Sunday, 14 October 2018

How To Make A Long Haul Flight That Bit More Bearable


carry on essentials for long flights

Having just conquered two 9 hour flights to and from the US, one of which was an overnight flight, I thought that I would share how a little bit of advance preparation can go a long way in helping you not only to survive but actually enjoy the whole experience. Some of the tips may be pretty common sense but all it takes is a little forward planning to totally transform your travel time.

So here is how to make a long haul flight that bit more bearable;

Stay hydrated

My number one tip has got to be to stay hydrated. This means either buying bottled water (I try and get the biggest one I possibly can at Boots or WH Smith) once you've cleared security or bringing an empty bottle with you that you can then fill up before you fly or once you get on the plane. I've had no issues with asking the crew on board to fill up my water bottle for me either when they're doing the drinks service or just as and when I need it.

My face also gets ridiculously dry and tight feeling whenever I fly and as I'm not one of those people who does an entire skincare routine on board, the best way to combat this is to use a facial mist. This one* from La Roche-Posay is less than £3 and leaves my skin feeling fresh and a little bit less gross. There are quite a few to choose from on the market now and these are the ones that are on my list to try next;



Bring your own snacks/food

Even if you don't mind airline food, the wait for it or even just seeing the trolley off in the distance, so close but also so far, bringing your own snacks or food on board with you gets rid of all that waiting for you. You can eat at your own pace and don't need to play airline food roulette when you're really hungry.

I also wholeheartedly recommend grabbing some comfort or fast food from the airport terminal to take on board with you. On the way home from the US I normally opt for some Auntie Anne's pretzel nuggets (oh, they're good!) or Krispy Kreme doughnut holes and boy do I treasure those little bites. I've even seen someone bring an entire pizza on board with them, pizza box and all. He may not have been the most popular passenger but I think secretly those who were giving him the evils were just insanely jealous.

what to take in hand luggage for a long haul flight

Take advantage of the in-flight entertainment

If you're flying long haul it's more than likely that the plane you're on will have some form of in-flight entertainment. However, if you're travelling on a budget airline or the plane that you're flying on doesn't have either seatback or fold down screens, do not worry. A lot of streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and even BBC iPlayer will allow you to download movies and episodes of TV shows onto your phone, tablet or laptop for you to watch at your convenience. So you don't need to worry about paying for WiFi onboard or it draining your mobile data either.

How to actually get a sleep

Some of us are lucky enough to be able to sleep anywhere (sadly I am not one of those individuals) but even I feel the need to shut my eyes and attempt to get even an hour's nap on a night flight. Here are my top tips for actually getting a sleep in economy;

1. Bring a sleep mask - even if the cabin lights are dimmed and you've got your window blind down, it's not exactly ideal lighting for getting some proper shut eye. Block it all out with a good eye mask.

Here are some of my favourite ones on the market at the moment:



2. Wear a blanket scarf - not all airlines provide you with blankets these days and even if you do get one, they can be pretty scratchy and not exactly cosy enough to nuzzle into. Whether you're flying somewhere considerably colder or flying to or from the warmest of climates, it can get pretty chilly on board. I always bring a big blanket scarf with me to keep me warm on my travels but it also doubles as a blanket on the flight. It doesn't take up any extra space in your luggage as you can have it on your person and you'll definitely be smug when you actually feel comfortable even if your seat back doesn't recline quite as much as you'd like it to.

3. Bring vitamins or supplements with you - I watch quite a lot of packing hacks and tip videos particularly in the run up to my next trip and most Youtubers seem to take natural supplements in a bid to help them sleep or just feel more relaxed on board. I was definitely keen to try some on this trip and I eventually settled on the Utmost Me Neuro Rest supplements. They are 100% natural, Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free so won't upset my stomach and seriously helped with jet lag and the change in time zones. I'm ultimately trying to get better at taking more vitamins so let me know if you'd like me to explore the world of multivitamins and supplements more in the future.

Wear flight socks

As someone with poor circulation, I always worry about sitting in the same position for too long. If I sit with my feet dangling, like I would if I'm sat on a train, in a waiting room or just in a seat that doesn't allow me to elevate them for anything longer than about ten minutes, my feet actually begin to resemble a zombie's. I'm talking purplish blue feet that don't look human at all.

Wearing flight compression socks just takes the worry of anything horrible happening off my mind. That in combination with getting up and actually walking about/down the aisles and moving my feet and legs about beside or in my seat, stops my legs from feeling stiff. I would easily recommend doing both if you're on a flight that's any longer than an hour and would say that it's pretty much a must if you're flying long haul.

So there are some of my top tips for actually enjoying that flight that you've more often than not paid hundreds of pounds for.

Do you have any tips for making a long haul flight more bearable? What do you think of my suggestions? And do you have any flights or holidays booked at the moment?

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