10 Useful tips for long haul flights
The person who once said that their journey is more important than the destination had quite obviously not ever had to endure a twelve hour flight in coach class! Cramped muscles, dehydration and sleep deprivation are just a few of the things that you get thrown in for free on an economy class long haul flight, and let’s not even talk about the toilet facilities. If you are heading out to some exotic destination for your vacation, you might do well to read these ten must-know tips for long haul flights.
1. Wear comfortable clothes
Forget trying to look ultra-glamorous for the flight, comfort is the key to air travel survival. Wear clothes that have a bit of stretch in them, so they won’t cut into you during the flight and wear comfortable flat shoes that you can easily slip on and off again.
2. Don’t take too much hand baggage on board
Here is another one of useful tips for long haul flights: only take what you will need for the flight in your carry-on luggage. There is no point at all taking ten books that you won’t read, three changes of clothes and enough toiletries to open up your own cosmetics store on the plane. You will only have to carry the bags all around the airport and on the plane; you might end up with baggage having to go under your seat and taking up some of your legroom.
3. Bring something warm to wear
The blankets that airlines provide are way too thin to be of any real use, so one you should take on board is something to keep you warm during the flight. Pack a sweater in your bag, or a small extra blanket. Another one of neat tips for long haul flights is to wear a wide scarf that can then double as a blanket in the flight.
4. Get up and move around
This is quite a serious point to remember, because sitting in one place for too long can cause deep vein thrombosis, which can be life threatening. Get up and have a walk around, or stand at the back of the plane for ten minutes, it will get the blood circulating and you will feel a lot less stiff, when you reach your destination.
5. Take ear plugs and an eye mask
Some people are lucky; they can just drop straight off to sleep on a plane. For the rest of us, though, ear plugs and an eye mask are the best way to get some sleep. There’s always something going in an airline cabin that will disturb your sleep and this is such a simple way to block out the noise and the light.
6. Take an inflatable neck pillow
Another problem with flying coach is that it is so difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in. The seats never go back for enough and the pillows are far too thin and flimsy to provide any real support for your head. Taking with you an inflatable neck pillow is one of the best tips for long haul flights. It will support your head while you sleep, and you won’t wake up to find your head on the shoulder of the stranger in the seat next to you.
7. Don’t be afraid to spread out if you can
If you are lucky enough to be on a flight that isn’t full, don’t be afraid to have a look around and see if you can find a row that has some more space. If you are really lucky, you might even find an entire row of seats that you could stretch out and lie down on. Just remember to put a seat belt on though, or you will be woken up by the cabin crew.
8. Take your own entertainment
Another one of great tips for long haul flights is to never rely solely on the inflight entertainment to keep you occupied. The entertainment systems on planes often break down and, depending on the airline you are flying with, you may have no choice of what you watch on the TV screens. Take a good book, or your own device and headphones, so that you don’t get left with nothing to do for twelve hours.
9. Don’t forget the essential toiletries
Pack the essentials that you will need to stay comfortable on the flight and to freshen up just before you land. The usual list for a flight includes moisturiser, eye drops, lip balm, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a facial mist. Your biggest enemy on a long flight is the dry air that will dehydrate you, so don’t forget to drink plenty of water too.
10. Get an upgrade!
If you are going on a long haul flight, then now is the time to use those frequent flyer miles you have and go for an upgrade. Failing that, you could just try asking for an upgrade. Get to the airport a bit early and ask nicely, if you are lucky, you might get bumped up to business class.
What are your best tips for long haul flights?