Settling into our 33rd row economy seats I saw the clock on my phone read 11:11. A sign of good fortune to send us off on our fourth adventure to Thailand. The monitor at my seat showed our arrival for layover in Guangzhou was 14 hours and 42 minutes away and a total of 22 hours later we would arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. This allowed me plenty of time to think about 10 items you should consider to make this long trip more bearable.
1. Neck pillow–Prior to take off as we wandered LAX my honey had spotted neck pillows at 2 for $25. Hindsight leads me to believe that this small luxury might have been worth it. By a couple hours in to the flight my back was aching and so I used the airlines pillow in the small of my back leaving my neck to build up what will be a crimp that my first Thai massage will have to work out. The pillow would have been nice.
Up the coastline, just past Eureka, CA we headed across the Pacific via China Southern. We followed a coastal route that skirted Alaska, Canada, Russia, North Korea and on to China. At 1pm, about 30 minutes after we were in the air we were served our first beverages followed by a hearty meal. While the meals have numerous items, I tend to not be venturous enough (think hospital food with a Chinese chef) to try the Pork noodle, Beef Rice or Fish Pasta although the hubster commented it wasn’t bad. This leads to the next item on the list.
2. Snacks–I did eat the melon on one meal and croissant and yogurt from another and drank a couple glasses of wine and hot tea offered by the airline. I knew my persnickety preference and had picked up a veggie box and a cheese and fruit box before boarding. Healthy and clean is my priority. It’s also nice to have a bag of chips or nuts or candy to help pass the time more than satisfy hunger.
Nap time came another hour later when the trays and trash had been cleared, the cabin lights were dimmed and we were instructed to close the sun shades on our window. Mandatory. I’m not sure why except to think this tricks us as humans into a level of calm. I was not in nap mode and so I began to peruse the movies available. I’ve always said that some day I was going to watch the Star Wars series and found multiple Episodes available. I just might get them all watched in this carrier’s round trip. This discussion makes us arrive at a couple more items for our list.
3. Personal Wireless Head Phones with Two Prong Jack Cord–The airlines does provide headphones for your listening pleasure but the sound quality is terrible. I use my wireless headphones a lot and carried them with me for this trip. I’m not an early riser by nature and waking at 6:40 am to arrive for this flight left me in a bit of a stupor evidently. I had lightened my carry on load by removing my headphones from their case to put in my bag…too bad I didn’t transfer my cord also! Alas, bringing the headphones was still useful and leads us to our fourth item.
4. Electronic Device and Charging Cable—Variety of leisure items is a necessity for me to pass this day of travel fairly easily. These large planes are well equipped and offer USB charger at your seat which is super convenient so that the Podcasts, Music, books and even my WordPress app are at my beck and call with no worry of my device dying. Pairing this with my personal headphones allowed me diversion and escape from noises made by those around me.
8 hours into the flight we received another hearty meal followed by another session of lights out. With my belly lined I opted for one of the necessities that should also be included on the list.
5. Ibuprofen, Sleep AIDS, Dramamine and Other Required Medications–I refrain from taking medications when possible but I use an asthma inhaler morning and evening as well as Nasal spray and one a day allergy relief. Whatever meds you usually take in a 24 hour period you need to be sure to carry with you on this flight. Ibuprofen is wise as well even for someone like me who can probably count the number I take in a year on my hands. Bringing it this time saved me from the beginnings of feeling miserable over my achey back. (And yes, getting old sucks;-) Antacid is another item I include here in case lack of movement, new food regimens or whatever getting the best of me on the flight. If you’re prone to motion sickness or just want to knock yourself out the Dramamine or sleep aids could come in handy.
6. Bathroom Necessities–Feeling fresh is tough with total trip time approaching a full day so I highly recommend toothbrush and paste, deodorant, and body spray. I also carry a small pack of wipes and tissues.
7. Gum or Mints— This one can seem like a no brainer but it’s amazing how easily you can forget. This is another item that’s a real life saver when that food is leaving you with a less than desirable taste in your mouth or your travel partner is giving you the stinky breath sign.
8. Water–This magical liquid should be included in what you carry on board. You simply can’t get enough of it when flying. It’s good for you and revives your body and your skin. Opt for your own water bottle and just fill it at the airport post security. I have a great new bottle I ordered from Amazon that has an infuser in the center so you can add cucumber, lemon, ginger, orange, whatever refreshes you most. Check it out here.
An hour out I felt myself starting to “crawl out of my skin” but just in the nick of time the lights came back up,we were instructed to open the sun shades, which revealed billowy clouds beneath us and the sun shining. I was revitalized and anxious for a break from the tight quarters of the aircraft. Landing in Guangzhou it was 2:31am PT, 6:31pm local time, plus one day, the sun had just set and it was 78 degrees. The whole time thing is pretty disorienting.
The layover in Guangzhou was uneventful other than the exhaustion beginning to set in. Tired always leads to cold for me and therefore we come to the next item for the list.
9. Sweater or light jacket–This travel definitely leads to temps that will have my sweater packed away for the rest of the trip but one things for sure I’m always glad I have lugged a light piece of outerwear with me for when I’m chilly in the cabin, Airport or air conditioned taxi.
As we prepared for takeoff to Bangkok the stewardess passed out our arrival card in preparation for customs. This last item is less of a personal comfort item but it still makes your life a heck of a lot easier.
10. Ink pen–This comes in handy for being prepared by providing a means to fill out the form which is presented prior to final destination on any international flight. Customs is a breeze as long as you have appropriate documents in order on arrival at the gate.
The 2 1/2 hour flight Guangzhou to Bangkok offered yet another full meal. I passed but we were certainly well taken care of by both crews aboard China Southern. We had great flying conditions with not a single bit of turbulence anywhere along the way.
As we arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 1:20am Bangkok time I could feel how anxious I was to get to the hotel and get some shut eye. Lying down and snoozing was going to feel real good!
Once we’re rested we’ll start this round of Bangkok discovery. It’s the week of Chinese New Year so you can be sure one of the places we will head is to China Town. I’ll be sharing those adventures soon! #cometravelwithme