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11 Ingenious Ways to Make Your Next Flight Fly By

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Life may be all about the journey but when it comes to exotic getaways, you’re probably a lot more interested in the destination than the time it takes to get there. Long flights aren’t exactly the highlight of any vacation, but there are some simple tricks you can do to make them easier and more comfortable. Take heed and even that redeye spent in the middle seat will fly by.

1. DO A LITTLE RESEARCH BEFORE SELECTING YOUR SEAT. 

If you’re not an expert traveler, use sites dedicated to reviewing airplane seats before committing to a spot. That way you won't end up in a seat right next to the bathroom or one that doesn't recline.

2. CHECK IN ONLINE.

Don’t wait until you’re at the airport to check in to your flight. Checking in online should give you another shot at snagging a prime seat or, in cases of open seating, a spot in boarding group A. But the biggest reason to check in ahead of time? Airlines often overbook flights and have to switch people to later departures. If you’re the last to check in, you’ll likely be the first to get involuntarily bumped from an overflowing flight. And one thing that’s sure to make a flight feel longer is if you have to wait around the airport for hours before it even takes off.

3. ANGLE FOR AN UPGRADE TO A BETTER SEAT.

Didn’t get the seat you wanted the first or second time? Don’t worry. A sweet smile probably won’t be enough to land you in first class, but if you’re slated for a center seat, ask at the gate what else is available on your flight. Honeymooners or frequent fliers might have been upgraded to the front of the plane already, leaving their aisle or window seats available for you to snag.

4. STASH AN EXTRA BATTERY PACK IN YOUR CARRY-ON...

You should make sure to charge any electronics before boarding, since having access to your own entertainment will certainly make the flight more enjoyable. But if it’s a long trip, you’ll likely run out of juice on your phone or laptop. An extra battery pack that can re-charge your device will help stave off boredom.

5. … AND A UNIVERSAL ADAPTOR. 

You might luck out and have an outlet on your plane, which will make those concerns about your computer dying mid-movie moot. But that’s only helpful if you have the right equipment to make use of the outlet. If you’re on an American-based airline it’s a safe bet that your American chargers will work, but for more exotic travel, a universal adapter could come in handy.

6. KEEP YOUR EARS POPPED.

Having that uncomfortable pressure or pain in your ears for more than the first and last few minutes of your flight will really make your trip drag. If you have no trouble sleeping on planes, it might be tempting to snooze from the time you board until the time you’re ready to disembark—but be sure to stay awake through takeoff and landing to swallow away that pressurized feeling. If you’re asleep, it’ll just continue to build and become even more uncomfortable. 

7. BALANCE BOOZE AND SODA WITH WATER.

Having a stiff drink to help you fall asleep might seem like the perfect solution to an especially long flight, but be sure you’re balancing any booze or soda with ample water. Planes are incredibly dry places, making you even more susceptible to dehydration than when drinking on land.

8. BRING AN EMPTY WATER BOTTLE.

And fill it up once you get through security. The airplane's dry air will make you extra thirsty mid-trip and having to go hours in between beverage service is sure to make the flight drag.

9. BRING SLEEP ESSENTIALS.

Nothing will make the time in the air fly by as easily as taking a good, solid nap. Set yourself up for some shut-eye by packing your own personal sleep supplies. Pack a pashmina that doubles as a blanket instead of relying on the airline's freebie, use an eye mask to block your neighbor’s reading light, and wear noise-canceling headphones to block the airplane’s ambient sound (even if you're not playing any music). 

10. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TIMES WHEN THE SEATBELT SIGN IS OFF. 

You’re bound to get a little stir crazy during hours-long flights, so why wait until your muscles are cramping to stretch your legs? Even if you don’t have to use the bathroom, stand up and do a few stretches every hour or so. Even if you think it looks silly, just remember that you’re combating what could be a serious blood clot. 

11. TALK TO YOUR SEATMATE.

But only if he or she seems receptive! You don’t want to be responsible for making someone else’s flight feel twice as long because their neighbor won’t stop blabbering on. But breaking up the monotony of a solo flight by introducing yourself to the person sitting one seat over could lead to the kind of conversation that’s perfect for wiling away the hours. 

This one’s on us. And the next one, too. Now in Delta Comfort+™, you get free premium drinks. This, along with perks like plenty of legroom, Wi-Fi, and more. Explore more here

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11 Ways to Find the Perfect Souvenir
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When you’re off on an exotic vacation, you can’t forget about your friends and family back home. Show them you care with a thoughtful souvenir that reflects both your traveling experience and the recipient’s personality.

1. DO SOME RESEARCH.

No one really wants a novelty shot glass or keychain, so you’ll have to put some thought into your gifts. Do research about the location and culture of the area you’re visiting. A little background knowledge can go a long way when looking for a gift that reflects where you’ve been.

2. CONSIDER THE RECIPIENT.

Try to imagine your friend, family, or coworker taking the same trip. What would interest them? What would they buy? If you can figure out what they like, you can use that to drive your search.

3. DON'T BY PERISHABLES.

It’s okay to buy certain foods to take home, but make sure your gift isn't going to spoil. You need treats that can survive various extremes of temperature—there’s no fridge on the airplane.

4. THINK SMALL.

Every inch of space is precious when you're traveling, so try to find presents that say a lot while taking up very little room.

5. STAY AWAY FROM TOURIST STORES. 

Tourist traps often only sell gifts that can just as easily come from the airport. Your loved ones can get a mouse pad anywhere in the world; think outside the box and find a gift that shows you put in some effort.

