I’ve been on one long-haul flight, but I feel once you’ve experienced one you know all the ins and outs of a long-haul flight. Its hard not to, being up in the air for that long you’re going to realise what you’re missing, what you’re thanking past you for packing and all the scenarios that may you throw you one way or another.
So I’m going to let myself believe I’m an expert and continue writing this post.
First of all, something I’ve seen and been told before many times – there is no such thing as a perfect flight. Which has to be true unless you pay crazy amounts for those deluxe first class pod things.So, although you can never always be fully prepared, you can give it a good go!
My first long haul flight was about 13 hours, this was also my first flight in general so to say I was thrown straight in the deep end is an understatement really. And to make it worse my seat was bang slap in the middle of the middle row, next to 2 men who I didn’t know and didn’t move the whole time we were up in the air…but turns out, as much as a novice I was I survived and didn’t find myself struggling in any way. And all in all, I learnt a lot for next time which is what it’s all about right – discovering new things, even on a plane?
WHAT TO PACK…
Now as much as I believe this to be more of a subjective area, but with these sort of flights there are obviously some essentials to take to keep you going. Here is my luggage list:
- Noise-cancelling headphones
- Eye mask (I know you can get these on the flight but it’s very hit or miss with the quality so sometimes best to bring your own!)
- Lots of water
- A good book (Probably a choice of preference, you could take a notepad or sketchbook)
- Mini toiletries – toothbrush/toothpaste, hand cream, antibacterial gel, face wipes, moisturises etc.
- Travel pillow – there’s so many types, so again whatever works best for you!
- Protein snacks – and of course boiled/hard sweets for take off!
- A phone/Ipod/tablet with all the music and films and ebooks you could need!
- Scarf (Adds as an extra bit of pillow comfort!)
- General essentials – passport, wallet etc.
WHAT TO WEAR…
Again, something pretty subjective but I feel there’s a general consensus of one’s attire – comfy as heck.
Personally, I would wear a loose fitting top with a bralette under, then either leggings or sweatpants or 3/4 lengths – depends on what you want, and to an extent where you’re landing as if its a warmer country, you may want to wear looser things then bring layers to go over on the plane! I’d also pair them with some converse or trainers.
WHILST ON THE PLANE…
I read up on this prior the flight, as I knew stiff joints, numb bums and boredom would be an occurrence, and I wanted to be prepared. So I tried and tested all I could, and there are some which I found beneficial, things I wish I did, and things I don’t think did much. But I’ll share the good stuff.
- Stay hydrated – Could I stress this more? Probably not. Water is so important for every day, and on a plane this is just even more vital. Water will also help you sleep better on a plane.
- Walk around – Maybe something obvious, but as I said the men beside me did not move and I didn’t really move about and I definitely regretted it when I went to get off and got major jelly legs! So every now and then just take a stroll around.
- Do a variety of things – Constantly watching film after film can be very tedious and probably hurt your eyes, so definitely have a good range of entertainment, as those hours will fly by!
- Sleep – Again, probably conspicuous, but plan your sleep, and don’t do an Em and have weird intervals of sleep ultimately ruining you for weeks after.
- Stretch it out – Just little shoulder and ankle rolls in your chair, keeps it from going stiff, and I especially have a bad shoulder so this helped a lot!
- Freshen up a bit – Something I again wish I had done more. But take your mini wash kit and just freshen up in anyway you feel is needed. Being sat there for so long just made me feel gross, but it can easily be resolved just by taking yourself off and putting on some spray or wiping your face, whichever you feel necessary.
THINGS I LEARNT…
As I said, it was a first experience to me, and I did learn a lot. Firstly being routines. Pre-flight, during flight, post-flight, it seems to be the done thing. I wasn’t aware of that, but looking back it may have been good to have little routines to stick to, which would’ve made the journey a little more systematic and easy going.
Have everything out you could need, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Being in the middle was a struggle as I didn’t want to constantly get my stuff from the overhead cabinet. Luckily I kept my stuff with me mostly so wasn’t too bad off. But it isn’t as easy as just ‘grabbing something from the cabinet’ sometimes.
Have everything at the ready. A general point about all cases – your passport and ticket information, liquids and items to go in trays, wallet, anything you need at a particular point. The stream of people in these scenarios is very flowing and rapid, with a vast number trying to get through. And to be the one who holds everyone up thus getting an ambience of sighs and tutting, won’t help the probable state of frenzy you’re already in.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. When I say this I’m basically referring to food. Sometimes healthy foods don’t digest as well and will make it an uncomfortable journey for you, so know east digestible foods, and don’t think about the diet or whatever (well unless you’re allergic, that changes things) and you’re sat down for a long time, if you feel like a free glass of wine from the trolley – treat yourself! (But again remember that water for a solid sleep!)
There are some bits and pieces about surviving a long haul flight! Obviously I won’t have captured everything, but I believe these tips and tricks do work, having tried them as a first timer! But I do hope you like this post and maybe find it somewhat helpful in anyway!
Until next time,