1. Book/Show Up Early for Advanced Seating! – Some airline providers offer the ability to complete advanced seating on the internet prior to your trip. If not showing up early will allow you to set up your seats prior to the main rush of travelers.
2. Sit in the Front Row! – Larger planes are often divided by a number of different cabin sections that are usually divided by bathrooms and the flight attendant work space. The front row of each cabin section tends to have additional leg room. You also get a direct line of sight at the video monitor on planes that don’t have individual screens on the back of each seat headrest.
3. Volunteer to Sit in the Emergency Row! – When I was in the military I voluntarily jumped out of airplanes so offering to sit next to the exit door and/or helping the flight attendants during any possible in flight emergency doesn’t phase me. Volunteering your service is rewarded with extra leg room as long as there is not a real crisis.
4. I Could Have Sworn That Was in My Carry On Bag! – It is necessary to properly pack based on the duration of your flight. You need to know what services the airline you are traveling with offers to passengers. This can help you determine what you need to pack. If you tend to get chilly pack a thin jacket to keep you warm, because not all airlines provide complimentary blankets and pillows. I recommend the following must have items:
- Inflatable Neck Rest Pillow – You save on space and will use it on boat rides with less than ideal seating. (2 never hurts – They’re beyond lightweight, minimal space and can break, especially on questionable boat rides. What will you do on the way home then?)
- Sleeping/Eye Cover Mask – It may not look cool, but grandma knew what she was doing once upon a time.
- Reading Material – Print Media & Digital Archives – I keep magazines around that I never get the chance to read and hard copies of travel related information. Also some online information can be saved for viewing when not connected to WiFi.
- Snacks – Estimate based on time, especially if traveling internationally, because Customs will most probably make you throw it away.
- Travel Journal – Print, Phone & Laptop – Whatever you decide to write with I recommend that you have something that will help you plan, organize, write and reflect about your travel experiences.
- Power Adapters & Cables – Some planes have USB ports to charge electronic devices. It’s not a guarantee by any means so depending on what items you are traveling with, how often you use them, your accessibility to power outlets, and a few other variables you will need to pack accordingly. Personally, I travel with 2 USB cables, chargers, battery sticks, headphones and 1 world universal power adapter in order to be prepared for the entire trip. Having a second camera battery/charger isn’t a bad idea. I’ve left a pair in a socket at a hotel only to realize it when the secondary battery was dead. I missed out on some amazing photo opportunities and I was unable to retrieve the charger.
1. Seasickness Problems? – Don’t get caught on a boat with a weak stomach and not have any Dramamine or you are asking for a very unhappy experience.
2. No Seats? – Good thing you have your inflatable neck rest pillow. Fill it with air and have a seat(cushion) on any boat. You might not always find a yacht as you meander down rivers in less developed regions of the world.
3. That Sun is Bright Isn’t It? – The sun can be deceiving particularly when boating. Make sure to wear sunscreen (reapply after hitting the water) and sunglasses before the sun’s reflections off the water makes you even more burnt and blinded.
4. Can’t Swim/Fear of Water? – I was always taught to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. There is no reason to be in a position where you expose yourself to unnecessary risk. Do you really want to be in the ocean or on a river in boat from a company you know little about other than reviews on the internet? The deeper out into the ocean you go the farther from civilization you will be. Do you really trust your tour company? Are there life vests, preservers, raft? I love boats and the water, but if you’re not a fan perhaps look into other methods of transportation and touring. Don’t force yourself to do anything you are uncomfortable with, but remember traveling is about pushing personal and geographical boundaries just make sure you’re pushing the right ones.