The moon guides me as I drive towards King Shaka International Airport on a Friday morning. It was 4am, the sunrise nowhere to be found. I am groggy and sleep-deprived. I need to navigate my way to the airport before the baggage checkpoint closes.
I arrive at the airport in record time.
I parked in the shaded parking, proceeded to the check-in counter (I was a minute late), went through the strict security gates and waited in the queue to board the flight half an hour later.
Early morning flights (airlines usually depart from 6am) is everyone’s worst nightmare. Of course, the pros of such flights is that some of them are inexpensive and you get to have more time at your destination. Early morning flights are not ideal for anyone, but I tend to do the following to prepare myself for it:
Here are some tips:
Pack in advance
Many travellers tend to leave their packaging for the last minute, which causes them to sleep later the night before or wake up earlier to pack. These habits can cause stress and cause problems with your sleep habits.
Practice your sleep routine a week prior
If you are a night owl or someone who tends to oversleep, getting into a strict sleep schedule is probably ideal. A sleep schedule will ensure that you get the recommended hours of sleep and that you don’t miss your flight.
Checking in online eliminates the time spent at the check-in counter when you drop your bag. It also makes it easier if you have hand luggage and you know the time of your boarding.
You should arrive early despite the check-in
Even though you have checked in, it may be a good idea to arrive 45 minutes before you board the plane. You could either grab a cup of coffee or respond to emails(if it’s not a holiday).
Carry a travel pillow
If you feel tired, carry a pillow to catch up on some sleep. Whether its an hour or 5-hour flight, a little nap goes a long way.