Our Top Tips For First Time Flyers

Never flown long-haul before? You’re not alone! Loads of our passengers are travelling over the Atlantic or Pacific oceans for the first time, and many are doing it solo too. Your first long flight can be daunting, so we’ve put together some handy tips to make your first time one to remember!

Sort your luggage out in advance

Check your booking first, but most of the time, you’ll be allowed one piece of ‘checked-in’ baggage that you drop off before security, and one piece of hand luggage plus a ‘personal item’ (small handbag, laptop bag, etc) that you take into the cabin. Keep any valuable items including laptops and travel documents in your hand luggage if possible – and we’d also suggest packing a change of clothes and anything you think you might need in-flight or as soon as you arrive.

Airlines will have a weight allowance for your luggage – you can pick up special weighing scales for your bags to avoid having to frantically re-pack at the airport!

 Packed suitcase

Get comfy, stay fresh

As much as you’re toying with the idea of getting all fancy and schmoozing your way to an upgrade, being comfy is key when you’re actually up in the air. We suggest taking some leggings or joggers and a baggy top in your hand luggage to change into – as well as your toothbrush and toothpaste to freshen up with. Your skin can get dehydrated with all that recycled air in the cabin, so a nourishing moisturiser to slather your face in will help you arrive feeling fresh and ready for adventure.

 Woman looking out of plane window

Choose your seat in advance

Long-haul aircraft are usually split into rows of three (and sometimes four in the middle). And no one wants to be left with the dreaded middle seat – so check in online, and get that dream seat locked down. The benefits of the window seat include those Insta-worthy amazing view of take-off and landing, a fraction of extra space to move around in, and you might sleep better here. Although, if you’re worried about getting up to go to the loo or stretch your legs, you might find an aisle seat more comfortable.

 Cabin on airplane

Take advantage of the in-flight entertainment

Forget ten year old Lifetime movies and two episodes of a 90s sitcom – airline entertainment on our TrekAmerica partner airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and Delta is current, exciting, and packed with films and telly that will make your transatlantic journey fly by. It’s a great time to catch up with those box office smashers you never got round to seeing, settling in to a feel-good favourite or even catching up with the latest episodes of your fave shows.

Woman at airport looking at departures board

Eat, drink – but don’t get too merry!

On most long-haul flights with non-budget airlines, a meal and perhaps some snacks and drinks will be included. There’s normally a meat and veggie option available on the day, but if you’re vegan, gluten-free or have a specialist dietary requirement, let the airline know beforehand on your booking so they can accommodate you. There’s usually some alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic drinks available on board – but try to go easy on the booze, as alcohol dehydrates you more on a plane than it does normally. And you’ll probably need to get up to go to the loo more – not ideal if you’re a window-seater!  

 View from plane window

Don’t worry – air travel is super safe

Commercial air travel has been proven statistically to be the safest mode of travel, with all airlines and planes being subjected to incredibly rigorous safety tests before (and during) every flight. In fact, more people are killed every year by donkeys(!) than aeroplanes. It’s normal to feel a few bumps – this is just turbulence, which is incredibly common, especially during take-off and landing. Distracting yourself with music, a book or some in-flight entertainment will take your mind off the flight. Breathing and mindfulness apps may help particularly anxious flyers – just download before you go, so they’re ready when you switch to flight mode.


Did you know we can book flights for your TrekAmerica tour? With partner airlines including Virgin Atlantic and Delta, we offer special deals to save money on your holiday – giving you more ££ to spend, taking the hassle out of making your own arrangements, and making sure you never forget your first time!

Check out our flight offers


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