We arrived back in Canada yesterday and we had the smoothest flight ever with WestJet. The stewardesses were very funny, friendly and helpful. More than any other airline I reckon. Besides the slight change in temperature from 30 Celsius (87 Fahrenheit) to – 5 Celsius (23 Fahrenheit!) and snow everywhere in Ottawa, we are okay. Also, we are all slowly loosing our awesome suntan. Damn! I saw many hotel guest totally covered with sun-protection swimwear. There is just so much out there. However, we don’t have any of these fancy thingies. I used sun lotion; my son had a bandana on most of the time and we were fine. Just a tiny sunburn for me – I guess I never learn. In this post I would love to share a couple of tips and tricks on how to have a smoother, stress-free plane ride. My family and I basically live on planes and I have some experience by now.
What seemed like a good flight schedule is when I fly from JFK to Frankfurt and take the latest flight possible. I leave the US at around 9pm – be on the plane for 8+hours and (with the 6 + hours time change) arrive between 10 am and 11am in Germany. So you take off in your country, try to sleep on the plane and rise and shine at your destination. Sounds awesome, right? Well, this works well in theory or if you are traveling without children and be able to sleep on the plane. The last flight to Frankfurt was a disaster and my son was crying a lot. Now with my new little Gravol-trick, it should be a bit better. Here, my son slept for about 1 1/2 hours straight on my sweater as a pillow. Sweet!
However, keep in mind that your child will not sleep the entire 8 hours. There is just so much going on. Dinner and drinks will be served, the light is still on and so and so. So from my experience, this is actually the hardest flight to take – definitely physically. Plus, if you stayed up the entire flight you will be jet-legged for sure and exhausted! If you fly with kids, definitely try to book an early flight, if possible and arrive in the afternoon or early evening.
Here a some other tips I would like to share:
- Make sure to pack some cream or moisturizer in your carry-on. Also take a lip balm. My face tends to get very dry on the plane. Before you get off the plane, make sure to wash your face and apply a cream again. You will feel instantly refreshed. It is important to keep your skin hydrated.
- Traveling alone or with my son, I always have snacks on me. Usually healthier ones like apples, almonds or pretzels.
- Make sure to take a large scarf, hooded sweater and wear comfortable clothing – speaking nothing too tight, headphones (headphones for your kids!), painkillers (ear pressure, headaches etc.) and ear plugs. Don’t forget your phone charger and make sure you have downloaded enough Peppa Pig Episodes for your kids. Or whatever they are into. It just so happened that there were no touchscreen monitors on our last plane. The key here is, make is as comfortable as possible for yourself and your children. Wear comfortable shoes or bring warm socks and take off your shoes. On my last flight I saw a woman wearing high-heels before, during and after the flight! How uncomfortable can something possibly be? Are you allowed on the emergency slide with high heels? 🙂
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I try to stay away from caffeinated drinks and alcohol on the plane. However, I have the occasional glass of wine with my meal but afterwards I can just wait for my skin to start itching because it dries out. Also make sure you have enough to drink for your children.
- It is important to move around a bit. Walk up and down the aisles, go to the toilet so your blood can circulate. If you travel with children you will most certainly move anyway. If you are on a long flight you don’t want to end up with deep vein thrombosis while you sit the entire time in this seat with usually no leg-room. Stretch your legs, move your toes and do stand up every hour or so. I also massage my neck a lot.
I hope these tips help you and make your flight smoother. I have written a post on how to survive a plane ride with kids. Read it here if you would like. And you better listen to “German” stewardesses throughout the safety instructions! 😀
Thank you for reading my blog and have a safe flight!