Travel Tips

Now that we’re savvy airline travelers… the first question was, book with Qantas (an airline we know we like) or Air New Zealand (a bit cheaper, but a product we’re not familiar with). In the spirit of adventure, we booked with Air New Zealand. It was mostly because of an upgrade they offer called “The Skycouch.” Reviews were mixed and it could have been awesome or terrible. After all, we were in for a 30 something hour trip from Boston to Christchurch, NZ with our longest flight yet at 15 hours from Houston to Auckland. Turned out to be just fine. We’re pros now.

Here are my recommendations for a long, international, overnight flight.

1. UPGRADE when you can. The airlines have tons of upgrades now. Small, medium and large. No, I’m not saying to book the first class seat at $17,000 pp instead of the economy seat at $1,700 pp. I’m saying, spend the extra $250 for the sky couch, extra leg room, or extreme recline. It will make a bigger difference than you think.

2. PACK your eye mask, ear plugs and clasic, drowsy formula dramamine. I was never a fan of the eye mask or ear plugs… but they make a huge difference. I promise.

3. PICK your seats strategically. If the airline lets you choose your seats when you buy your ticket… think smart. If you are travelling with someone and the plane doesn’t look full (or even if it does) pick an aisle and a window seat in the same row. Even if the middle seat gets filled, obviously that person will gladly switch to the window or aisle seat. Choose a row with empty seats in front of you. This could potentially prevent your tray table from ending up in your lap.

4. PICK your seats strategically – again. A lot of the people who take these long, overnight flights are accustomed to it. The sit down, put their eye masks and blankies on, and pass out. For the love of god, pick and aisle seat. The airline will FORCE you to close your window shade, so there is no point on having the window seat. If you want to use the bathroom, or get up to walk around at any point during your 15 hour flight – choose the aisle seat.

5. DRINK the free booze. All of the professional bloggers out there will tell you to stay away from the alcohol – to reduce the jet lag. We’ll agree to disagree. Most airlines offer local wines or beers indigenous to the country’s airline that you are flying on. Get to know the country. Immerse yourself. Culture. Research. Cheers.

Recap on the flight’s we’ve taken thus far…

1. Boston to Amsterdam – Detla

2. Amsterdam to Johannesburg – South African Airways

3. Johannesburg to George  – SAA

4. George to Cape Town – SAA

5. Cape Town to Johannesburg  – SAA

6. Johannesburg to Victora Falls, Zimbabwe – SAA

7. Victoria Falls to Johannesburg – SAA

8. Johannesburg to Sydney – Qantas

9. Sydney to Cairns – Virgin Australia

10. Cairns to Brisbane – Qantas

11. Brisbane to LAX – Virgin

12. LAX to Raleigh, NC – Delta

13. Raleigh to Boston – Jet Blue

14. Boston to Houston – United

15. Houston to Auckland – Air New Zealand

16. Auckland to Christchurch – Air New Zealand

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