Wanderlust

How To Survive Long Haul Flights

Does the thought of a 22-hour flight put you off travel forever? Just one of the oh so great things about living in Australia right? I’m not lying when I say you can make long-haul flights enjoyable, ok well, more tolerable. For those of us plebs who can’t afford the luxury of First Class or Business Class, here are some tips on how to survive your next long-haul flight sitting in dreaded Economy.

Book an aisle seat…

I know that it’s great to see the amazing view from a window seat but I find it really awkward to climb over people when you need to use the toilet. It’s essential to stay hydrated and drink lots of water during the flight and this means plenty of loo breaks. Having an aisle seat means you can stretch your legs a little more and get up whenever you want.

Make a to-do list…

Try and make yourself busy. Write a list of things you want to do during the flight such as writing blog posts or a short story, write down things you want to see and do at your destination, get some study done or watch some in-flight movies. It will make the time pass quicker.

Choose a special meal…

I’m not a big fan of aeroplane food but one of the great things about being vegetarian is having your meal served first. Choosing a vegetarian option not only gets the food to you first but veggie meals are less heavy and you can guarantee that it will be a healthier option.  

Pack an ‘in-flight essentials’ bag…

In your carry on, pack a bag with all the items you could possibly need to make the flight more bearable. For example, pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, make-up wipes, face masks, moisturiser, hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes (yep, I’m one of those people that wipe down the armrests, the tray table, anything I could possibly touch), lip balm, hand cream, deodorant, mints, an eye mask and don’t forget things like vitamins and panadol.

Bring your own snacks…

I’m hungry all the time so it’s good to have snacks with you on the plane so you don’t spend way too much money on the snacks they provide. Pack a muesli bar or a muffin, nuts, crackers, fruit, chips and don’t forget a water bottle (an empty one that you can fill up once you get through customs).

Stay hydrated…

Drink a lot of water! I know it will make you need to pee heaps but that’s good because it gives you an excuse to stretch your legs. It also prevents headaches. The change in air pressure, sitting down for hours and watching lots of movies tends to give me a bit of a headache but drinking water helps ease this.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol…

If you have an early flight, you might not be able to avoid a cup of coffee but try if you can and swap it for some green tea. Before leaving for the airport I’ll make myself a green tea and once I’m at the airport, I’ll buy a green juice. Sometimes I find it hard to stomach a green juice but it’s worth it knowing I’m getting a hit of nutrients. Also, drinking alcohol is a bad idea! It will hit you faster and make you feel 10x worse than if you were on the ground.

Make sure your electronic devices are charged…

Pack all your chargers in your carry on and get on the plane with all your devices charged. Before a flight, I’ll download some TV episodes and movies from Netflix, download some music on Spotify and make a travel playlist and buy a couple of Ebooks that I’ll have access to on my Ipad.

Read a book…

Bring a couple of books with you and if you prefer physical copies, make sure you read the first chapter before you leave because you want to make sure you will actually enjoy the book and it won’t end up sitting in your bag the whole trip. Case in point, when I brought the 1400 page novel of Les Miserables with me…I read the first few sentences and thought f*** no! I was stuck lugging it around my whole trip because I can’t discard books.

Listen to some podcasts…

Have a few favourites saved. It’s the perfect way to relax if you want a break from reading or watching movies. Some of my go-to podcasts include Ladies Who Lunch, The Melissa Ambrosini Show, Girls Guide to the Galaxy and Broad New World.

Eat a good meal before you board…

Never board a plane hungry otherwise you’ll spend money on the overpriced snacks and eat every ounce of processed food they serve you. Eat a good meal beforehand, preferably something non-greasy. Don’t eat a Maccas cheeseburger meal otherwise you’ll feel really bloated and that sucks when you’re stuck in your seat for hours and hours.

Pack noise cancelling headphones…

No explanation necessary! Block out the engine noise, crying babies, people coughing up their lungs and the annoying conversations from your neighbours for some peace and tranquillity.

Dress comfortably…

Now is not the time to channel your inner Kim K! Leave the heels and tight dresses in your suitcase, don’t even bring out your jeans. Trust me, you want to be as comfortable as possible! Personally, activewear is the best thing you can wear on a flight. It’s stretchy, comfortable and there are so many more stylish options now.

Bring a scarf and fluffy socks…

Planes get cold so bring a long scarf to wrap around your neck or you can use it as a blanket. Also pack some fluffy socks, anything that will make you feel comfortable and feel like you are back in that comfy, warm bed of yours.

Get up and dance…

Ok, maybe not dance but get your butt off the seat and walk up and down the aisles to get your blood pumping and your circulation flowing. What I like to do is go to the back of the plane where the toilets are because there’s more space and do some stretching. No one can see you, well except the flight attendants but trust me, they’ve seen weirder things.

So there you have it, the top things you can do to make a long haul flight more bearable. The flying part can now become something you look forward to as well. It’s a chance to catch up on some reading, watch all those movies and tv shows you want to see and of course catch up on some sleep if you’re one of those people that clonk out as soon as you’re up in the air.

 

 

Words by Tamara Bose. 

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