It's safe to say that I've done a few long haul flights in my life. Two personal highlights include a fifteen hour flight followed by a nine hour flight - they were GREAT (major sarcasm) and oh so long. They involved me becoming so ill and the plane staff being no help whatsoever that I burst into tears and told them they were going to have to give me drugs or do an emergency landing... So they gave me Calpol. NO HELP WHATSOEVER. Those two flights aside, the rest have been great and I've strangely enjoyed them, so I thought I'd share a few tips with you. Oh, and once you're back flying short haul, it will be like you've blinked and you've landed. It's so weird.
- Take two bags: There is nothing worse than getting to the desk, security, plane, etc. and realising that you are once again going to have to dig through your massive handbag to find your passport and boarding pass, which of course have sunk to the bottom. I always make sure to carry two bags (well, four. But more on that later): one with all my junk in it, and another, very small backpack with all the necessities: a bottle of water, my purse, phone, glasses and, of course, my passport and boarding pass. This also means that my handbag can be stowed away in the overhead locker if I want a bit more leg room.
- Comfy shoes and fluffy socks: I mentioned this in a previous blog post but, if Blake Lively does it, which she does, then you should do. My life motto in life is basically 'What Would Blake Do?'. My feet always swell on flights, so comfy shoes are a must for me. If possible, purchase flight socks. They may be pricey but no one wants DVT.
- Over-sized jumper or sweatshirt: Airlines may provide blankets, but they tend to me the smallest, thinnest, most flimsy blankets in existence that do not keep you warm, so I always make sure to wear multiple, warm layers, even if it means having to strip off at the other end.
- Don't take a pillow: Just like with blankets, airlines do provide pillows, these just happen to be a lot better than the blankets. I find taking my own pillow away with me slightly annoying as it means I have to cart it around with me, though it can of course come in handy. If taking one, make sure it's the kind that you can blow up. Oh, and don't take the pillow from the plane, you'll only be provided with another one on your next flight and have no idea what to do with your new collection.
- Pay for inflight WiFi: I've never actually done this, I just message people as soon as I take off and land, but I know that, for some people, especially those afraid of flying, that it really helps. Just being able to feel close to someone you care about is always soothing, so I'd recommend it!
- Download a new film: Though all long-haul flights have TVs and a large selection of television shows, albums and movies, sometimes it's nice to have one that you know and love. You can check what movies your plane will be showing on their website, so make sure to take a look before your flight so you don't end up with the same one!
- Take snacks and purchase plenty of water: Plane food isn't exactly 5* cuisine, so taking snacks is a must and means you don't have to save the slightly stale mini baguette they gave you with your meal for later. Some airports and airlines are very strict about this, especially in the middle-east, so be careful what you buy. I also make sure to buy plenty of water once I'm flight-side. The mini sachets of water just don't do it for me, especially on a 15 hour flight, and sometimes you don't feel like walking miles to the front of the plane to ask for a glass of water, only for it to be gone in five seconds flat.
What would you recommend?
Let me know in the comments below!