The Hobo Guide to Long-Haul Luxury
To be honest, I’m not exactly your typical hobo. I don’t stalk tables at the pub for leftover pints, nor do I sleep under sketchy train stations to save the hostel bill, but I do have some helpful advice on how to fly more comfortably, efficiently and potentially, frequently. It’s the simple things…
Regardless of how full your flight is, anxious you are about flying or how uncomfortable your seat may be, get a couple of sleeping pills and you will fucking teleport across the globe. “Oh, but I don’t like how they make me feel the next day!” Shut up. You’ll eat pingers from strangers at festivals; a prescription sleeping pill is fine. Valium, Tamazapane etc. are far better, obviously, and you can buy them online and have them delivered, but if you’re not comfortable with that, simply visit your local pharmacist.
When flying anywhere, but particularly internationally, always request to be seated as close to the front of the plane as possible (and in a window seat for the headrest). Some Airbuses are holding up to 800 people these days, so when you arrive at any foreign airport (particularly in North America), if you are at the back of the plane, it can literally be an hour’s difference getting through customs between the hobo at the front of peasant class and the hobo at the back.
If travelling on long flights, always ask the counter staff when checking in if it’s a full flight. If it’s not, try and be the last person to board, as this allows you to scope out the plane and suss out where there may be extra seats you can lie down or stretch out on. The second that seat belt sign drops, bolt like Usain.
Sign yourself up for a frequent flyer program. Even if you only fly domestically a few times but fly one decent international route each year, it should be enough to get you into the lounges worldwide. Not only do you get free booze, food, WiFi, showers, la-z-boy chairs and hammocks, but you also get to skip the labyrinth of people queuing up for the flight and can walk to the front of the priority check-in line. This coupled with the fact that you actually earn points each time you fly (and spend, if you link it to your credit card). I’ve actually had five free international flights in the last three years, so it’s well worth it.
I learned this great tip from The Simpsons: a security line with 20 businessmen in it is better than one family of six. Have a look! They are militant with getting through quickly and their queue will run like clockwork. On the other hand, families and the elderly should be avoided at all costs.
As hard as it may be for a hobo to fork over cash, tipping your hostess on long hauls goes a long way. From a simple $20 tip, I’ve been given upgrades to premium economy, leftover meals from Business Class containing duck, and that all-time super friendly service. You will receive a constant stream of, “Are you okay?” and “Would you like another whiskey?”, as well as business-class blankets and pillows. If you break down your $20 into 14 hours, for an extra $1.40 per hour, its really not something to cheap out on.
Your Last Night
I’ve never understood why people don’t like having big nights before they fly… it’s the perfect opportunity to have a bender. Either you are leaving to depart on an adventure, which is something to celebrate with your team at home, or it’s your last night in a foreign city.
“Yeah – I know but I just don’t like flying hung over…”
When you are hungover what do you want to do? NOTHING. You want to sit on your ass, watch movies, sleep and preferably have food and drinks delivered to you. Doesn’t that sound like a flight? “Yes, but it’s just all that customs and checking-in!” Headphones for fucksake – put them in, tune out and deal with it.