Long Haul Flights – a guide to making it super awesome.

I have had a few awesome things happen this week. This is about my decision to take a last minute trip to the States to meet Jess. I am leaving in two weeks(!!!) and that means I get to plan a massive trip, and work out the best way to handle two long haul flights.

I asked my friends for advice and was pleased to find much of the advice was things I already planning, things I’d worked out on my flights to and from Japan. But it’s always always good to get these things confirmed. The number on tips, for making your time on a plane the best they can be are as follows:

-> Aisle seat. Obviously useful for getting to the bathroom, and for getting up to wander about. Unfortunately I am a devotee of the window seat. I love to look out the window, and you can kind of lean against the side of the plane when it comes time to doze off. Most likely I’ll be in the window seat and climbing over people when I need to pee, but I’m okay with that.

-> Enjoy it! Seriously! Get into the mindset that this is a chance for you to chill out, gorge yourself silly on TV shows and movies and silly video games while people wait on you and bring you snacks and drinks! – excellent tip from Jackie. Mindsets make such a different to your experiences, if you go in expecting 15+ hours on the plane to be a Hellish time, well then… chances are it will be a self fulfilling prophecy. But if you frame it like a chance to catch up on movies and tv, take whatever things the flight attendants offer and just plain have fun, the flight’s going to be a lot easier.

-> Kindle/iPad. Save weight in your case and read as much as you like. I don’t have a tablet, but I do have a kindle, it’s loaded up with books and I went and added in the Harry Potter series and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series as well, because sometimes up in the air you don’t want to challenge yourself too much and something you already read is the way to go.

-> Warm socks, comfy pants and a blanket or scarf. Keeping warm is always a priority for me, since I have lizard blood and get cold easily. I had a great outfit for my Japan flights, loose track pants, a soft long sleeve t shirt and a t shirt over the top, plus hoodie. I shall be reprising that outfit for my upcoming flights I think.

-> Identifying your luggage. This is essential, and I’ll be having some fun this weekend with fabric paint and my plain black rolling case.

-> Take your own headphones. I love my sennheiser noise cancelling phones, but I was trying to work out if they’d be too annoying to travel with or not. The number of people who suggested I take my own solved that dilemma for me, so I’ll be bringing them along and at Frank’s suggestion I bought a converter so I can use ’em on the plane.

-> Neck support. I know some people are torn on these things but I got a pretty good inflatable one in Japan which made it easier to be comfortable and sleep on the way home.

-> toothbrush, a little moisturiser to allow yourself to freshen up. I bought some travel wipes from Kathmandu which I’ll also use for cleaning hands and the tray table and things around me, just because why the hell not? I might decant a little moisturiser as well and my toothbrush will be in my carry on as well as some floss. Little things can make a huge difference to how you feel.

-> Bring your own snacks. I’m going to spend as much of the flights asleep as I can but I think I will still stash some chippies, muesli bars and chocolate to tide me over. I seem to remember one meal on the way to Japan that was far too late being served for my liking.

….

Now my biggest challenge is working out the best bag for my carry on. My laptop now is bigger than the one I could easily slip into my backpack last year so I’m going to try it on a few different things. I may end up attempting to make my own with many small pockets for things like headphones converters and things, but we’ll see! Maybe I have something I can convert in my vast array of bags I already own.

I may blog about my ultimate carry on kit, when it’s done.

Other tips from my wonderful friends: Get up and move regularly and keep hydrated. Worth taking your smartphone charger in carry on. Some planes have USB ports at the seats even in economy. Don’t have teeth pulled on day of departure. “Make fists with your toes.” Take the cabin luggage weight restrictions seriously – but know what you’d throw out if you are over the limit. To help sleep phenergan, eyemask & earplugs. Ditch your shoes ASAP!

Have you got any tips for long haul flight not covered above?

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4 thoughts on “Long Haul Flights – a guide to making it super awesome.

  1. Um, easy on-off shoes for airport security, I wholeheartedly agree on the snacks for the plane thing – I suspect I wouldn’t have got sick on my flight to the US if I’d known I could take some fruit with me! They will bring you snacks if you ask while everyone else is sleeping but it’s chips and biscuits – all I really wanted was a nice apple:( I also wholeheartedly support the kindle idea but you won’t be able to use it during takeoff and landing so maybe slip a light paper back into your hand luggage too – you can always jettison it before returning if you find you didn’t use it on the way over. Washing your face on the plane can be a really nice way to freshen up so if you have a little bottle of cleanser, take that. That’s all I can think of right now!

  2. I forgot to say on my fb comment that I have a small spray bottle that I got from kathmandu which I decanted some of my toner into. I like being able to spray my face if it feels a bit dry & then add a little moisturiser. I have a little plastic bag which I put a little refresher kit of toner, mosituriser, eye cream, travel toothbrush, travel toothpaste, those handy kathmandu wipes you have & a deodorant. Also my eyes get dry so I have some eye drops. Have to admit I have never found the need to bring my own snacks for international flights but I would def recommend for your domestic US flights.

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