Posts Tagged With: Flights

How to Plan a Trip to Italy – Part 11

Your big day has finally come. You are going to Italy! Get to the airport early. We like to stop at Vino Volo after we get through security. We have a flight of wine (4 different glasses with about an ounce of wine each or one regular glass of wine). We also order some appetizers to go with the wine. For us this is the official start of our vacation.

Vino Volo

Vino Volo

We board the airplane early to ensure we get overhead space. The flight from Philadelphia to Rome is always full. We normally took US Airlines but they merged with American and they are one airline under the American name now. The planes are all newly painted with the new American logos. The plane is an airbus A330-300 – wide body. The non-stop flight is American 718 going to Rome and 719 returning. The 718 flight leaves Philadelphia at 6:25 pm and arrives in Rome the next day at 9:10 am. Coming home we leave Rome at 11:55 am and arrive in Philadelphia at 3:45 pm the same day.

American Airlines

The overnight flight going is mostly in darkness. After the meal service they turn off the cabin lights and you can sleep. If you don’t sleep onboard, you can watch movies or play games on your personal monitor in the back of the seat in front of you. You can also read. The flight goes fast if you can catch 2-3 hours sleep. Before landing you see the sun rise over Europe and a small breakfast service is given. The return flight has a lunch service and a snack before landing in Philly. It is in sun-light all the way so you can easily stay awake. We watch 3 movies to pass the time.

Arriving in Italy you are tired and your body is confused. After all it is 3:10 am back in Philly. We rent a car and drive to our first destination. We will stop on the Autostrada for a Panini (sandwich). This helps adjust your body to the new time zone. It is VERY important to not nap during the day! If you do you will wake-up in the middle of the night and be starving. Force yourself to stay awake and tour. Find something interesting to do. Have dinner and don’t go to bed before 8 pm. You will crash and sleep like a baby. When you wake up the next day you will be fully on Italy time.

Returning is easier since it is in daylight all the way. You arrive at 3:45 pm and by the time you get home it is after 5 pm (11 pm Italy time). Have some dinner to help adjust the time zone and go to bed around 8 pm. You will again wake-up on the correct time zone.

Arriving in Italy you have your adrenaline going, you are excited to start your vacation. Italy is a safe country. Violent crime is very low (even in the big cities). There are pickpockets so beware of who is around you. George puts his wallet and phone in front pockets. Jo Anne puts her purse straps over her head. Don’t stress about it! You are here to enjoy yourself and be romantic.

Italian Flag

George & Jo Anne


Categories: Airplanes, Auto Grills, Autostrada, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Italy, Panini, Romance, Rome, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Passing the Time on Long Flights

How do you pass the time on a long flight to Europe? Rome is about 8 hours going and 9.5 returning. At first it seems way too long to be seated. The new rules don’t let you stand around so most of the time you are in your seat on your butt! Going to Europe is almost always an overnight flight. I try to get some sleep. It may not be the best sleep but at least it is a little. It is dark outside and they dim the cabin lights so it is not too difficult to sleep. If you are a person that can not sleep on a plane then watch movies, play games or read to help pass the time.

Once you arrive you are tired, after all you are starting a brand new day with little or no sleep. Don’t make the common mistake of taking a nap at the hotel. It is very important to force yourself to stay awake. You can crash early in the evening but make it to at least 7 or 8. If you nap your body never switches time zones. You will wake up in the middle of the night starving because it’s food time back home. If you had forced yourself to stay awake until evening, you will sleep sound and wake up on the new time zone ready for a new day. Your adrenaline should help keep you awake that first day. After all you are in a new country and a new city.

The flight home is a little depressing. It’s longer, you are going home and your vacation is over. There is no adrenaline to help. I find most flights back to the states from Europe are in the late morning arriving mid afternoon. The sun is out the whole way. The cabin is well-lit. When you land it’s 9 pm or earlier in your European time zone. It’s not hard to stay awake. Watch movies or read. Keep busy and the time will pass. When you finally get home its late afternoon or early evening. Stay awake until around 7 or 8 pm again. Now you can sleep, its midnight to 2 am in your European time zone. Wake up the next day back on your USA time zone.

Enjoy your trip and travel smart!

George & Jo


Categories: Europe, Flights, General Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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