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International Flight Snacks for First-Time Fliers

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Fiends are flying to Italy next week to pick up a cruise ship. I haven't flown international in so long that I'm not sure if they even get a meal these days. Don't know their airline. I'd like to send along some snack items and a healthy breakfast cookie/bar for arrival. Any ideas regarding what to eat to lessen jet lag and/or help with flying jitters? High carbs, low carbs? Ginger tea bags, ginger candy? I was thinking of low salt trail mix with dried blueberries and dried cherries for the flight, and an oatmeal cookie/bar with applesauce and bacon and raisins and maybe even cheddar cheese for breakfast.

Neither has been on a plane in his/her entire life. Ever.

I'm also thinking of sending chewing gum for the ear pressure thing, hand wipes (are the inividually wrapped wipes legal?). Maybe a note to suggest getting up and walking the aisles and other first-time hints (do they make disposable footies/socks?) Could really use some first-time hints.

I've been to the federal Web site for restrictions. They're not taking cattle prods or anything pointy, so that's covered.

If there is a blog that covers this question, please post a link. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  1. you're so sweet to do this for them! it would really help to find out which airline they're using, as the amenities vary widely. some will provide quite a few creature comforts, even in economy class. Qantas, for one, has better coach service than anything i've ever experienced in domestic First Class - socks, eye mask for sleeping, toothbrush & toothpaste, a *selection* of full meals...all complimentary.

    one note on those snacks - careful with the bacon because of the sodium content.

    oh, and LOL at the cattle prod comment ;)

    1. Your ideas of, "...ginger candy...low salt trail mix with dried blueberries and dried cherries...and an oatmeal cookie/bar with applesauce and bacon and raisins" are very thoughtful. On the other hand, people get plenty of food on trans-Atlantic flights. No real need to send food.

      Please suggest to them to drink plenty of water during the flight - at least a full glass per hour. Water is readily available. And they should make sure that they have access to the aisle so that they can get rid of that water as needed and so they can walk about every once and a while. Business class will provide disposable socks; take your own for economy. Wear comfortable, adjustable shoes: feet usually swell over long flights. Take a tiny bottle of skin moisturizer if in economy. Tell them how the sliding lav door locks work. Now and then I see first time passengers enter the lavs without locking the door - clearly not knowing how: that can be embarrasing.

      Which airport are they leaving from? They should allow plenty of time for security. Again wear shoes that you can pop on and off. Pack all you metalic things in your carry-ons prior to security (watches, coins, ...).

      Could comment further if you have other specific questions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Amen, Bro Sam! Along w/ water stretching and isometric exercises while in the seat help a lot.

      2. Applesauce will not make it through security.

        1. Ditto what everyone says about your thoughtfulness.

          As others have noted, transatlantic flights offer food (at least, everyone I take does, and I travel back and forth on a fairly regular basis) but nibbles are a kind gesture.

          Handiwipes are fine to bring on board. Melatonin is supposed to be good for jetlag. I used to use it and think I only don't any more because I keep forgetting to buy it. Socks are good, compression socks may be even nicer (although they are pricy).

          Assuming they are travelling from the states on an overnight flight, I'd recommend they aim to sleep on the flight over and hit the ground running the next morning. There will be time to rest, but keeping oneself going can be the best way to adjust. Of course, each has his or her own way.

          1. Thanks, everyone!

            I wasn't sure if a meal was included in an overnight trans-Atlantic flight these days, let alone snacks. I figure they'll watch a movie, talk to each other and seatmates, walk around, read, but I'm not sure how relaxed they'll be on their first flight (they picked a long one for their inaugural) to just settle down and sleep. My thinking was if they each got nothing but a bag of 6 honey-roasted peanuts compliments of the airline, I needed to send something!

            I'm ditching the idea of breakfast bars. They land in Venice and have plenty of time to get to the ship. I'll post over on the International boards to ask for a recommendation where they can stop for a pastry and cup of tea.

            Okay, Sam, what's the deal with the bathroom door lock? They might find your hint infinitely more valuable than a bag of granola!

