I am in the midst of preparing for a trip to Istanbul. It is pretty amazing all of the things you need to do! Set-up a car to take you to the airport, find your passport, pack, clean your apartment, call your credit card company, get cash to exchange there, etc. It's probably a good thing I have today off while Craig is at work , because I run around the apartment like a mad man.
I think travel pillows are ugly, however, our flight is almost 11 hours. I will be using one this time, as well as an eye mask and ear plugs. I don't give a rip how I look. A few Advil PM and a glass of wine, and hopefully, I will be out for several hours.
Over the past few days when I have told people we are going to Istanbul, they reply, "Be safe", or "Be careful"! What the what? Turkey is not Iraq. Admittedly, Turkey is a mainly Muslin country, and people's views of Americans around the world are not always favorable, but I like to think that Craig and I are smart travelers, and we try our best not to stand out. As I recall, I think when we were in Paris last people were stopping us and asking for directions. I guess we looked Parisian. I never want to be considered an Ugly American. I have witnessed it all to often. One should be respectful of the language and culture of where ever you are visiting.
My biggest concern is the language. Turkish is not easy. I know "Merhabah", Hello. "Bay" is man, and "Bayan" is women, so I can make it into the correct bathroom. Thank you is a bit difficult, "teşekkür ederim". It sounds a bit like "tea sugar dream". I am sure the places we will visiting, and the majority of the restaurants, people will speak some English.
How do you prepare for a trip? What's the one thing you absolutely must bring with you? What are suggestions for surviving for long haul flights?