Are we There Yet?

June 27, 2013 9 Comments »

longest flight
The longest flight…

I stared at the numbers. Elapsed Time: 23:10 hrs, Miles: 9,940 – shit, we are flying halfway around the earth – I hope we don’t run out of gas. I will soon be getting on the longest non-stop flight in the world. For someone who has always gushed about how much I like long flights, even this may be a challenge for me.  This is the longest flight I’ve ever taken.

And this flight is only our middle flight of 3 flights.

We are actually flying a total of 12,101 miles on this flight from Omaha, NE to Hanoi, Vietnam. We have 2 layovers, and a grand total of 36 hours and 45 minutes to get from Omaha to Hanoi. Oh yes – and we are flying economy.

Learn about compression socks for travel – what, why, and how

When my niece who lives in Omaha, Nebraska decided that her first trip out of America should be to Vietnam – I doubt she took these numbers into account. But hey, it’s going to be a memorable experience for her first international flight and experience with jet lag. I do love my family – go big or go home.

The great thing is that even though these numbers to get to Vietnam are daunting, it hasn’t dulled her enthusiasm for the trip in the least. The one thing I love about excitement is that it’s infectious. There is no better travel companion than one who is genuinely excited.

I received this in my Twitter feed from my niece, Evie, a few weeks ago:

“Is just so close! @ottsworld #pumped”

Countdown to vietnam
Countdown to Vietnam

We may have to start a timer like this when we leave Omaha on our first flight and time the whole process!

This Singapore Airlines flight from Houston to Singapore is the longest flight out there. Others from the past don’t even come close (List of longest flights from 2012). This has led me to conversations with Evie about neck pillows, eye masks, ear plugs, and Tylenol PM. I think we are as prepared as we’ll ever be for such a long journey.

The planning process with Evie has been smooth sailing – and has left me a bit shocked as I know many adults who can’t plan as well as this 17-year-old.

Aunt and Niece
Evie and I in NYC last year – good travel companions!

I was impressed from the beginning by her thoughtful process for deciding upon Vietnam as the location she wanted to go to for the Niece Project. But as we’ve been preparing, she has continued to make me proud with her involvement in planning and eagerness for the whole process of international travel. I have really tried to make this planning process a learning experience for her – and I’m happy to say that she has taken the ball and run with it.

We already went through the process of obtaining her first passport, and we’ve moved on to things like vaccinations, visas, registering with the State Department STEP program, insurance, and getting her first frequent flyer number, and now we have moved on to packing. Every ‘assignment’ I have thrown her way she’s run with it.

She’s read over the trip notes and itinerary a number of times and already knows how to pronounce the tricky town of Hue correctly – so she’s ahead of most travelers in Vietnam. But nothing can really prepare her for what comes first – when she steps off the plane.

Vietnam motorbike traffic
I love the traffic in Vietnam – I hope Evie does too.

Even though I’ve traveled throughout Vietnam before, and I LIVED there for a year – I’m still extremely excited to leave for Vietnam this Saturday! And remember, I’m the girl that hates to do the same thing twice. Sure, I’m excited to get back to the delicious Pho, the exciting and chaotic traffic, the beautiful beaches, the Ca phe sua da, and the cheap shopping experiences. But mainly my excitement is infused by the fact that Evie is oozing excitement for this trip.

Follow Us On The #NieceProject

This Saturday the Niece Project continues with niece no. 2! And this time you can follow me AND you can follow Evie and her reactions to travel in Vietnam and the world’s longest flight. We are outfitted with a mobile wifi device from TelecomSquare and we’ll be providing live updates from Vietnam on #NieceProject and on these accounts:

Ottsworld Travel – Facebook
@Ottsworld – Twitter
@Ottsworld – Instagram
@evelyn_mae07 – Twitter 
@Evelyn_Mae07 – Instagram

Vietnam Itinerary

Good morning vietnam map
Intrepid’s Good Morning Vietnam Family Tour

We will be going the length of Vietnam from north to south starting in Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh City (my old home!). We will be taking vans, buses, planes, boats, trains, and bicycles…and most likely a few motorbikes on Intrepid’s family-oriented adventure! Along the way I expect to stuff our faces, meet locals, get rained on, take some cooking classes, and see a few beaches.
Full Itinerary – Good Morning Vietnam 

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for take-off! We’ll see you on the other side…of the world!

Do you have any advice on how to handle long-haul flights and jet lag?  Please share in the comments.

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