            I'm still going with chewing gum, wet wipes, ginger candy, a small jigsaw puzzle.

            12 Replies
            1. re: nemo

              Enter the lav, pull the door shut with the door knob, look for the little handle and knob in the little slot to the side of the actual door knob and slide that firmly. A light will go on, telling you that the door is locked.

              The flight will serve breakfast as well, so no worries adout that. If they're air traveling for the first time, they may have new suitcases that look like everyone else's - best to tie a short colored ribbon to each handle.

              Wet wipes are OK; but most airlines recently switched from liquid soap to disinfecting soap foams in the lavs.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Yes, definately do something to identify their luggage. Most airlines have individual
                tvs for each passenger. So they can watch any number of movies, play games, or keep track of where the plane is. On our last few international flights, we got a flight bag even in coach (mask, toothbrush/paste, socks, etc.), and yes, Qantas was the best; they even kept a bowl of fruit and bottles of water out all the time. There will be plenty of food and snacks on the flight. They will need to drink lots of water and walk around every now and then. We're heading to Italy Monday. It'll be our fourth trip there.
                Hope they'll love it as much as we do!

                1. re: bayoucook

                  Not all the airlines are to that point yet. When I last flew Continental, not all the flights had the screens yet on the trans-atlantic routes (they were still getting installed). Northwest didn't have them on the Asian routes as of December, so I wouldn't be surprised if they had nothing on the trans-atlantic yet. Air India (often a cheap choice to Europe) doesn't have anything either.

                  As for US Airways- definitely bring a snack because "plenty of food and snacks" is not a term I'd used to describe its Trans-Atlantic offerings.

                  1. re: queencru

                    Thanks for letting me know. I went to their website and it looks pretty dismal for the flight....oh well - it's just a means of transportation!

                2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Thanks, Sam! Wet wipes I was thinking more for face and arms for freshening up before deplaning. When I find out what airline they're on, I'll be able to match up the great info posted here. Luggage identification, good point. They've traveled, just not flown.

                  Thanks again, everyone.

                  1. re: nemo

                    I always take the wipes to give myself a litte "bath" at the end of the night. Also my antiperspirant which is within the legal 3oz. limit, toothbrush, travel size toothpaste. Considering the pre-flight hours, the flight itself and then how long it will be before you have a real bathroom to use, "one" can get a little ripe :)

                    Emtpy water bottle is a great idea. We travel Continental to Rio because it has GREAT connections but they only give you cups of water, not whole bottles. It's a 10 hour flight overnight from Houston to Rio and I NEED that water in my seat pocket.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Bottles of water always a good idea and a chowhound provided the suggestion that you ask the flight attendant to fill the bottle should it empty. Having now travelled a few times that way, I'll say that may times an attendant will be kind enough to refill, but almost as many times they will refuse, opting instead to give a few glasses of water (which I then poured into the bottle myself trying to ignore the waste that was otherwise evident).

                      I suppose I say that so a person can be prepared for the more resistant flight attendant. It happens and frankly, logic is not something that works in these cases so don't even try.

                      1. re: Lizard

                        I've generally found if I go to the galley when it's quiet that they've been quite accommodating but there are always exceptions, aren't there?

                        1. re: Lizard

                          I don't kinow of any trans-Atlantic to Europe that is reluctant about water.

                  2. re: nemo

                    I would include Purell, and a small notebook and pen for each of them. I always bring a pocket size notebook and pen when I travel.. you never know what kind of tips and recommendations you're going to run into.

                    You can also send along a refillable water thermos for each of them- I've seen some cool ones recently. They can take it thru security, fill it up at the airport, and use it the whole trip. Fill it up before leaving the ship for the day... and not have to worry about purchasing bottles of water at the port.

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      For the flight back, they should find out what the regulations are, regarding bringing a beverage onboard. From Costa Rica (not the same as Europe, I know) we were not allowed to bring any beverages on board - they searched AT THE GATE, and we were not allowed more than the usual security screening 3 oz amt of liquid. We had been warned, though, ahead of time, so it wasn't a surprise.