Don’t freak out, it’s just a 10-hour flight


Winter break is almost over and the beginning of a new semester for IE students and of course a new year. It’s time to go back to campus, but for some of us, that’s not such an easy road to take. 

As for me, I have to take a 10-hour flight from South America to Spain and then a little more to reach Segovia. Each time that I do it, I learn a little more about how to be prepared for the journey; specifically how not to freak out or overly stress about every single detail through the flight and after to reach Segovia from Madrid. 

From preparing your bags to making sure your phone doesn’t die on the way, planning ahead my transport to get to Segovia from Madrid, there are so many things to think about when planning our trip back. 

Feeling nervous is inevitable, especially for those who must take such a long trip (over eight hours). And for that, I’m giving you a few tips I have gathered over the last two years when preparing for my flight from home to Segovia. 

1) Prepare your documents

The first is essential to look after all the documents needed to make the trip.

I suggest grabbing either a folder or a paper bag to put your vaccine cards, passport, your NIE, or your permit to return, and any other document you may need in hand for the airport.

One can never be too sure to know where to put each of these, and for that, it is so much easier for me to have them all together in one bag instead of spread around all over my handbag.

2) Pack the gold

Now it’s time for one of the most important points on the list and that is your snacks.

One can’t help but feel hungry over the course of a few hours, and if you are like me (someone quite picky when it comes to her food, and a non-meat consumer) then you’ll feel the same way as I do when it comes to plane meals, not so ideally.

For this, I have learned to come prepared and bring my own instead of having to worry about the meal provided by the airline. Either buy something at the airport while waiting for your flight or bring it all the way from your house.

I usually stand between these two, by bringing something from home and then buying something sweet before abording my flight.  

3) Your in-flight entertainment

Now it’s time for your entertainment.

Despite knowing I can sleep most of the flight or that nowadays almost all long-haul flights provide entertainment such as movies and tv-shows of their own on their devices. I prefer to bring my own and avoid boredom or overthinking through the hours before landing.

I would suggest taking advantage of Netflix, Disney Plus, or HBO Max (whatever of these you may have) and downloading some movies or a mini-series you may wish to catch up with. Even if you know yourself you won’t watch each one, it’s better to come prepared than to be bored.

This also comes with Spotify, make sure your playlist is downloaded since once you’re on the flight Plane Mode stops you from listening to anything offline.  

4) Check in online

Now another key factor to check off your list before arriving at the airport is making sure you are already checked in.

Long lines are something everyone is used to and is inevitable most of the time at airports, however, there’s a way to make sure it can go faster and that is already having checked online, instead of having to do the process manually when leaving your suitcase.

Usually, your airline will give you this option two days before your flight and your code to access the website to put your personal information and give you options like picking your own seat or WIFI access during the flight.

5) Timings

Another thing I think you should check is your own timings.

Despite sounding as if I’m exaggerating, trust me it is much less stressful to arrive early than to arrive late and must rush and worry over the process that it takes to get to your gate. You never know what may happen, whether the line will be too long, or your suitcase is overweight, or you are missing a document.

Get early to the airport and use your free time as you wish, either downloading another movie or buying some gifts in the airport shops.

6) Transport

Now once you are out of the airport, with your suitcase in hand we instantly think we are finally free to go and rest.

However, we Segovia students know that is far from our reality. Once we are out of the airport it’s time to find our next transport to get to Segovia. Since most times taxi fees go over a hundred euros, I will give other ways to get to Segovia.

One is taking a bus, the prices range from four to seven euros, and the time to arrive is an hour and a half. While there are also taking the train (the option I tend to go for), prince usually being thirteen euros and it only takes twenty minutes to get to the Segovia station and then a quick taxi ride to the town.

7) Airplane mode

And my final advice for your flight back will be to find whatever way to keep your phone always charged. You can fall asleep, your phone however cannot.

On such long flights anything can happen, from extreme delays to a sudden arrival with no way of transport in sight, or any issues with your luggage or money. Having your phone with at least over 40% battery is always good as it can be our greatest ally when traveling alone.

There are many ways for this to be possible: carrying your charger in your handbag or backpack, however, if your plane doesn’t have a way for you to plug your phone, I would suggest buying a portable charger for your iPhone or android. Make sure the plug goes with your specific phone before buying.

I bought one before my trip back at the start of the break, and it saved my life by stopping my phone from turning off during the last hours of the flight.

I hope the points mentioned will help make sure your flight back is not as stressful as we conjured in our heads the days before having to get to the airport.

As international students, we knew traveling was a part of the package, but it shouldn’t be something that burdens us every time we have to pack again.

Wishing you a safe trip back and an excellent start to the second semester!

Valeria Jaramillo
Valeria Jaramillo
Hi! My name is Valeria Jaramillo. I am a 3rd year BIR student from Ecuador and I just enjoy writing about life.

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