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First time flying: Useful tips before you fly

First time flying is super exciting. Here is everything you need to know

First time flying? You must be nervous and excited. You will always remember your first flight and I’m here to welcome you to the traveler’s club! In this article, you will find all the recommendations and help you need to get over the initial hurdles. You’ll learn how to prepare for the flight, what to do to minimise any discomfort and have lots of fun instead. We’ll touch base on how to select your seat, the differences between domestic and international flights, how to get ready for airport security and what sort of bag you need for your flight. We’ll even talk about the boarding pass, the dos and the don’t and all the tips for first time flyers. So if you’re flying for the first time, this is the only complete guide you’ll need.

FIRST TIME FLYING - THIS IS EXCITING!

You will never forget your first flight. The moment the flight attendants welcome you on board for the first time, the butterflies in your stomach as you take off and meet the person sitting next to you. You’ll always remember your seat number and the first safety demonstration by the cabin crew. It’s an incredible feeling and you should feel really excited! The journey is just as important as the destination and your first flight is something memorable, unique.

What do you do when it's your first time on a plane?

There are a few things you can do when you’re flying for the first time. If you are on an international flight, make sure you find out how much luggage you can bring with you. If you have checked baggage, you will need to arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance. Head over to the check in desk to leave your hold baggage there. They will measure to ensure you don’t go over the weight limits and print out a new paper ticket for you. You can check vital information on suitcase sizes here so you know how much you are allowed on planes otherwise you might have to pay extra.

You will keep your carry on with you and now go through to security.

If you are on a short flight where you travel with your carry on only you don’t need to go to the check in desk. Just go straight through security. Make sure you have your electronic boarding pass ready for inspection. You can get this when you check in online a few hours prior to your flight.

Is Flying scary the first time?

Flying is exciting the first time and if you are fully prepared it’s not scary at all. In the unlikely event that you’re feeling sick just flag the flight attendant and ask for a little advice. Some people have issues with the air pressure during take off or landing. That’s normal and nothing to be worried about. Just swallow or chew on some gum. You can pop your ears by holding your nose and gently blowing out.

This is especially common with first time flyers. You will very likely not feel any of these issues on your next flight. During take off, keep your head straight if you start feeling a little dizzy when the plane is turning. Don’t release your seat belt until instructed by the flight attendant that it’s safe to do so.

The universal rule is that you should be rested when flying for the first time and bring with you plenty of snacks.

What does flying for the first time feel like?

Everyone has a different experience but flying for the first time feels pretty incredible. The general feeling is similar to that on a fast elevator. You will feel the gravity at work as you take off. Some might feel a little fuzzy sensation in the head. Others will experience a state of drowsiness. These feelings only last for a few seconds or minutes. Once you are at cruise altitude, you will feel as if you’re driving in a car.

How do you fly for the first time alone?

You should plan everything about your trip down to the minute. This will give you a sense of comfort. You might feel nervous and it’s perfectly ok. Talk to the cabin crew and tell them you are a first time flyer. As previously mentioned, check in online to reduce any anxiety and have your bags ready at least 24 hours in advance. Have your travel planner handy to write down anything you experience and to make sure you have all the steps handy. Download an app for music or games just to keep yourself occupied.

 

How do I prepare for Covid flying?

This is new to all of us and some extra precautions should be taken to ensure you are ready to fly. Make sure you check with the local governments on what documentation you need to bring with you. Many countries and airlines will require to see some vaccination passes and results prior to boarding. Some might require a test as well just to prove that you are fit to fly. Make sure to plan for these extra tests in advance. Countries will ask you to complete a passenger locator form prior to your arrival. Do so before boarding.

What should you not do before flying?

There are a few things you shouldn’t do before flying. For example, avoid drinking alcohol as it can make you very dehydrated. Don’t leave packing and organising for the last second. And try to book your airport transfers well in advance.

Don’t forget to prepare your carry on bag for security and remove any large liquids from it. Don’t wear clothes which make you feel restrained or uncomfortable and ideally you’d avoid any heels.

What should I know before flying?

There are a few first time flying tips for you. We put together some great tips to help you select the best seat.

First time flyers tips: Make sure to check in online as soon as the check in opens. This will allow you to select your preferred seats. When booking your seat, check seatguru to see if you’re preferred location is good. Avoid seats next to the bathrooms as there will always be a queue there and you might feel disturbed by the constant movement and noise. Check to see if your seat offers you enough legroom especially if you’re tall.

As a rule of thumb, the middle seat is the equivalent of the most cramped airplane seat and you will want to avoid it if possible. If you travel alone it’s unlikely that you will go for the middle seats. The window seat is most comfortable if you like to have your own space and want to admire the world from above. Window seats are generally the preferred seats amongst seasoned travellers. The aisle seat is best if you need to stand up a lot and use the bathroom or stretch. I use the window seat for short flights and prefer the aisle seat for long hauls.

One of the best first time flying tips is to pre-select your meal in advance. Even if you don’t have dietary preferences, go for vegan or vegetarian meals. They are usually a lot tastier and you will be served first, before anyone else which means you will always get your choice of food.

Noise Cancelling Earphones / Headphones

There are two reasons why you will need these. Firstly, because you will actually enjoy the sound of silence, as opposed to the continuous background engine noise. Secondly, you might find yourself very unlucky, being seated right in front of a family with small children. Nothing wrong with small kids, of course, but sometimes it can happen that they cry a lot due to cabin pressure. It can happen to any of us. So you want to make sure your sleep doesn’t get disturbed no matter what. Put those noise-cancelling headphones on and listen to relaxing music or download a white noise app that allows you to sleep in silence.

Offline music available on your phone

Most airlines will have their own music available on the entertainment system, but sometimes you might find yourself on a plane that has some really bizarre playlists. Listen to some quiet, meditative music, nature sounds or just about anything that can allow you to sleep well. Some people might not be able to sleep with music on and that’s ok. Make sure to purchase some earplugs as they might come in handy.

Have some snacks with you

What if you don’t like the food you get on board? Or you get hungry in-between meals? Best to have some snacks with you just in case. Bring a bagel or two with you, some salted crisps, nuts, a couple of fruits (something like apples, bananas or blueberries) and some protein bars.

They don’t take much space in your hand luggage and are sure to make your flight more pleasant. Try to avoid sugar as it might make you more susceptible to catching viruses.

Wet wipes and sanitising hand gel

Clean your hands and seats with some wet wipes and clean your tray in front of your seat as well. After you visit the restroom, use the sanitising gel to keep your hands clean. This is good practice as you never know who touched your seat before you. Keep it clean for your own safety.

You are more susceptible to getting ill so keeping your face and hands clean helps minimise the risk.

Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of fluids

I know, it’s a difficult one. You totally want to enjoy the free booze included in your flight price. The alcohol will get you dehydrated, together with the already recycled dry air, you will end up having some killer headaches. Make a habit of drinking at least 2 litres of water during your flight. Hydration will also help you better cope with jetlag.