2.16.2009

Travel Help!

Once upon a time, I was quite the seasoned traveler- if you count many cross-country, cross-ocean flights before the age of 12. And then I moved from Hawaii (where, to go anywhere, you have to fly) to the middle of the Midwest, where almost everything is accessible via road trip. My flying days were over.

Since flying to and from Hawaii as a kid, I've been on a plane very few times, and they've all been (comparably) short flights. I've not been on any long flight since post-9/11 security, so I'm a bit in the dark. And my traveling partner? He's never flown at all. A week from tomorrow, we'll be tackling 2 of the busiest airports in the world (ATL & LAX) on our way to Hawaii. We're leaving at 6am Indy time and landing (after 2 layovers) at 6pm Hawaii time, which is 11pm Indiana time, for those keeping score at home. Seventeen hours.

What tips do you have?

We will probably want to eat breakfast in ATL, lunch in LAX, and dinner after we land in Kona. What snack foods do you pack for the plane? What airport food should I avoid? What's not worth packing in carry-on? What MUST I bring in carry-on? How do we entertain ourselves for the long day of traveling? What are some of the new rules that have surprised you or caught you off guard? WHat should we plan on purchasing from the tv deals or SkyMall catalog?

This is going to be a crazy adventure. Can't wait.

11 comments:

Kacie said...

Wow! Have a great time!

The longest flight I've ever been on was like 4 hours, so there was just snack service.

Advice: Have some cash in small bills with you. Some airlines are now charging for drinks, snacks and pillows/blankets. Jerks! And typically, they require exact change.

When I travel, I like to wear slip-on shoes, comfy socks (don't forget you have to take your shoes off for security, ugh). I also like to wear a zip-up jacket or hoodie since I get cold on the flight.

Gum is good for when the air pressure changes.

I usually bring granola bars, candy bars, and crackers for snacks. Don't bring any liquids through security. You can buy some beverages once you get through that to have on the plane, or buy some of course.

You'll probably have a meal service on one of those flights, so that's good.

I had a brief layover in ATL once and wow, it's busy! They have tons of food options, so get whatever suits your fancy.

Have fun!

Matt said...

My advice: just as sure as the airports you visit will have airplanes, they will also have a Cinnabon in the food court. You may be tempted to have Cinnabon for breakfast or lunch, but I strongly urge you to refrain. Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean they somehow will not take 5 years off of your life.

Andrea Moberly said...

My advice: any personal items you want to take in a carry-on that are liquid need to be able to fit inside a 1 qt ziploc bag. They can only contain up to 3 oz of liquid. (Its like the 3-3-1 rule or something). Since you're not having any overnight layovers I would pack all your toiletries in your checked baggage, unless you're really concerned about something not making it. My flight to India started with a 13 hr flight to S. Korea. Try as I might there was no sleeping for me. I suggest a good book or your knitting! Contrary to what people have said, I had no issues taking my knitting stuff on the plane. The only thing they would confiscate would be scissors, unless they're blunt-tipped kid scissors!

Caroline @ Bubbly Bride said...

Carry On:
-BATHING SUIT (you never know what could happen to you luggage!)
-Pretzels(salty)/Gummy Bears (something sweet!)
-A good book that will get you through the flight
-VERY comfy clothes in layers remember you will be in HAWAII when you land!
-Crossword puzzle book for you and Josh to do together
-Gum/chapstick/
-And HEAVY sleeping pills (jk about the last one...)

Have so much fun i am excited for you to go!!

Alisse Goldsmith said...

Since Josh has never flown, I would recommend some ginger pills. It helps upset stomachs without the drowsy/icky feelings of dramamine.

And I definitely recommend a small bottle of eye drops and a little bottle of mouthwash. These were my lifesavers on my trips to Europe. They must be in a 1 qt bag, but you can jam as many 100ml/3 oz bottles as you want in it :)

Books, knitting, crocheting are all great. As well as i-pods or the like.

I read an article once that said you need to drink something like a bottle of water for every hour you fly. Since planes are charging for drinks (check your tickets) by a few large bottles of water on your layovers. STAY HYDRATED!! Otherwise you might have a little cold for a few days.

