Day 51: Stuff To Know About Flying

by ashleighpenrod

After 20 hours of flying time (and an unexpected 14 hours of airport time), this first post from down under is actually about the up and over. I promise that prettier pictures will follow.

I learned a lot of good airport/flying stuff, so I chronicled what I think you should know based on each leg of the trip.

A note: I’m operating on a really old computer with really spotty internet, so apologies if the formatting is a bit messy this week. 

Minneapolis International Airport

  • Try not to get salad dressing in your hair before you’ve even left the country. Even when you rinse it out, your locks will still smell like dressing 30+ hours later.

Flight 1: MSP to LAX

  • If you’re seated next to someone with a cold, periodically holding your breath is not a good germ-avoidance maneuver. It mostly results in lots of gasping for air, usually right after your seatmate sneezes.
  • If you think you discovered a secret military/UFO observation base while flying over the mountains, you probably didn’t (or did you?).
  • When offered peanuts, pretzels or cookies, go for the pretzels. They’re adorable and delicious.

tiny pretzel

Los Angeles International Airport

  • Get to your international flight ridiculously early. You never know when your airline will be “transitioning to a new boarding system” and you may have to stand in multiple lines for multiple hours.
  • If you do end up standing in a line longer than the one you ever stood in for Space Mountain, make some quick friends. It will be fun to chat with them and you’ll appreciate their willingness to watch your stuff while you run to Starbucks and get lost on your way back to the gate.

Flight 2: LAX to SYD

  • Sleep when everyone else is sleeping and take full advantage of all the blankets, pillows and free eye-masks available.
  • Adjusting your feet-to-butt-to-head angles will enable you to plan for the direction your head will loll when you’re out cold. For example, squeezing your feet to the left of your backpack and moving your butt slightly forward and to the right on your seat will direct your head back and to the left. Then, you won’t risk lolling forward and drooling all over your lap.

Sydney Airport

  • The free wifi will work for a magical five minutes and then you might be out of luck. Don’t send any emails requiring immediate attention (i.e. “I’m not on that flight! Pick me up at 5!”)
  • If you’re going to wash your face in the airport bathroom, you might have to dry your face using a super powerful hand dryer. Be prepared to experience 400 mph (approximation) air rushing into your nose and mouth. And if you accidentally get any water on your neck, just plan on having a wet neck.

Flight 3: SYD to CNS

  • This is a good time to look yourself over and see if there’s anything you can do to hide the fact that you’ve been wearing the same clothing for 36 hours. Scrape off the chocolate stuck to your shirt, double-check your hair for that salad dressing smell, etc.


And then you’ve made it!