Recently, I have had the chance to experience many different ways to travel by plane on my dive expeditions around the world
From the trip by plane really difficult to the trip very comfortable, here is a return on what can happen to you during the journeys in planes:
All airports are not alike and you will sometimes have to pay attention to the particularities of the airports that will welcome you.
- Off-centered airports: provide transportation and / or time to reach your destination
- The airports are so big that it takes time: in this case, plan to arrive sufficiently on time to reach your check-in desk (you might have to walk a long time), to have a coffee while watching the crowd of travelers walking from one end to the other of the airport, and / or to do some shopping in the tax free shops if you like that. If you take the train to the airport, be sure to watch where your check-in desk is located to avoid having to run into the airport lobbies (this is live information 😉 )
- Small Airports. In contrast, some airports are so small and reduced to their simplest expression that it is useless to hurry. You will only wait in a hall without any distractions. This is the case, for example, in the Tuamotu or Marquise airports.
When you travel for “diving”, it happens regularly that you are brought to carry a lot of equipment and therefore more luggage and / or fragile luggage (photo equipment). Hence the interest of paying attention to different points:
- The price of airline tickets does not always include luggage, do not forget to take into account this extra cost.
- Some companies offer a free luggage supplement upon presentation of a diving certification card. Do not hesitate to inquire before leaving!
- The option “diving bag” can also be paid. Do not hesitate then to compare the cost of a weight supplement of a classic luggage with the cost of the “special diving” luggage, you might be surprised!
- Other low-cost airlines charge so much for baggage in the hold that many travelers will be satisfied with 10kg of cabin baggage included in the price of their plane ticket. This means you might find that you can not board your cabin baggage which will be put free of charge in the hold. Not always the best solution when you want to keep your photo material close to you. Here, no miracle recipe: the first to register and / or board the plane will be the one who can keep it’s precious luggage with him.
Comfort in the plane
Very clearly here too one company is not the other and one travel class is not the other either. By traveling you will realize that there are significant differences between the services offered by different companies and target those with which you can travel “eyes closed”. I can only encourage you to read on the specialized sites the comments of users who have already made the expense of a totally uncomfortable trip if not unacceptable or on the contrary having had good surprises.
However, you will soon be able to see that there are on average three types of comfort in planes:
Here the very notion of comfort seems to have been totally forgotten (but do they know it?) And you end up traveling in extreme conditions:
- Legs stuck against the back of the neighbor’s front or on the contrary knees in your back because the person behind is tall and really can not do anything else that pound you all the way
- Absolutely incredible noise level
- Earphones that malfunction (sorry, we only have one per passenger, no spare … no luck)
- Soft plastic bring-out meal tray that makes you afraid to see the neighbor’s fish sauce spilling over your head when your neighbor is served
Probably the compromise between a lack of comfort and a great comfort. There are many ways to travel comfortably without blowing your budget.
- Reserve the exits seats (seats at the emergency exits). Be careful however you must be at least 15 years and be able to perform the necessary acts in case of accident. Often very popular, if you have the opportunity to book them, do not hesitate, it changes your trip considerably (especially if you are tall).
- Avoid the first row which often has a cradle for the little ones and which is, logically, regularly invaded by families with young children. On a 14h night flight, a 2-year-old girl screamed absolutely all night, leaving her father in utter disarray and preventing first-row passengers from getting to sleep. If it is difficult to blame this little to have obviously not supported the plane, avoid this first row if you want to enjoy the trip and rest.
- Invest in noise reducing headphones; it was after a trip spent entirely in front of a young man who played tirelessly with his Rubik’s cube that I decided to make this investment. Since then, my travels have been more relaxing and the sound of my headphone is always better than the ones made available on the plane. The helmet that serves as much to cut the sounds of the plane and sleep as to listen to a movie or music, is stored in its case and can be transported everywhere.
- Remember to take an inflatable neck pillow with you; much better than the headrest of the plane, the neck pillow will allow you to rest comfortably
Superior middle comfort
In recent years has appeared the “premium economy” class which for an reasonable supplement, offers without equaling the business class, more legroom, sometimes a separate registration desk, a queue shortcut and frequently improved meals and drinks but especially a baggage allowance in the hold of between 25 and 30 kg.
Whether in business or first class, here you will break your piggy bank: lounge, queue shortcut, oversized seats, service at the top, neat meals, great choice of drinks, … it’s already the holidays … but be aware of the price!
The menus on the plane
- If you are traveling in Business or first class, no worries, you will surely be surprised by the quality of the benefits in terms of meals; true cutlery, choice between two menus (or more on reservation), in case, large choice of alcoholic beverages or not,
- If your plane ticket is a standard ticket and the trip is long enough to include a meal, you may have a choice between the fish menu and the chicken menu. From one company to another the meal is inedible or quite nice.
- For short flights some companies (especially in Latin America) provide a small sandwich “ball” and a drink. A little attention that sometimes surprises when you do not expect it on a flight of 45 minutes and you had a snack just before boarding. Once again, find out about the review sites of travelers.
Readers of this article have also read: The World Of Gourmet Diving
The planes modernize and bring in their equipment new technologies.
If the digital offer (movies, music, games, …) is mostly enough to satisfy everyone, other improvements also happen in all travel classes of some airlines.
- Light therapy: the lights of the plane change color as the journey plunges you into very different atmospheres: very nice
- The tinted windows: no more physical blinds: you adjust yourself the brightness of your window. For the flight attendants, this system offers the advantage of being able to be adjusted at the touch of a button and, for example to hide all the blinds during the night, or to open all equally easily together when ready for landing, …
Anyway, take advantage of these few hours of travel by plane because in the end … the trip is also part of your vacation 🙂
And you, what are your tips to make your trip pleasant?
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And above all … do not forget to be happy 🙂