As my sister says we all enjoy visiting new places, it is the traveling that is no longer enjoyable. Meaning once we get somewhere we have a great time but the flights there are something to be endured rather than enjoyed.
For those of us who have to endure at least an 8 hour flight to get to Italy the getting there can be torturous. This is especially true if you are traveling by yourself and don’t know who you will be sitting next to. Like most travelers I have sat next to some of the most eccentric people I have ever met.
We never remember the person who was friendly but not overly friendly, the ones who actually stay within the confines of their armrests. No, we remember the ones who bring their pet bird onboard – yes I actually sat next to a woman who had a bird in a cage stored safely under the seat in front of her. Or the man who spoke nonstop for 8 hours about how awful his trip to Italy was and how he was no longer speaking with the person he went with who was sitting uncomfortably close to us on the same flight.
Your flights to and from Italy are always going to be something to be endured rather than enjoyed but with these tips you can make them more bearable:
•Don’t forget your iPod or other MP3 player: Even though most overseas flights offer all sorts of entertainment now. Listening to your own music is soothing.
•Headphones Not Earbuds: Nothing says I don’t want to talk to you like a pair of noise cancellation headphones. They take up more space in your suitcase but they are worth it if you are trying to block out all noise.
•Eyemask: I can’t always sleep on a plane but at least I try. Some people never even try and leave their reading light on all night. Get a comfortable eyemask with an adjustable strap. You need an adjustable strap or you will get a headache if your eyemask is too tight. They also come in handy if you end up staying in a hotel with a lot of ambient light.
•Bring a Snack: With rare exceptions the food on flights is just barely edible so eat before you board and bring some on-board snacks. I know when I get to Italy the food is going to be wonderful. If I am not so sure about the food at my destination I fill my backpack with granola bars. I have survived for days on granola bars.
•Water, Water, Water: Bring enough water to last the flight. Since you can’t bring liquids through security you will have to buy it in the gate area but it will be worth it. The last time I flew they did not even have bottles of water but little cups of water. That meant you had to drink it right up when they gave it to you, not as convenient as a bottle that you can recap and save for later.
•Bring a Pillow: There are a lot of comfortable neck pillows out there. I use an inflatable pillow that is easy to store in my backpack. Since it is inflatable I can add air or let air out until it is comfortable. With all the concerns about the flu and flying no way am I using an airline pillow.
•A Shawl Can Be A Blanket: Ladies, bring a shawl or big scarf and use it for a blanket that way you can avoid using airline blankets or use them only to cover your legs. Shawls come in handy when you travel to Italy so I always bring at least one.