You don’t get to work in the travel industry without racking up some serious air miles from plenty of long-haul flights. We’ve discovered a few nifty tactics to ensure you get to your destination well-rested and ready to explore.
The scouts had it right – be prepared. When packing your carry on, don’t forget an eye-mask, ear plugs and comfy neck pillow. A toothbrush, toothpaste and wet wipes also don’t go astray as a quick way to freshen up. Just make sure your toothpaste is less than 100ml for those international flights.
Forget fashion when flying long-haul, you are going to be in that outfit for at least ten hours. Choose loose pants that are comfortable for sitting in for long periods of time. Take a cosy jumper to wear when it gets cool but is easy to remove if you overheat. Pack a pair of warm, comfy socks to wear once the seatbelt sign is switched off. Your feet may swell with the air pressure and wearing socks will help them breathe and are often more comfortable.
Not all plane seats are created equal, so choosing wisely can make a long-haul flight less unpleasant. The window seat can be great for having something to lean up against or resting your pillow on to help get some shut-eye. However, if you are someone who likes to get up and go for a walk, or will need to use the bathroom a lot, picking the aisle seat will make your trip more enjoyable and keep the people sitting next to you happy as well. I think we can all agree the middle seat is the worst! If you are after more leg room, some airlines will offer seats with that – or you could try the exit row. Just keep in mind there are conditions for exit row seating so not everyone is eligible to sit there.
Choosing the flight and carrier can sometimes determine a great flight from an ordinary one. Opt for shorter transfer times so you aren’t stuck in the airport for hours. Even the best airport can become a nightmare after 7 hours in transit. If you are stuck with a longer layover, some airlines and airports offer transit tours that can help pass the time. The time of day that you arrive can also make a massive difference. An early afternoon arrival time means your room is ready and waiting for you to check in, have a quick dinner and then a good nights’ sleep to be well rested for the next day!
Most international carriers provide in-flight entertainment but sometimes they don’t work. You’ll probably still want to use your own devices. Charge all your devices before you get to the airport and consider purchasing a portable battery pack to take onboard to keep your device juiced up during and after the flight. An eReader such as a Kindle is a great investment rather than packing a lot of books.
Planes often have between 10-20% humidity, which is much less than our Brisbane climate. Your body will needs a lot of fluids in this low humidity to keep you hydrated, so drink lots of water. Your skin might also begin to feel dry as well, especially after 10+ hours in air-conditioning. A nice moisturiser or a face-mist will keep your skin feeling hydrated. We might just add – as tempting as those little bottles of booze are, they will dehydrate you further and possibly prolong the jet lag. Limiting the amount of alcohol and caffiene on a flight can make a world of difference.