It's been a long drag keeping our feet planted on terra firma when startling blue skies with delicious white fluffy clouds have been calling to our nomadic spirits.
Below are a few quirky facts to jolt your memory of what's in store for you:
1. It's true, you will suffer from a worse bout of jet lag when traveling from west to east. Apparently, it's easier for the body to adjust to longer days (east to west) than to shorter days.
2. Drink that water when sitting on a flight: rehydration is a must when flying. A plane's cabin is almost three times drier than the Sahara desert, and you can lose up to 60 fluid ounces on a ten-hour flight. Note: slurping alcohol does not equate to a rehydration boost. Alcohol is a diuretic that will ensure numerous trips to the tiny cupboard known as a plane toilet. And, you don't want to arrive at your destination as dehydrated as a dried prune!
3. The pros and cons of where you sit on a plane: put your rear end down at the back of the aircraft, you may have the bumpiest ride, but you will have a better chance of surviving a plane crash. Sitting at the pointy end will have you traveling in decadence, but you will be the first one to meet your maker if the plane crashes.
4. Shock, horror: between 1980 and 2019, 33 planes have gone missing under the guise of numerous incidences, many of which are unexplained.
5. It's a wise idea to take out travel insurance that covers death before jumping on a flight. The worst year on record was in 2010, when 943 souls died. In 2014, 692 people lost their lives, and in 2018, 561 deaths were recorded. However, due to Covid and border closures in 2020, only forty aviation accidents occurred in which 299 people lost their lives.
6. The country with the top number of tourist deaths was China, followed by Egypt and South Korea. In fact, countries in Asia accounted for the top five locations where tourist deaths occurred. Most deaths are a result of road traffic accidents. Still, there's always the chance of falling off a camel, getting mashed by an angry hippo, or drowning when your ferry sinks. You are more likely to be robbed than killed while flitting around the globe.
7. Even with the pandemic running riot globally, in 2019, France was the most popular country for tourists to visit, followed by Spain, the United States, and China. The most popular city in 2019 was Bangkok, followed by Paris and London.
8. It's estimated that one in every 250 bags dropped off at an airline check-in will take an independent holiday of their owner. About 5% (approximately 1.4 million) disappear permanently, while many bags do turn up eventually. Airlines try to locate the owner, but after 90 days, the bags and contents are put up for auction on various websites such as Unclaimed Baggage.
9. According to London City Airport, the top list of confiscated items includes Marmite, Nutella, Snowglobes, and furry handcuffs...mmm. In the US, it's more along the lines of 'hardware' such as bullets, fireworks, and chainsaws. While numerous travelers arriving in Australia attempt to bring in bizarre food delicacies like barbecued rats, skinned frogs, and duck tongues.
10. At any one time, it's estimated that 9,728 planes carrying about 1.2 million people are winging around the world—that was in 2017, the pre-COVID era. Today, with country border closures/restrictions, this number has dipped by about 60%.
You are not alone if you suffer from a variation of 'aviophobia'—aka the fear of flying. About one in six people break out in a sweat, have heart palpitations, and get the shakes, apart from various other inconvenient bodily mishaps, at the thought of getting on a plane. However, you can overcome this fear, apart from dropping a Xanax pre-flight that will leave you feeling in control during a plane ride. Alternatively, book on one of the airlines named the safest for 2022: Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines.
So book a flight now, as the international borders are beginning to reopen, and get excited to leave your Covid home bubble.