There’s nothing quite like the thrill of going away, the countdown, getting to the airport, skipping gleefully through security, going to your gate, you’re almost there! You get called to board, you find your seat and then nothing, that’s it for 10+ hours. Great!
I always much prefer to take a direct flight if I can, to get straight there without the hassle of getting off and sitting in an airport again, I love air travel but even those who fly long haul often get massively bored, so, here are my top 10 tips for surviving a long haul flight like a pro.
1. Entertain yourself
You know you’re going to be sitting on a flight for hours on end, plan your trip so you have something to do to pass the time. Download games on to your phone, get yourself a good plane read (I always read about my destination), have a look on your airlines website to see what films they offer – plan it so you can do something to keep your mind off of the drudgery that is air travel.
2. Get comfortable
Most of us fly in economy and we all know how uncomfortable it can be, so plan around that. Get yourself a travel pillow to rest your head, take pashminas and jumpers to keep warm if you feel chilly. These things will help you immensely with surviving long haul flights tip number 3…
It’s so easy isn’t it?! Kip off for eight hours and wake up with only a few hours to go. I’m one of those lucky ones who falls asleep easily on flights, if you’re not one of the lucky ones you can do things that can help you; take an eye mask to block out light, earplugs (or headphones) to block out the drone of the engine and cover yo’self up to keep warm.
4. Book your seats on an empty row
Okay, this one is more pot luck than anything else, but when you book your seats try to book to fly on a quiet travel day (mid-week if possible). When it comes to seat selection then have a look for a row without any other passengers on it already, after that, it’s down to karma. Wait and see if you get lucky, I’ve had three long haul flights with an entire row to myself, it’s like makeshift first class.
5. Take use of the goodies
Most long haul flights give drinks and food for free, make use of these to keep yourself hydrated not only will you look and feel better by the end of the flight but the breaks will break up your long ass flight.
6. Walk about
Get up out of your seat and have a little walk up and down the aisle, stretch it out, bend, move your body around a bit. This will break up your flight as well as waking your body up a little bit.
If your neighbour seems friendly then what better way to pass the flight than getting to know them? I have met some brilliant people on flights, one of which I’m still friends with today. I’ve met an old captain of a Chinese table tennis team, old ladies going adventuring for the first time, young people traversing the world, various interesting people who will share their stories with you.
8. Wifi that shizzle
If your plane allows then get wifi, it normally comes at a cost but time does fly (ha!) remarkably fast if you can talk to your friends and family down on the ground. I know quite a few airlines do it now, the best way to check is to have a look on your airlines website, it is well worth the cost (in my opinion).
9. Break down the flight into segments
I always try and break down a long flight into segments, two hours for a film, eat, four to six hours sleep, read for an hour, eat, drink, watch a tv show, go for a little walk. Breaking down a long length of time into manageable segments makes the whole process easier.
10. Take hygiene products and a change of clothes
Use the last half hour of your flight to freshen up, take a toothbrush and toothpaste (a small one) on board to freshen that breath, wash your face, change your clothes (if possible), brush your plane hair. Get yourself ready to start your adventure, you’ll feel a lot better when you land, also, it uses up a segment of time (look at number 9.)
How do you deal with long haul flights? Do you have a process in place that takes the pain out of flying? I’d love to hear from you!