A few years ago I had to take a flight alone for the first time. I was moving to Dubai and although I had taken the same flight many times before I was feeling nervous about travelling alone. As it turned out, the flight was quite empty and I had a row of seats to myself where I comfortably slept for most of the flight! The next flight I had to take alone was similar and I started to like the idea of having some quiet ‘me’ time on a flight.
Over the years I have had to travel alone much more frequently, last year I took around 10 flights on my own. I’m no longer nervous or worried at all about travelling alone, in fact, I prefer it! My love for flying alone begins in the airport. When I’m alone I can take my time and browse the shops that I want to look in, usually shops like WHSmith, Boots and Monsoon. I can sit down to have a cup of tea when I want to and I can quietly enjoy some people watching, wondering to myself where each group of passing holiday makers are travelling to.
There are a few things that I always do in advance to make my flights more comfortable, firstly, I always book an aisle seat. This is personal preference and I know that most people prefer the window seat but I always choose the aisle. I like to feel that I can get out of my seat easily and without climbing over the person sleeping next to me! Next, I always choose a front row seat where possible. This depends on the airline but with the low cost airlines the price to reserve a front row seat isn’t a great deal more than a standard seat and it’s definitely worth it for the added comfort you get. Also, these seats are not always full so if you’re lucky, you can find yourself with a row all to yourself.
All I need once I know my seat is sorted is to have a few things with me to make sure I get my peace and quiet. Headphones are a must for me as I prefer not to talk to anyone while I’m travelling. It’s not that I’m rude but I like to use the time I’m flying to read and relax so the headphones and a good playlist allow me to do this. I think we’ve all been in a situation where an incredibly chatty person next to us has made it difficult to try and read or sleep! Of course I also need a good book with me, usually I have several downloaded on the iPad ready to read, but sometimes I’ll even carry a paperback with me, just in case 🙂 If it’s a long flight or an overnight journey then I also carry my travel pillow. I don’t always find it easy to sleep on a flight but the pillow certainly helps me.
Doing these few things make travelling alone such a pleasant experience for me. It’s the only time that I’m ever awake and not checking my phone so I can completely switch off from the world for those few hours that I’m in the sky. Flying really is a nice escape for me, you probably know the quote …