6. SHOP WITH THE LOCALS. 

Whether you’re traveling to Paris, France, or Paris, Texas, the natives of the area will know the best places to shop. Ask around for popular non-tourist locations and look out for smaller street fairs and flea markets. With a little digging, you can find something really authentic. 

7. MORE EXPENSIVE GIFTS AREN'T NECESSARILY BETTER.

A high price tag doesn't guarantee a good souvenir. In fact, you might not have to spend any money at all. A trip to the beach can yield a good collection of sea shells or sea glass. And some people like to collect matchbooks, pens, hotel keys, coasters, and other knick-knacks from around the world. 

8. MAKE SURE IT'S WORTH KEEPING.

Souvenirs are often easily stashed in a drawer and forgotten about. Find something meaningful but also tasteful so it can be displayed with pride in the house. Each purchase should be a wanted addition to the home and not extra clutter.

9. POSTCARDS ARE GREAT.

If you find yourself in a place where you can’t take photos, or your camera just isn’t doing the job, postcards will do the trick. The images are usually crisp, high quality, and often from a vantage point you might not have been able to get yourself.

10. MAKE SURE IT'S LEGAL.

Leave everything the way you found it and don’t take anything from monuments or historical places. Other contraband to reconsider includes certain produce, dairy, and products banned in your home country. These things could be confiscated and you could be hit with a pretty hefty fine. Counterfeit bags and accessories are also likely to be taken away, so be careful when buying luxury items that seem too cheap to be true.

11. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT.

Sometimes when you see the right thing, you just know. Don’t resist the feeling that an item is absolutely perfect.

 This one’s on us. And the next one, too. Now in Delta Comfort+™, you get free premium drinks. This, along with perks like plenty of legroom, Wi-Fi, and more. Explore more here.

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7 Tips for Timing the Perfect Mid-Flight Nap
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Whether you’ve got a 12-hour international flight or a quickie two-hour hop home for the holidays, timing mile-high naps can be tricky. Unless you’re the type who immediately passes out before the plane has left the jet bridge, these pointers can help you plan for a more restful flight. You likely know the obvious (wear comfortable clothes, bring earplugs, etc.), but sometimes quality naps need a strategy set in motion well in advance of the actual flight. 

1. BOOK A WINDOW SEAT.

Sure, the aisle seats have a bit more legroom, but if napping is your main objective, booking a window seat is key. Not only will you have somewhere more firm to rest your head (make sure to ask for a pillow or bring a sweatshirt to bunch into that corner space), but you won’t be interrupted mid-REM cycle because your neighbor needs to go to the restroom.

2. SIT NEAR THE FRONT OF THE PLANE.

Speaking of restrooms, they tend to be in the back of the plane, and the closer you are to them, the closer you are to the never-ending foot traffic of passengers who want to use them. If you can avoid getting jostled or interrupted by the constant small talk surrounding the restroom, it'll be easier to catch some shut-eye.

3. BOOK A NON-STOP FLIGHT.

Of course non-stops aren’t available for every destination, but if you have the choice between a non-stop three-hour flight, or two two-hour flights with a hurried 45-minute connection dash in between… which do you think will leave you more rested? It might be tempting to save $35 by booking the cheaper layover flight, but sometimes a solid siesta is worth the extra money upfront.

4. DON’T FIGHT YOUR REGULAR SLEEP PATTERNS.

The post-work, rush hour commute to the airport can make evening flights feel like a hassle; but, particularly for international flights, flying during your normal sleep cycle is actually ideal. Airlines already do most of the work for you—the vast majority of transatlantic flights take off from the States after 9:00 p.m., so as long as you don’t decide to spend the entire flight marathoning movies, you should be able to carve out a solid five to seven hours for sleep. 

5. FLY ON OFF-DAYS IF POSSIBLE.

Weekend flights (particularly on Fridays and Sundays) tend to be overbooked as everyone tries to get out of town for a three- or four-day weekend. But traditionally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are less popular, which spells not only cheaper rates but also less crowded cabins. Your odds at scoring a row with a free seat next to you are much higher mid-week, meaning your odds for uninterrupted dozing go up too.

6. TAKE OUT YOUR CONTACTS.

You already know that napping with contacts in is ill-advised, but on a flight? The reduced oxygen, humidity, and air pressure in the cabin all contribute to eye and contact dehydration, which leads to uncomfortable, itchy eyes. Not only is this bad for eye health, but it makes for less restful napping as well. Optometrists generally recommend taking out your contacts for all flights, but for longer-distance ones, it’s a necessity. Also, plan to use lubricating drops before you actually need them—put a few in after removing your contacts, mid-flight if you’re awake, and again once you’re on the ground. Not only will you feel more rested, you’ll look it too.

7. PRE-LOAD YOUR IPOD.

Perhaps if you’re lucky, everyone else will want to snooze too. But since that likely won’t be the case, prep your playlist with a range of sleep-inducing podcasts to help drown out the chatter. Ambient “spa” music or relaxing instrumentals usually do the trick, but if meditation podcasts or White Noise apps are your thing, there are plenty of those you can download ahead of time too. But just as any runner knows not to test out a new pair of shoes on race day, don’t try out a new series when you know every precious moment of sleep counts. Namaste. 

This one’s on us. And the next one, too. Now in Delta Comfort+™, you get free premium drinks. This, along with perks like plenty of legroom, Wi-Fi, and more. Explore more here.

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