3 years ago I went on my first international flight and was pretty surprised at how different it was from the many domestic flights I’ve taken over the years. I know many of you are dreaming of and/or planning for international trips, so to prepare you for what to expect, here are 5 things to know before your first international flight!
Confirm Your Seats Before Flying
If you book your flight in advance enough, you’ll see that airlines often end up switching the plane that was originally supposed to be taking you. For example, if you book window seat 10A and they decide to use a different aircraft for your flight, you’ll likely automatically be placed in a new seat. And many times you can be switched from your beloved aisle or window to the dreaded middle seat. So make sure you’re checking that your seat is still the one you want!
Avoid Alcohol + Caffeine Pre-Flight
While alcohol and caffeine always seem to be a good go-to at the airport, both should be avoided pre-flight, if possible, since they’re both dehydrators. Instead, drink lots of water! But if you do still plan to indulge in either, make sure to drink at least one glass of water with each alcoholic or caffeinated beverage, otherwise you won’t be feeling too great once in-air!
Not Every Plane Has USB Ports for Charging
I learned this one the hard way on my first international flight on the leg from Detroit to London. While most planes WILL have USB ports to charge up your devices, be prepared for them not to be as well, by bringing your own portable chargers. Since most international flights take place over night, it’s a real bummer to land in the new country and not have much of a phone battery left (mainly for accessing your phone’s camera)!
Set Your Clocks to Destination Time
This is the first thing you should do when you board so you can start adjusting to the time of your destination. Set your phone, watch, iPad, EVERYTHING to the time. It can be hard to fall asleep when you’re still thinking it’s only 10 p.m. in your time zone, but if you look and see it’s 4 a.m. where you’re on your way to, you’ll start to get a different mentality.
You’ll Eat + Drink (A Lot!)
Unlike domestic flights, they actually feed you A LOT on international flights. For example, an overnight international flight will give you a full dinner service (including wine), a snack a little later on, and breakfast a few hours after that. It’s kind of crazy! Pro tip: Be sure to confirm that this is the case with your airline before flying, as smaller/budget airlines usually have an option to purchase meals + other extras, which is why the flight prices might be cheaper.
Have you flown internationally? What tips do you have for first-time international fliers? If not, what’s at the top of your international travel list?!