How to survive a long-haul flight

How to survive a long-haul flight

10/01/2018 Off By Stuart Lansdowne

To all of those who have never experienced a long-haul flight, do not fret it isn’t all bad! If you come prepared then that long-haul flight will FLY in.

So many guides and tips online tell you to avoid all the worry about the long flight and book business class, or use your air miles to get bumped up to first class…or even grovel at the check-in desk for those better seats. However some of us would rather leave the groveling behind to save money that we can spend enjoying our holidays and making memories. If you’re up for that you’re in the right place!

These handy tips will be about ‘roughing it’ in the rather nice economy section, and how to be prepared for the parts of travel which may not be as nice.

Before the flight…

Don't overpack

Don’t overfill your cabin bag:

Before I tell you all you should bring…this is a warning to not pack unnecessarily! You will get frustrated rummaging through an overfilled bag with more distraction techniques, snacks and items than one person could possibly need. Get yourself a cabin bag which is the right size to avoid stuffing any bag into the overhead locker, or worse, being asked to pay to check your bag in! I usually take my small cabin bag and another smaller bag with my essentials for around the airport and as soon as I am on the flight. This includes, my wallet, ID, earphones, kindle or book and maybe a drink. Then just as I get to the gate I put my smaller bag into my cabin bag before getting on the flight.

Hand Luggage Essentials

What to pack in your hand luggage:

If you’ve timed you’re flight right…which sometimes is impossible, you’ll maybe have the hope of catching some shuteye on the flight. For this, you should bring a good travel pillow to prevent neckache on arrival to your destination. Often you can purchase these in the airport, but they can be cheaper elsewhere. Clip that onto your luggage and you’re good to go!
If arriving to your destination with morning breath and feeling all sorts of groggy is not your style, then pack a few toiletries such as wet wipes, a small toothbrush and toothpaste – this also might come in useful if your luggage takes a bit longer than you to get there!

Plane View

Snacking on-board the plane:

You can definitely bring along some of your own home comforts with you for the plane – who knows what the airplane food will be like and everyone knows the inflated price of snacks on aircrafts! However don’t over-pack on the snacks, think about what you could eat and when to eat it, to minimize over-packing.

If you are a nut lover you should probably keep these tucked away, you never know who has allergies on the plane and what kind of reaction they could take.

What to wear for a long-haul flight:

So now you’ve got your bag packed, what about yourself? All you need to worry about when it comes to what you wear is, comfort. Making sure your travel is comfortable is most important and that starts with the clothes you are wearing on the plane.
Comfort is key! If you want to pack a travel blanket when the plane gets cold with aircon you can but you could also just bringing a few extra layers can keep you warm too. I’ve even seen people change into slippers on the plane, so really anything is acceptable to keep comfortable!

Flight Time Board

Do not rely on long-haul sleep:

A mistake I will admit to doing in the past is avoiding sleep so I could save it for the long-haul flight. When I was younger I stayed up all night before a long flight, followed by a connecting flight. The first flight was 8 hours and 40 minutes and the second was 1 hour and 30 minutes. On the first flight I was beside my friends so could not sleep a wink, the excitement of the holiday ahead was too much. Then, we were delayed for the second flight and had to stay overnight in Chicago, so I couldn’t sleep until that night after we went for dinner and went to experience an American Mall – silly me! I slept well that night but it spoiled the first part of my trip. So, moral of the story, get at least some sleep the night before your flight so you aren’t relying on the flight time.

On the day of your flight…

Pack your suitcase in advance for less stress:

This is a basic one but, packing at least 24 hours in advance is worth the pain at the time, you’re less likely to forget plugs and chargers because you won’t have rushed your packing. Make a list, check it twice. This way, you are prepared in time and often remember extra bits and pieces in time to be packed.

Relax before your gate is called

Arrive to the airport in plenty of time:

If this means being early then do so, you’ll be glad of it when your gate is announced and you can walk through the airport at leisure, avoiding the nightmare airport dash from one side to the other!

On-board the flight…

Use aisles to stretch your legs

Stretch your legs often:

Make sure to take a walk, no one should be sat that long. You risk developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – so keep the circulation going and your mind at ease from a little walk around. On top of this keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water when you can.

In-flight Entertainment

Entertain yourself:

With the necessities you’ve packed in your cabin bag you’ll be ready to go but make sure to avail of some in flight entertainment, you can’t go wrong with a movie to pass some time! Make playlists ahead of time and download them to your phone so they are available on airplane mode. Maybe even bring a notebook and pen for sketching or planning your trip when you arrive!

Airplane Landing

Use your cabin luggage:

Treat yourself to a freshen up just before you land, and maybe even give your teeth a brush. That neck pillow will save you from a trip of neckache and discomfort, you will arrive feeling fresher than ever, not remembering that economy chair.

Adjust your watch

Pro Travelling Tip: Change your watch or phone time as soon as you can on the plane to acclimatize yourself to the timezone you’re travelling to even before you’ve touched down. The quicker you do that the more normal it will feel when you land.

So with some easy steps your journey can be that bit more enjoyable, and let those hours fly by!