As an international student, flying to and from Hopkins on 14-hour airplane rides is not uncommon. With three (probably more) of these trips under my belt, I want to share some tips on preparing for long rides back home:
- Usually, Uber rides from the BWI–Baltimore/Washington International Airport–to Hopkins costs around $25-30, but it’s a lot cheaper if you share your ride with other students. There’s a Facebook Page for Hopkins students to arrange rides together from the airport to Hopkins.
- I’ve heard people say that sleeping according to the time that the plane lights dim is supposed to help you adjust to the time difference, but it’s a MYTH! What does help is setting my watch on Eastern Standard Time before take-off and sleeping according to the time I want to be falling asleep in Baltimore.
- Another tip, probably an unhealthy one, is to pull an all-nighter the night before your flight back to Baltimore. It helps you fall asleep at the right time on the plane.
- When I get on long flights, I like to pack a little baggie with everything I need in a long flight. I usually pack this baggie right after I pass security. Here’s a closer look:
- Lotion – my skin gets pretty dry during long flights, so I pack a small facial lotion to keep my face moisturized
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – freshening up is going to help you feel less groggy when you get off the plane. I freshen up by washing my face and brushing my teeth.
- Make-up – as a part of my freshening up routine, I also bring some make-up items, like eyeliner and lipgloss.
- Contact lens case – I take off my contacts before take-off and put them on an hour before landing.
- Once I board, the first thing I do is organize my seat. I put my books, journal, or anything I might read during the flight in the seat pocket. I also put THE bag (dun dun dun) in the seat pocket so I can travel to the bathroom easily. Then I take my shoes off and switch into the slippers that the airline provides, and tuck myself into the blanket that they give you on the flight.
- …and your boarding pass! Filling out the re-entry forms on your way back home or on your way back to the States can be hectic if you’re looking for your passport and boarding pass shoved deep inside your backpack. This also a good way to prevent losing your passport on the plane.
Lina O. is a sophomore from Seoul, South Korea studying public health. She is a part of the International Recruitment Committee in Blue Key Society, Epidemic Proportions, and the Sexual Assualt Resource Unit Hotline. When asked to describe Hopkins in one sentence, Lina said that Hopkins was the place where she changed the most.