Surviving Long Haul Flights
Traveling to a far flung country is incredibly exciting, you will get the chance to see a variety of amazing places and experience things that you wouldn’t get to experience at home. The only downside of traveling to these amazing places is a long haul flight. I’d love to return back to Fiji, which is approximately 27 hours of traveling each way (with several stops). To be honest, I have no issues with the outbound journey to Fiji, as I know gorgeous beaches, pineapples (a story for another day) and the wonderful people of the Islands is on offer, it’s the 27 hour journey home with gloomy London that would hurt me! As usual I digress….
Long haul flights are not exactly the best thing to have to experience. However, they despite being somewhat unpleasant, they are worth every hour and they are something that you can get through.
To help you along the way, I have put together a short guide to surviving long haul flights, including a variety of things that you can do to make things that little bit easier to take.
Lose yourself in a good book or movie
Escaping during a long haul flight can really be the helping hand that you need to get through it. Some people will decide to work or catch up on notes, which is incredibly productive. However, the real way to truly escape is to lose yourself in a good book or even a movie that you have been meaning to watch. Before you know it, you will have arrived and you will be ready to absorb everything that the newest destination can bring.
Try and upgrade
Now, this one sounds pretty obvious, but so many people forget that one of the best ways to get through a long haul flight is to upgrade yourself to the very best class that you can afford. This will make things a whole lot more pleasant and will make even the longest flight seem like it is just a hop over the ocean. I’ve got a trip to Australia coming in August 2018, for a friend it’s been in the pipeline for 18 months and I decided to set aside enough funds to be able to treat myself to business class. Side note, I’m actually flying from Stockholm to Brisbane return, which was almost half the price in business class that a Heathrow to Brisbane flight was on the same airline, and actually the same price as a Premium Economy flight with British Airways!!
If an upgrade isn’t an option, try looking to book an exit seat or if you are familiar with the Airline and type of plane you’ll be flying. Check out www.seatguru.com for their comprehensive seat reviews. I generally pick my seat after consulting Seatguru!
Minimise your hand luggage
Hand luggage on busy flights may be stored under the seat in front of you, which has an impact on how much leg room that you have during your flight. This may not be too much of a problem during a short haul flight, but when you are stuck on a plane for over 10 hours, the last thing you are going to want is to be cramped up with nowhere to stretch. This means that it is a really good idea to try and limit how much hand luggage you take.
However, do pack those key items
Whilst it makes sense to try and limit the amount of hand luggage that you take with you on a long haul flight. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pack those things that you are going to need. You may feel silly packing noise cancelling headphones and a neck pillow if you are only flying short-haul, but trust me, carrying those around for a long haul flight isn’t going to feel so silly. After having recently flown a long-haul return flight with TUI, I’m glad I bought along those headphones, there were at least a dozen tantrum throwing toddlers on board.
It is easy to get caught up on the free alcohol usually associated with long-haul flights (unless you are on an American airline!), my top tip here is to take a large empty bottle of water with you to the airport, once you pass security you should be able to fill the bottle at water stations around the airport. You can get these refilled on board but, on numerous travel blogs and airline forums I’ve seen countless notes that the pipes don’t get cleaned too often! Therefore I always refill my bottle at the airport.
Try and sleep if you need to
Sleeping on a plane isn’t the easiest of things to do. However, making sure that you are rested is incredibly important. If you feel your eyelids drooping and that you could drop off for a nap, then go for it. You might only get a couple of hours, but you will feel so much better for it.
As you can see, when it comes to long haul flights, there are some simple ways that you can make things that little bit easier. Why not try these tips out for yourself and see if you can arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to explore?