent chunk of time. And, that could help to stop those hours dragging. On top of which, the quality of food on offer may well surprise you. Many airlines now offer top quality grub which is sure to put a smile on your face if the flight is getting you down.

The window seat trick

If at all possible, book yourself into the window seat. As we’ve already mentioned, there isn’t always a guarantee of seeing anything much. But, if you’re lucky enough to fly on a clear day, you may still get the chance to spy some spectacular sights. This may not be as up close and personal as a road or boat trip, but it’s better than not seeing anything. Some flights even offer a screen at the front of the cabin which lets you know what you’re flying over at all times. If not, you could always take a map along and turn the process into a guessing game. Either way, being able to see at least some of the destinations you’re passing may remove the passivity often in place during a flight. And, that could help your flight feel much more a part of your trip.

Use the time to plan your trip

There’s every chance you’ve been planning your trip itinerary for months by the time you get on that flight. But, it’s worth saving as much as you can for the flight itself. This is a fantastic way to make the experience feel like a valuable part of your trip. It’s also amazing how fast the time will fly when you’ve got your head in all the wonderful things you plan to do. That’s not to say that you need to get on the plane with no idea of what interests you at all. Obviously, you’ll need to book some excursions in advance. As such, you may well need to have a basic outline before you jet off. But, leave as much as you can until you’re on the flight. With a bit of luck, this will ensure you get off the plane raring to go, rather than already feeling like you’ve had enough.

Take varied entertainment

Many of us also make the mistake of only taking along one form of entertainment to see us through on a flight. But, though that long book seemed like a good idea, you’re sure to get sick of reading around the three-hour mark. Then what are you going to do for the remaining three hours ahead of you? To ensure this doesn’t happen, take along a variety of entertainment. Then, you can change what you do for each hour or so and stop anything from getting sickly. This continual change can also help time fly. After all, you only have to settle for six activities, and then your flight will be done and dusted! One option would be to take a variety of reading materials. Read a magazine for one hour, a fiction for another, and non-fiction for another. But, even this could get a little sickly. So, mix it up even more. Take along some coloring and get stuck into that for an hour. Listen to music, or switch to an audiobook to fill another hour. If you’re traveling with someone, you could even take along some cards and play games for an hour. Whatever you choose, remember that variety is the spice of flight.

 

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Mark Miller on a Scottish bridge
Mark Miller

Extreme travel is the name of my game and I love to get that adrenaline pumping. Blogging and blagging my way across the world one country at a time... come join me!

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