Ah, a harrowing 46 hour travel with long stops in between and now I'm in the US.
Here's a small list of things that one might consider to ensure a relatively easier flight - especially the Long-haul ones. First time travellers on such flights might find it useful.
- Buy one or two Calling cards before you fly. This way you can call home later to say that you've reached safely (Mumbai/India: Airtel Cards or Reliance cards are sold in the airport)
- Carry sufficient cash, but store them safely in different Cabin bags. Carry coins to use in public phones - for calling a Cab etc
- Visit the Airline's website to check what you can carry and what you cannot. There are some stuff you cannot carry in Cabin bags, but are ok in Check-in bags
- Long-haul flights wreak havoc on your lips, face and hands. The dry Cabin air and at Airports will cause serious lip cracks and very dry skin. Carry a small bottle of moisturizer and lip balm to rehydrate your skin. Believe me, it might sound silly, but it'll make you feel miserable later. Especially for kids. New rules specify that such liquids/creams cannot exceed a certain quantity if you are carrying them in your hand/cabin bag. Check with your Airlines
- Carry some basic medication for Headaches, something for Colds and Muscle pain too (Neck strain). Ask your Doc
- Be prepared to be stranded in the Airport. Flights can get re-scheduled or cancelled. Carry a change of clothes in your Cabin bags. You might have everything in your Check-in bags. But what if you've already checked them in and then the flight gets delayed? Warm clothing is also important. Put these in your Cabin bags
- Make Photocopies of your tickets, visa, passport, contact details in the foreign country and your home in a cabin bag separate from the one with the originals. Emergency numbers in your wallet and a copy in your bag. Preserve your Boarding Passes until you've reached your final destination
- If you are planning to drive, then get an International Driving Permit. It is accepted in some countries. Again do some research beforehand. Read up on the local driving rules. You can get a copy of the Driver's Handbook online - http://www.drivershandbook.com
- Carry an unopened box of Breakfast Cereal or something like that in case you arrive at an odd time, like midnight and you can't go anywhere to eat