Savvy travelers know the tricks but for all the others: Take advantage of your airline’s Online-Check-in available 24 hours before departure and save the best seats. Thanks to lovely advice from Seatguru.com I ended up with three seats for myself and had the joy of stretching out on my flight to Auckland. I spent a good part of the 16 hour flights asleep and felt quite fresh upon landing in Auckland.
It took my a while to get through customs (I had brought Milka chocolate for my host Shane and you must declare all foods) and immigration (long interrogations like where will you work, when did you find that job, where do you go now, where will you live, etc.) but about an hour later I got through to Arrivals where Shane was already waiting for me. More on that later – now it’s time for a proper sleep!