The top ten tips for surviving a long haul flight
One of the only struggles of travelling is the time it takes to reach your destination. Nobody particularly enjoys long haul flights, but there are ways to make your journey much more bearable. Whilst jet lag is inevitable, our tips will help you arrive at your destination relatively fresh, alert and raring to go…
1) Try to pick flights for late afternoon / early evening
Obviously this isn’t always feasible; however, if the option’s there then grab it with two hands. Compared to early morning flights, you’ve (hopefully!) got a good night’s sleep the night before and because you’ve picked a flight which will take you through the night, you’ll naturally fall asleep at your usual bedtime too.
A man getting his travel documents ready at the airport
2) Choose your seat wisely
Most airlines allow you to choose your own seat beforehand – so choose wisely. Do you want extra leg room? Then you’ll need to be quick off the mark to bag yourself the most sort after seats on the plane! Also, be prepared to pay extra for the privilege. Deciding whether you want the window seat, the middle or the end seat can be difficult. There are pros and cons to each, however if you want a quiet, peaceful night then we suggest the window seat.
3) Request a special meal
If you’re not too fussed about what your in-flight meal is and you want to get served first then request a vegetarian meal. Vegetarian or meals which follow specific dietary requirements are always served first, by the time you’ve wolfed your meal down the person next to you will just be tucking into their chicken pasta bake.
A nutritious aeroplane meal
4) Stay hydrated
It’s super important that you stay hydrated on your flight – and no we don’t mean with alcohol. Take your own bottle of water and take sips little and often to keep yourself nourished. Try and steer clear of drinking alcohol as you’ll feel the effects much more than you would if you were on the ground. We’re also pretty sure you don’t want a hangover ruining the start of your adventure.
5) Wear loose and comfortable clothing
This is probably the key to having a pleasant and happy flight. You’ll need to wear clothing which won’t restrict your movement, for example, a tracksuit, leggings and a baggy jumper or loose fitting trousers and a t-shirt. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you could even change into your pyjamas – just make sure they’re not an embarrassing pair.
6) Layering is key
Whatever you choose to wear, ensure you’re wearing a couple of layers. Planes are notoriously chilly so the more you can layer up the better.
7) Don’t forget your eye mask
Eye masks are a godsend. If you want to get a little bit of shut eye before everyone else, then you can be in your own little bubble of darkness in no time at all.
Eye masks are key to having a good night's sleep
8) Bring your own entertainment
Whether this is an iPad, a book, a stack of magazines or a Sudoku just ensure you’ve got your own entertainment. If you’re bringing electronics then ensure they’re charged to the max, there’s nothing more disappointing then bringing everything with you and then realising your batteries are on less than 20%.
9) Exercise little and often
We know it’s difficult, but try and get up and stretch your legs every couple of hours. If this isn’t feasible then do a few chair exercises; every two hours. You can wiggle your toes, rotate your ankles clockwise and counter clockwise, lift your heels and toes off the floor and perform knee lifts all in the comfort of your seat - these little exercises can help reduce blood clots too.
Ensure you stretch your arms and legs every couple of hours to prevent blood clots
10) Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
The plane’s air-conditioning can cause havoc on your skin. Bring a thick moisturiser with you and apply it to your face and any exposed skin as soon as you get on the plane and whenever necessary throughout your flight.