Top tips for flying alone
For many of you, leaving for your year abroad will be the first time you've flown alone - an experience which many can find nerve-wracking. That's why we've put together our list of ten tips to make your flight hassle free (and ten things to avoid doing)...
1. Make a folder with all of your important documents, including your passport, tickets (or a print-out of your booking confirmation if you're checking in at the airport), details of where to go when you land and any other useful information, such as the details of your I.C.E. contacts.
2. Leave lots of time to get to the airport. Not only will that help you to feel calm, but it also gives you more time to roam the duty free shops!
3. Bring an empty water bottle with you on a long haul flight and ask cabin crew to fill it up periodically. It's important to stay hydrated and often water is provided in teeny tiny cups. Useless.
4. Pack your own snacks and a variety of entertainment, from your iPod to trashy magazines. You don't know whether you'll be in a high brow or low brow mood!
5. Double check the size of any hand luggage you're bringing against the airline's requirements. You really don't want to be caught short and have your bag put in the hold.
6. Pack a spare phone charger in your hand luggage, just in case. There's nothing more stressful than arriving in a new country with a flat battery!
7. Book a seat according to your personal preference. If you like a view, make sure you're sitting by a window. If you've got long legs, grab an aisle seat.
8. Smile and be extra charming to the person checking you in. You might just wangle an upgrade!
9. Make sure any luggage for the hold is clearly labelled with your address in your year abroad destination (or, if you don't know it yet, at least with your UK address), just in case it goes missing.
10. Entertain yourself in the airport with Funny or Die's Airport Bingo - or by creating your own!
1. Wear all your clothes to save on baggage space. You might just end up passing out on the flight and causing chaos. Like this guy...
2. Forget to book a seat and end up squashed between two 'hygienically challenged' fellow passengers.
3. Spend your time in the terminal Googling plane-based conspiracy theories. Seriously. Not worth it.
4. Forget a pen and paper so that you can take inspiration from this guy and craft an angry letter about the airline's food/service/broken air con.
5. Desperately try and squash your hand luggage into the airline's size testers in front of the rest of the passengers. And then get it stuck. That way humiliation lies.
6. Don't pack anything precious in your hold luggage. If you're wondering why, check out this video of a baggage handler at a Chinese airport.
7. Drink the plane vodka on an empty stomach, like this basic bitch.
8. Don't book a cheap flight and then get caught out by extra charges. We're looking at you, Ryan Air.
9. Don't forget to bring something to do on the flight. There are only so many times you can read the Easy Jet magazine or safety brochure without going completely insane.
10. Don't make jokes about bombs and don't try and smuggle items passed security. It's highly unlikely that the security guards will share your *unique* sense of humour.