The Guide To Flying Solo
As my trip to Dubai slowly approaches, a gradual pile in the corner of my room is ever so quickly turning into a mount of holiday must-haves, eventually I'll get into a panic the day before and start throwing it into my suitcase hoping that it doesn't go over the dreaded baggage allowance. To be entirely honest with you I think I pack quite light, there's never been a point where the pretty ladies at the bag drop have given me that look of disapproval YET, having said that lets just hope I haven't gone and jinxed myself now *runs to the nearest wooden object*
So I'm flying solo again and there's a few things that I feel you have to remember as a solo flyer. Please see below:
1) A fully charged phone! Don't at any point assume that there will be charging facilities on your plane!
2) Let me just stress point number one. Do NOT at ANY point assume that there will be charging facilities on your plane *cough cough american cough airlines* It's 2016 who needs a fax socket? So before flying with American I only flew with BA & Virgin Atlantic. There are plenty of USB sockets everywhere so by the time you've reached your destination, your phone is surprisingly at 100% for the first time in a while! You can leave the airport in confidence knowing you can contact anyone (well that's if EE have pulled through), snapchat that famous "just touched down" snap and get yourself to your destination with no worries in this world.
3) Earphones. So even though you can find them on the plane, forgetting your earphones is up there with the worst things that can happen. Earphones are obviously perfect for listening to your music and enjoying in flight entertainment, but my favourite reason is either blocking out the crying children or ignoring the extremely social solo traveller who is conveniently sat right next to you. I'm all for networking and all for conversing over engaging topics such as the awful exchange rate and the lack of spice in airplane food, but there is a time and a place.
4) Prebook your seats. Depending on your airline this can either be free or a service you might have to pay for. Choosing your seat just allows you to be more relaxed about journey. If I'm sat on a flight for eight hours, the last thing I would want is to be sat in the middle of an aisle. Actually that would be my worst nightmare! Window seat please, I can lean on someone and hide my face when I sleep/snore....perfect!
5) You're not the only person flying alone! The first time I felt so paranoid! But now it just feels like the norm. I'll happily go and sit in a restaurant at the airport, get a table for one, enjoy a a nice meal and indulge in a very well deserved beverage while tapping away on my ipad.
6) Now this last point by far is the most important. Whatever you do! Remember to be safe! Don't loiter around, keep all of your valuables with you at all and times and if possible organise airport transfers ahead of your trip. If you do it you'll get the joy of a lovely chauffeur holding a glamourous whiteboard with your name on it as you exit arrivals. May I add 99.9% of the time they'll push your luggage for you *BONUS POINTS*
Before I forget, if any strangers ask you whether this is your first time in said country, even if it is, just lie! I usually opt for the over exaggerated response of "Of course not! As you know British weather isn't the greatest so I tend to spend most of my summers over here". Your "familiarity" with the area will help you not get ripped off, especially when it comes to taxi charges. Such a simple sentence could be the difference between you going a shorter or longer route. On the topic of taxis, If any taxi drivers walk up to you and ask whether you need a taxi, politely refuse and go to an official rank. In every airport they are clearly signposted, but you'll always come across the few random drivers who'll try to bombard you at the exit. I always say " If someone is genuine they don't have to scream it from the rooftops". Save yourself the drama and enjoy your trips :)