And, finally, wear comfy shoes that are both easy-on/easy-off but comfy to walk in. You will probably have to walk a bit between terminals. And speaking of walking, try as hard as you can to get up and walk around the plane every two hours to avoid leg cramps.

Curtis Honeycutt said...

Hawaii! Awesome...have a great time!

My advice would be to pack a few snacks in your carry on and two or three good books or magazines. Sounds like you'll be in the air a lot.

Anonymous Cogitations said...

I actually try to only take carry-ons. Then I am less likely to miss my connecting flight and if I can possibly get on an earlier flight, I'm not separated from my luggage. But sometimes you have to have a checked bag. Just make sure you have all the essentials with you so it's not the end of the world if something happens to your bag. There is actually traveler's insurance that gives you money for every day you are separated from your bag, etc.

I don't like buying bottled water so my way to get around having to pay high prices for it in the airport is to go through security with an empty bottle then fill it at the drinking fountain near my gate. Unfortunately they are suspicious of stainless-steel bottles since they aren't see-through so bring a Nalgene if possible.

Kacie is right, it often is cold on planes. Sweaters/jackets come in handy.

Bring PLENTY of stuff to do in case any of your flights are delayed.

It can be difficult to find the time, but journal every day if possible. You'd be surprised how much you will have forgotten, even by the time you are flying home.

I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lot of great advice. Definetely use slip on shoes to go through security. Don't let your partner wear a belt or he will have to remove it and send it through the scanner. Comfy clothes are a must!

If you bring a laptop, you will have to send it through the scanner out of it's case so be prepared.

My advice for ATL is be at your gate 45 minutes early and DON'T LEAVE unless it's on your place. Delta has a history of last minute gate changes across the airport and they are very unforgiving if you can't magically teleport to your new gate in 5 minutes. I've never flown through LAX but I imagine it won't be as bad since DELTA won't own as many gates there.

You are getting lots of good advice on warm clothes, pillows, snacks, etc. Bring headphones. On long flights, there will be a movie (if you want) or music but to hear them, you have to have headphones to plug in to your armrest.

Don't forget the basic medicines in your carry-on. Tylenol, Pepto, Dramamine, etc. Just in case.

Bring one bag of your favorite snack food for each flight segment. Bananas are a bad idea but harder fruit is great.

Regarding the length of your flight, your jetlag won't be near as bad as a trip to Europe but to reset your clocks quickly, don't go to bed until your normal bedtime Hawaii time. When you wake up at your normal time in Hawaii, you should be able to have a normal day. Ditto when you come home.

Have a great time!

the "other" Matt

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

You probably know it all already...

As far as snacks, it's actually allowed to bring a plastic bag (like a Walmart bag) of snacks on in addition to your carryon, so yay for that. I went to the store and bought individual packets of crackers and chips. Those were really nice. Gum is always good. I used to take Dramamine for motion sickness, so if you have trouble then you might want to try that.

Make sure your baggie of liquids is on the top of your carry-on because you have to send that through the x-ray machine separately. Have your shoes and any coats/jackets off and ready to put in the bins when you approach the conveyor belt. Also make sure to remove any other metal things, like belts, things in your pockets, etc. Being ready to go when you get to the front of the line just helps everyone around. Keep your ID and your ticket in hand - you'll need both at least twice, and the ticket 3 times.

When you're in ATL, if you have the time and want the exercise, you can walk between the terminals instead of taking the tram. I always walk because of motion sickness issues. It's about 1,000 ft. between each terminal.

Fortunately, the 5 hr time difference probably won't bother you as much as it will coming home, so you'll be able to take full advantage of your days in Hawaii! Have a good trip!

Farmer Dave said...

I prefer to go minimalist when I travel--light backpack, few clothes, just the essentials. When I travel it is not about looking my best but more about having the best experience; and that means not having to haul a bunch of crap through airports. As far as snacks go, I like the trail mixes and vitamin water sold in the book stores at the airports. I did cave once and took a Cinnabon on board a return flight and was quickly greated with boos from the other passangers as I boarded the plane. I won't do that again!

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal about "Cinnabons?"

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