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Psst … Got A Pen?

The Flight Side
Psst … Got A Pen?

Be sure to check out these insider tips so that you’re well prepared and stay safe while you go from where you are to where you want to be

“I absolutely HATE going on holidays!” said no one ever. Yes, we all crave vacations from time to time, that well-deserved break from the daily grind. And year-ends are certainly a popular time for friends and family to escape the dreary monotony of the ‘hamster wheel’ and create lasting memories with each other whilst detoxing the mind, body and spirit.

While the destination is obviously the ‘main event’, the process of getting there – the journey – holds a certain kind of thrill as well, from preparing for your holiday, packing your luggage to checking in at the airport and savouring the glory of Mother Nature from the heavens.

Here are some expert tips on making that journey the sweetest possible ride instead of a stain on your vault of holiday memoirs.

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The Tray Table

Do yourself a huge favour and buy a disposable placemat. Whatever for? Well, passengers do “everything from diaper changes to clipping their nails on them” (according to an airhostess). Ewww! Unless you don’t mind having your in-flight meals on someone else’s foot rest or diaper holder, it’s highly recommended that you get your own placemats or disinfect the tray table before use.

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Four, Not Two

Before buying that suitcase, make sure it is fitted with four wheels instead of two so that you can spin the bag in a circle in tight places (like the centre of the aisle) and push it in front of you, which is heckuva lot easier than dragging it behind you, where it catches on every corner and knock on strangers’ knees.

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Pack A Pen

If you’re going to be crossing country borders, then make sure to bring a pen as you’re likely going to need to fill out a customs form. “But I can always ask the flight attendant, right?” You could, but remember – the flight crew doesn’t have enough writing utensils for the entire plane. Don’t count on there being an ample amount when you land either. Your fellow travellers are probably banking on the same thing, so instead of having to delay your vacation because you’re waiting in line to use a pen, bring your own!

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Bring Your Own Water

You can’t get through security checkpoints at the airport carrying a bottle of water, but you can tote along an empty one. Why? So you can fill it up at a water cooler along the boarding gates or buy bottled water at a convenient store. The water on the airplane – which is also used to make your coffee and tea – is probably not as clean as you think (it comes from the plane’s water tank, which is located under the plane, and it probably isn’t regularly checked or cleaned). So better to be safe than sorry – bring your own water or stick to bottled water.

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Keep Your Shoes On!

First of all, you’re not the ONLY passenger on the aircraft, so don’t ever subject another human being to the horrid stench of your feet! Second, never ever walk around barefoot – or even in your socks. The restrooms are used by a sea of people each day, and not everyone has good aim, so the floor of the plane is not something you want to step on without shoes – unless you’re a germ-loving freak of nature.

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Earphones, Blankets & Pillows

Long flights are great for catching up on blockbusters that you’ve missed; however that’s not the only thing you’ll catch. Who knows how often earphones, blankets and pillows are replaced after every use. You don’t want to end up catching someone’s earwax as you finally enjoy that amazing high-octane car chase in ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ mid-air, do you. Play it safe, bring your own.

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Mind Your Manners

Flying can be an ordeal for some, especially if you’re not a fan of flying or have to endure a long flight. Naturally you’re exhausted and stressed, and your neck and shoulders are killing you! But still, it wouldn’t hurt to be nice to each person you encounter on your way to your destination – because no matter what happens you’ll feel a lot better about yourself and your trip if you treat your fellow humans with respect and kindness.


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Photos © iStock by Getty Images

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