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My first international flight since the pandemic - here's what you shouldn't do

Travelling during the pandemic has its own set of challenges. Photo by Sourav Mishra from Pexels.

Travelling during the pandemic has its own set of challenges. Photo by Sourav Mishra from Pexels.

Published Oct 7, 2021


Travelling during the pandemic has its own set of challenges.

Plane journeys in the past used to be fun, especially when it was a long haul flight. I remember making a playlist, packing healthy snacks that I shared with my fellow seatmate and admiring destinations we fly over from the screen in front of me.

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These days flying is a lot more different. It isn't so much about the journey. Instead, I count the hours until I reach my destination.

I thought masks would be a problem, but I struggled with adjusting to flying long distances. And the different personalities of travellers didn't help either.

If you are flying international soon, here are some tips on what you shouldn't do:

Do not take a million loo breaks:

If you are in the middle or window seat, be mindful of the number of times you go to the "loo".

While walking and stretching are important during long haul flights (and you should go if you need to), don't take advantage of your fellow travellers by heading out every few minutes-whether it's to see your friend in the aisle or to ask for a beverage refill.

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Aisle passengers often find it difficult to rest because they want to be awake if a passenger on their row needs to leave their seat.

If you use the loo frequently, ask to swap seats.

Do not drink hot beverages

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As tempting as a cup of tea or coffee may sound on a flight, don't do it. A flight attendant named Kat Kamalani recently took to TikTok to share why travellers should steer away from ordering hot beverages. She said: “Never consume any liquid that is not in a can or a bottle. The reason being is because those water tanks are never cleaned, and they are disgusting.”


Just promise me you won’t 🤢 ##flightattendantlife ##travelhacks ##traveler ##cleaninghacks ##influencers ##foodhack

♬ original sound - Kat Kamalani

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Don't use the blankets and towels

I am guilty of using the blankets and pillows on a flight, especially when it gets cold and I need to cover up.

Bad mistake on my part, and you should avoid using them on your next flight. It is germ central as those blankets are recycled from flight to flight. We're pretty sure flight attendants fold and repack them and that it is only washed after the last flight of the day. Pack your own if you are a germophobe.

Don't bring carry-on luggage unless you really need to

If you have a connecting flight, pack a backpack instead of carry on luggage. I made the mistake of lugging my carry on with me on a 7-hour layover, and it wasn't the most pleasant experience.

Don't forget to sanitise your seat

I sanitise and wipe my seat, tray table, entertainment system and seat belt before I sit. I also wipe the window (if I'm sitting in the window seat). As much as you may look weird, sanitise for your peace of mind.

Here’s some tips to pack for your international trip:

Read the latest edition of IOL Travel here: