What does it feel like during take off?
This has been well described previously, there's fairly high acceleration, then the plane tilts up (nose up) so you feel a little like you're in a recliner. As the pilot operates the plane, certain things will move and make noise, or go *k-thunk*. These are normal, and can sound like a far off drill, or like the air wrenches at the tire shop, or like someone hit the plane with a hammer. They are normal. You may even feel some of them through the floor if you're in the right spot. The thumps etc are *good* things, it means the latch operated as designed.I don't really have reason to be afraid that this plane is just gonna suddenly drop out of the sky right?
No. Planes are designed so that even without engine power, they can safely glide/maneuver to the ground. There are many many redundant systems which can take over if something goes wrong.I have a fear of heights.
Me too! seriously, one time at camp we had to walk across a log 20 feet in the air with a harness, and I melted into a sobbing mess. I still feel a bit jibbery when I get much higher than 10 feet. As someone else mentioned, it seems totally different from 35,000 feet up. The view is so different that it doesn't really process as "really high" in your brain. I *love* looking out the window. But, go ahead and get an aisle seat - just in case.Other general things
- Getting your tickets is a two step process, first buy/reserve, then "check-in" and get the piece of paper that lets you on the plane. Check in at least 2-3 hours before flight. online check in is usually available, but for a first time flier, and since you are also checking a bag, just go to the desk
- Be sure to review the airline rules for carry on size, check-in instructions and the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) for what is allowed in your carry on. http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information
- Riding in a plane for me is a lot like riding in a bus. If you get car sick or anything in this situation, take the same precautions, (ginger, drammamine etc). Alcohol usually makes me feel worse.
- Airports are designed for people who have never been there before. There will be lots of signs, and probably a friendly and well staffed information desk.
- Contrary to what many people advise, I usually wear my biggest, heaviest pair of shoes (usually boots) on the plane to save myself room in the suit case. Yes it's a pain at the security desk, but I've gotten good at untying my shoes while I walk.
- I would look up youtube videos about the "process" of flying. There are many step-by-step things that I and the other posters have not all typed out here. We may not even really think of them as things to say to people because it seems so obvious when you've already done it a bunch of times.
Second issue: So what do I pack? How much of each thing?
Figure out your day-to-day wear. You have said khakis, so I would pack 2-3 pairs of these, and maybe 1 pair of more casual bottoms. Pack 7-10 tops which all roughly go together, and then only 2-3 middle layers (cardigans, pull over sweaters) that match all the tops. 7-10 undies and pairs of socks (but you can sacrifice some of these if you wash them in the sink and hang to dry). Since you are stopping at walmart on the way on the first day, skip pretty much any consumable that you could buy there (shampoo, toothpaste). These are such a PAIn to fly with, because if they get squished or leak they are a mess, and they are annoying for security) The secret to packing light is to combine as many things as possible and *NOT* pack "for every eventuality", so you don't need a sweater to go with every top, alternate between two that go with every shirt you wear underneath. You don't need a dinner date dress and heels (just in case). You don't need hiking boots and sneakers and slip ons, etc, etc, etc. Try to get it down to one, or MAXIMUM 2 pairs of shoes, one of which you will wear on the plane. Sneaky tip: Coats/jackets are freebees through security and as a carry on. Even if it's too warm to wear it when you leave, wear it instead of packing it to save space in the luggage.how big should the luggage be?
There is a limit from the airline, but you might also consider how much you will be lugging it around. If you're going to be hiking with it up stairs or a long way from the car to the room, a bag with wheels is not much good to you. I travel with a Rick Steves Back Door Bag, and a large laptop backpack.