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EsqLady May 3rd, 2006 07:56 AM

LONG flight...
I'll be taking my first trans Atlantic flight...heading to Venice. Any travel tips? I have three stops. I leave Sacramento, CA, stop in Chicago, then to Milan, then, finally, to Venice. I've not taking a trip this long since I was 8 years old (I'm 40). Any tips would be appreciated.

tcreath May 3rd, 2006 08:05 AM

I feel your pain. I live in St. Louis and often have to do many stops, usually one on the east coast and one in Europe before I reach my destination, and I hate it!

My advice is to dress comfortably, drink lots of water and try to get some sleep. Easier said than done, I'm sure. I usually take Ambien, prescribed by my doctor only when I travel overseas, but most people have their own opinion on what works to help you sleep. Otherwise, just take it all in stride...I'm sure Venice will be more than worth the trouble.


AngelaS May 3rd, 2006 08:07 AM

I agree - stay hydrated, wear comfy clothes. And definitely bring good reading material and/or music - anything to help the time fly by.

eedwards May 3rd, 2006 08:09 AM

I always freeze a 20 ounce bottle of water, put it in a zip loc and carry it on with me. After 2 hours in the airport it will start defrosting then I have water when I get on the plane and don't have to wait for the beverage service. I carry trail mix for a snack. What I don't eat on the plane makes for late night snacks in hotels. I get up often and walk around. It helps keep me from hurting so bad the next day. If you are able to sleep that's great. If you have any back or knee problems the Therma Care heat wraps are great. I put one on my back on a trip to Florence, and it stayed warm for 10 hours.

Statia May 3rd, 2006 08:11 AM

Also be sure to get up and walk/stretch often.

Margaretlb May 3rd, 2006 09:02 AM

And wear a light blouse but bring a sweater. Depending on the flight, it can be cold or very warm.

missypie May 3rd, 2006 09:16 AM

Bring a flashlight or booklight just in case. A friend of mine went to Buenos Aires. On the way back, the passenger lights on the plane didn't work, so she couldn't read the whole long flight. (And this was even in 1st class.)

callalilli May 3rd, 2006 09:23 AM

oh missypie.. i never would have thought of that.. but that would drive me crazy if i couldnt read! thanks!

Maire May 3rd, 2006 09:24 AM

Good idea - flashlight/booklite will definitely be in my carry-on. I would go crazy if I had to sit for hours without reading.

janisj May 3rd, 2006 09:25 AM

Sleep as much as you can. Get up and walk when you can (but nowadays congregating in the aisles or near the galleys is prohibited - used to be able to stand/stretch and chat w/ folks at the back of the cabin)

Drink as much water as you can. Avoid caffeine (or cut back on it anyway). Have maybe one glass of wine w/ dinner or a mixed drink - but not too much since it can make dehydration and jet lag worse.

Which airline are you flying - some provide eyeshades but AA and several other US carriers don't. So take a pair - it really helps w/ the sleep. Also a good pair of headphone/earbuds is useful. The ones provided by the airlines are chintzy and on the domestic legs at least you have to pay for them.

Again - depending on which airline, you might want an inflatable neck pillow. AA and some others have adjustable neck rests that work well but many people prefer their own travel neck pillow.

logos999 May 3rd, 2006 09:33 AM

>but nowadays congregating in the aisles or near the galleys is prohibited
Recently on my Condor - Flight to the US.
"Congregating near the galleys is prohibited because this flight crosses US airspace. Congregate as much as you like, we'll tell you when there are too many people standing :-)". Everybody smiled.. This seems to be linked only to flights to/from the US only.

wally34949 May 3rd, 2006 09:56 AM

Actually, that is kind of a short flight. Trying flying from Miami to Sydney VIA London, or South Africa. But anyway, bring water as most airlines still feed you on international flights. If you can't sleep, watch a movie. Read a good book, and if you are flying on a U.S. airline, bring those $5 bills so you can have wine with dinner.

wally34949 May 3rd, 2006 09:56 AM

You can always stand up in the isle by your seat. Try to get a seat next to the isle.

BlueSwimmer May 3rd, 2006 11:05 AM

I bring slipper socks and a pashmina so that I can be cozy. I also keep my travel toothbrush and mini toothpaste in my purse so that I can feel human again every few hours.

Although I never do them at home, I love the NY Times crossword on flights to pass the time.

suze May 3rd, 2006 11:23 AM

That's an unfortunately number of transfer airports, but on the bright side you'll get to walk around and have a change or scenery.

Depending on how much time you have on the layovers, I like to have a drink and something to eat and use a bathroom on the ground.

Make sure you have seat assignments on all flights. Window or aisle whichever you prefer (to avoid getting stuck in the center seat).

Pack an well though-out carry-on bag with: snacks, reading material, other diversions you enjoy (playing cards, crossword), extra change of clothes (if you are checking your suitcase). Also anything important or impossible to replace: money, passport, prescriptions meds, eye glasses, etc.

Wear comfortable clothing (layered to take on & off for warmth) and shoes that you can easily slip off and on.

I do not but some people like to take along their own slippers, travel pillow, lightweight blanket, ipod, DVD player, etc.

janisj May 3rd, 2006 12:53 PM

Oh - yes - I should have qualified my comment about "congregating". This mainly applies to US carriers.

esqlady: you are lucky you are starting from SMF (I wanted to for my trip to Paris in March but the fare out of SFO was 35% cheaper) since it is small and manageable. You can probably get your boarding passes for all 3 legs when you check in at SMF.

Vera May 3rd, 2006 01:49 PM

In my carryon/purse:Socks to slip on when I take my shoes off.(Hubby wears compression socks and I wear support hose. Legs and back love us) Little container(from previous flights) with small lotion, spray bottle of water (to spray on my face), comb,toothbrush, mouthwash, toothpaste,Olay moistened cleansers (the last 5 to be used just before landing). There is a theme here--MOISTURE. The plane is as dry as a desert. (Drier than the one I live in).Also two liters of water stowed somewhere, a book to read, eyemask, feather pillow,sound-deadening earphones for hubby. (Sound bothers him--light bothers me). Chewing gum and some snack food like nuts.

Echoing others--Dress comfy!


Maire May 3rd, 2006 01:56 PM

In my carry-on will be a couple of Sudoku magazines. I can pass many hours with these addictive puzzles.

Dell & Penny Press both make travel-friendly size mags 6x9.
Dell "Original Sudoku" easy to challenger
Penny Press "Easy Sudoku" fun to do if you're a beginner, or tired and don't want to work on the harder puzzles

Carrybean May 3rd, 2006 02:22 PM

I can't sleep on a plane & thankfully, I no longer smoke so that makes those long flights more tolerable without craving a cigarette.

Get on an FF program with your preferred airline & also a credit card that accrues miles so when you get enough you can upgrade to Business. I'm on AA's & have never flown coach to Europe since I've been traveling there for the past 15 years.

AA gives you a nice little kit with eye shades, socks, toothbrush, moisturizers, etc. but the main thing is it's much more comfortable even though now you have to pay an extra $250.00 each way. Well worth it to me.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

travelbunny May 3rd, 2006 02:39 PM

..I think everything has been outlined..just 1 reiteration and 2 other suggestions- be sure you have a sweater as the cabin is cool and it is had to snoooze if chilled. I always have a glass (maybe 2) with dinner on the transatlantic leg (in lieu of wine, scotch will do)..when all else fails bring a copy of "War and Peace" to stay awake or Proust if you want to sleep.

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