For many, flying is not a pleasurable experience, particularly long haul flights. It’s uncomfortable, tiresome and can be very boring. That’s why I have compiled this list of tips to make long haul flights easier.
Stayover in your stopover
For those of us living in the Oceania region, travelling to Europe is painful. There are not many direct flights and when there is they are roughly twenty-two hours long and very expensive. A lot of the routes require one or two stopovers on the way – mostly in Asia – and airport waiting times are incredibly long.
That’s why it can be a good idea to stay in your stopover destination for two or three days. Not only do you get to break up your flight but you also get to explore a new place which is always great!
The flight itself usually remains in the same price range but make sure you know the visa requirements of your stopover destination, otherwise you may get stuck spending three days in an airport which is awful.
Load your phone with heaps of content
There is nothing worse than hopping on a twelve-hour plane ride and realising that your entertainment system is broken. Of course you can always talk to a flight attendant about your options but if that amounts to nothing your journey could be unpleasant. Prior to flying I create an offline spotify playlist, download a few podcasts and a book onto my phone so if my entertainment system is down I have nothing to worry about.
This also comes in handy for travel in general. You have a myriad of entertainment options at your fingertips for public transport, walks, long transit times and nights alone in your room.
You may need a power bank handy for this tip though.
Leave from your closest airport
This may seem like an incredibly weird and obvious tip at first glance but for somebody like myself whose nearest airport is not an international one* it comes in handy. I live in Canberra, which is about three hours drive from Sydney where the biggest international airport in Australia is located. When I searched for flights in the past it was only logical that I look for departures from Sydney as, on the surface, they are cheaper.
However, I didn’t take into account all the additional costs – from travelling to Sydney and paying for overnight accommodation which is essential as the cheapest flights leave early in the morning. Altogether, it could cost a few hundred dollars extra, whereas a flight leaving from Canberra – and travelling through Sydney airport – generally costs only about fifty dollars more.
Now when I search for flights I add Canberra as my origin and not only is it cheaper but I don’t have to worry about all the fuss with packing a day before I need to.
*technically it is but it only has a few flights a week to New Zealand and Singapore
Hydration, hydration and a little more hydration
Flying messes with your body, with digestive issues, headaches, sore throats and dry skin commonplace. All of these can be attributed to dehydration which happens on a plane due to the low humidity, that’s why it’s imperative to drink more water than usual on a plane. Make sure you bring your own drink bottle as you are often given tiny ones on the plane.
You should avoid alcohol and coffee on a plane as well, but from experience I know alcohol can be tempting as it calms nerves so just make sure you drink a lot of water to make up for that.
I also bring a hydrating toner, rosehip oil and vaseline to prevent my skin from drying out too much.
Obviously, this is a very personalised tip but if you are following the tip before this one then ensure you get an aisle seat – or at least make sure somebody in your party does. There’s nothing worse then needing to go to the bathroom when the person in the aisle seat is fast asleep and if you have to do this multiple times it can get quite annoying.
This tip can be rather unfortunate for someone like me, as I do love the window seat because I get to look out at the scenery. I compensate for this by getting a window seat for shorter journeys.
Adjust your sleep on the plane to your new time zone
This tip is more helpful for after the flight. Jet lag is an unpleasant phenomenon which can really put a downer on the first few days of your travel. To counteract this, prior to getting on your flight adjust all your clocks to the timezone of your destination. If it is night time there, try and fall asleep.
However, falling asleep is the next dilemma. Take some sleeping vitamins with you (I use this one) and pack an eye mask, ear plugs and a travel pillow. A sleeping meditation or some calming music is also incredibly helpful.
Pack spare clothes
This is for emergency situations such as delayed flights, coffee spills or other unfortunate accidents. These are not rare occurrences so it’s reassuring to have some spare clothes handy.
Hope this helps! If you have any tips of your own to make flying easier, please leave a comment.