Samantha Auty proudly sponsored by Fencing Imports Australia

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Hi All!

I arrived in Rome last night after flying out of Melbourne via Dubai. I am just going to put it out there that I love flying on long journeys. This is not because I am crazy but because I spend so much time organizing my trip and being busy that when I get on the plane and someone is making sit still for 16 hours I enjoy it. For me it is basically a day where I get to eat, watch movies, nap and go shopping (during stopovers). However, I understand that flying is not a comfortable experience for everyone so here are some tips for flying as an athlete:

  • Always bring a bottle of water (IL or larger). You can spend your entire flight asking the hostess for a little cup of water every minute or you can simply bring your own. CAUTION: You can not bring water past the security gate, so I suggest bringing an empty bottle and filling it up at a drink tap afterwards. This is why I disliked Dubai as a stopover, there was nowhere to fill up after security checks.

  • Wear compression. Always wear them for long flights, last year I didn't on the way back and my ankles swelled enormously. In addition to this if you are training beforehand you are at a greater risk of DVT (I trained 6 hours before my flight because it was at 3am).

  • Bring ear plugs and a travel pillow (one of the ones that fits around your neck). You may think you can sleep anywhere until you get on a plane with a screaming baby and you wake up with a crick in your neck. These two items make sleeping infinitely easier and more comfortable.

  • Bring snacks. Most airlines provide snacks as well as two meals for long (14hr) flights, however you may not like the food or as you train a lot require more to keep you going than the average person. Bringing snacks to keep you going will help. CAUTION: don't bring too many, customs generally doesn't like people trying to bring in a bag load of snacks, plus throwing it away it wasteful.

  • Plan you way to and from the airport. Unlike team tours where often a bus is organised you have to do this yourself if you are travelling alone. Often in another country you will not have immediate access to WiFi and will have to get to and find your hotel (sometimes at night). Taxis are easy but sometimes this isn't financially viable, so if you are travelling by yourself know where to get a train/ bus, how much it costs and a map of the area your hotel is in. It is better to be prepared than to have to fork out more money for a taxi or rely on others to help you. Plus if you know how much it will cost you, you can get that money ready at the airport.

I hope this helps and makes flying a little bit easier :) In my next post I will write more on training overseas and preparing for that.

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