New Zealand remains a relatively untouched paradise due to its remote nature. The lack of any land connection joining this little island paradise to the rest of the world necessitates a flight to arrive here. With flights differing between a couple of hours to half a day dependent on where you’re living, it’s well worth trying to make that time as comfortable as possible. We asked seasoned traveller and JustMTB head honcho Aaron McIntosh what he takes with him whilst flying.
"I'm lucky enough to spend the equivalent of 3 weeks a year on a plane travelling the globe to various training camps for windsurfing – you learn a few little tips and tricks along the way to make the time on a long flight work for you."
Here’s Aaron’s essentials;
International credit card
“I never go anywhere without one. With a credit card in hand you can get yourself out of pretty much any situation.” When travelling, make sure you alert your bank to the fact you are going abroad, otherwise you may find yourself locked out of your account. From buying your dinner in the airport after a delayed flight, to paying for your excess baggage on the way home (you didn’t really need all those New Zealand souvenirs did you?) or even buying a new bike whilst over here, we suggest carrying one of these on you at all times!
Noise cancelling ear buds
“These have been a great investment. Whether you want to relax in silence, or plug into your favourite tunes whilst in the airport lounge, with a good set of ear buds you could close your eyes and be anywhere in the world. Great for in flight movies too!” A nice item to pick up in the duty free lounge to kill your wait time or your local electronic shop prior to your flight, being able to relax and sleep on the flight is important. We want you to turn up excited to ride your bike, not excited for sleep!
I phone cable/phone power pack
“There’s nothing worse than getting to the airport, plugging in ready to use your smartphone and it’s got low battery. Whether I’m using my phone for work & pleasure, that battery doesn’t ever last long – the power pack has been a lifesaver on some of the long flights to keep me connected.” With a range of cases that double as a power pack, or just a plug in variety, you’ll get 1.5-2 charges worth on your smartphone. It’s always worth carrying your charge cable too as some of the newer Air New Zealand planes have USB slots allowing you to charge on the go.
Laptop sleeve with essentials
“My survival bag. I slip my phone, charge cable and power pack, laptop, ear buds, pen and magazine into this and stash it in the seatback. That way I don’t end up being ‘that guy’ who gets up every 10 minutes to open the overhead locker.” There’s nothing worse than being on a long flight with your essentials 3 feet above you, yet no way to reach them because there’s a sleeping giant next to you. Everything is within arm’s reach, now sit back relax and you’ll be in New Zealand soon.
Mid layer clothing
“My Icebreaker mid layer merino travels the globe with me. Airlines seem to love turning the air-con up at night as some kind of deterrent to people sleeping, so having this to throw on keeps me toasty. It packs up pretty small too saving that precious carry on space.” What can we say, we love being warm in merino too!
“A 12 hour flight from the USA isn’t that long when you break it down. A couple of meals, a movie, a bit of reading and a decent sleep pass the time pretty quick. If I can get 6 hours sleep at 80% quality, I’ll be good to go as soon as I land.” There nothing worse than broken sleep, rocking heads and drooling over your own lap while you try and get some shut eye. Neck pillows come in various incarnations, inflatable and bean filled being the most common allowing you to rest your head and sleep in comfort. Put in your noise cancelling ear buds, recline your seat and you’ll be dreaming of New Zealand and sheep in no time.
Thanks Aaron for your tips. If you’ve got any travelling tips you’d like to share, please let us know.