Just finished packing and in a few hours I’ll be on 13 hour flight from Tokyo to New York. Tried to pack as light as possible, basically one duffel bag and a half filled backpack. Being a fairly seasoned traveler, here are my top five tips when flying.
1. Never check a bag, especially if you have a connection. If you have to check any bags, pack your marathon items on a carry-on. Otherwise, you’ll risk not having your stuff on race day. Also, not checking a bag will save you a ton of time.
2. Sit as close to the front of the plane as possible and get an aisle seat. If you are running a marathon, you’ll need to stay hydrated, which means more than your average number of trips to the bathroom. You don’t want to continue to disturb and climb over your neighbor too often. Also, sitting close to the front of the plane will save time when exiting.
3. Check-in online. This is a huge time saver, especially if you have no bags to check. It is great to arrive at the airport, go past all those poor souls in long lines waiting to check-in, and head directly to your gate.
4. Pack energy bars, fruits, and nuts. Airline food is usually not very good for you, full of sodium and who knows what else. Best to avoid it if you can and eat energy bars (I prefer Clif Bars), fruits, and nuts should fill the hunger pangs until you land at your destination.
5. Don’t STRESS, get to the airport early and relax. Traveling is extremely stressful and you need to go into it with a “zen” mindset. There is only so much you can control when traveling, so expect some possible disruptions such as weather delays, mechanical problems, overbooked flights, talkative flight neighbor, security pat downs, etc. Really need to try and go with the flow and deal with each situation as calmly and gracefully as possible.
Enjoy your travels!