Long haul flight itself requires some definition. Technically, it is any flight that is over four hours, but then it falls into two different categories. Medium long haul and ultra long haul, the latter being a flight over eight hours. For example, a flight from London to Hong Kong totals around twelve hours. So, here are some top tips to help survive your long-haul trip!
Charity begins at home.
Be kind to yourself the day before. Don’t get stressed. Do pleasant activities that relax you. Do not work a 12 hour shift and leave your packing until the small hours of the morning. Be prepared. Check those documents. Buy a nice folder to keep your tickets, passports and other relevant articles in.
2. Make a flight pack.
Sleeping pills, attractive flight stockings (available in chemists) , painkillers, ear plugs, an eye mask, a small mirror, some make up, face wipes and some antibacterial hand gel are just for starters. A mini roll on deodorant is useful too, but usually a quick wipe down with some face wipes does the trick. Pack this on top of your hand baggage. Also, keep some spare clothes or at least underwear to hand as you may want to change when you arrive.
3. App-ly yourself.
Flightaware is great (available for iOS and android). It gives you updates on airport delays and flight delays. This app also sends you notifications, weather updates, and maps your journey so you can see the route you will be taking. Try to download eastern meditation apps, like The Mindfulness App, particularly those that have music as it can be particularly relaxing. These apps are particularly useful when you’re trying to sleep but find yourself distracted by noise, other people or just the general goings on.
4. Food, glorious food.
Always, always, always eat before boarding a plane. Go for something filling but moderately healthy, then walk around the air port as much as you can. If you are going to be sitting down for over fifty percent of the day, also try getting in some much valued leg stretching time before it’s too late.
5. On board.
Seriously, get everything out of your bag that you need. Pack that stuff on top of everything else so you’re not foraging around like a pig for a truffle. It annoys everyone else, but most importantly, it annoys you. We rely on our kindles, phones, iPad, headphones, purse, and of course flight packs. It is a good idea to pack some light, leisurewear that you can change into later. Try to pack some layers, a pair of socks because honestly bare feet on a flight is not always hygienic, some leggings or joggers, a loose t shirt and a cardigan or sweater.
6. Be prepared.
Always download a few movies that you love because sometimes you just want to be brain dead and not have to follow a plot that requires any concentration. Airplane screens can dry your eyes out somehow, and often the movies may not be to your taste. Always have a back-up plan.
7.Being sick on board.
There is no better recommendation than taking travel sickness pills. Quells are particularly excellent, even if you don’t feel the need to vomit as they will knock you out for a good couple of hours.If you do find yourself really quite ill, lock yourself in the toilet and don’t worry about anyone else. It might be wise to bring a couple of bags of peppermint tea to give to a flight attendant, who usually adds hot water to it and which goes some way to help calm the stomach. Don’t watch the in flight entertainment, don’t do anything, just breathe deeply and close your eyes. Now is a good time to use those meditation apps.
So you’ve eaten the food, watched a few movies, walked up and down a couple of times, gone to the toilet more than necessary, spied on people to see how they’re coping, maybe taken a few photographs. Now is the time to take a walk. Take your drink, walk to the back or the front of the aircraft depending on where you are sitting, and don’t go back to your seat until you´ve drunk your beverage. Ask yourself, how do I feel? Do I feel like watching another movie? Listening to some music? Reading a book? Or just sitting in silence?. Sometimes, you have to embrace the suffering and let it go. Say to yourself I am bored, contemplate it, and then leave it. Let yourself day dream unashamedly. Think of it as a time between reality and dreaming, when anything is possible but you don’t actually have to make any effort to achieve it.
By the time you reach your destination, you’ll be bedraggled and bewildered, but this is where the fun really starts! You have a whole new city, country or continent to explore. So, shake off that ever so distinct smell of aeroplane and embrace the journey ahead. Until we board again.
How do you survive long distance travel? Comment with your tips below!