Long Haul flights are never fun. Everyone knows that 24 hours or longer worth of flying across the globe is extreme, but getting to visit either a country you've never been to before or even home for a visit, has to be worth the hassle right? But how do you prepare yourself for such extreme travelling and such ridiculously long haul flights? You pack the essentials and prepare yourself of course!
How to survive a long haul flight?
So the first thing you have to do is make yourself comfortable. Put the air-conditioning above your seat on or off. Put all your stuff into places you can easily access them. Bring yourself a pillow to make it more comfortable. And probably the most important one, wear nice comfortable clothes!
1. Wear appropriate clothing - Yes I've already mentioned comfortable clothing but it also has to be appropriate! I've often had a sneaky giggle at that backpacker that has no clue, rocking up to the international airport in hot pants and a t-shirt, yeah it may be hot where you're going or hot where you're leaving, but dude seriously, planes and airport lounges are freaking cold, wear something warm, or at least put your backside away! You will thank me for this advice, I guarantee it.
2. Stay hydrated - Flying can cause dehydration which is why you always feel pretty shitty afterwards, it can be difficult as different countries have different rules with what you can take through, so drink plenty of water between flights and avoid alcohol on the plane, I know I sound like my mother but Ive learned through past experiences that water is definitely the winner.
3. Take a pillow - one of those inflatable thingies, they look like complete tack, but trust me, you will get inflatable pillow envy, you'll be there squishing and fluffing your polyester freebie whilst everyone around you is chilling, you will hate these people, I still hate them!
4. Don't watch sad movies - Do not, I repeat, do not watch sad movies. I recently made the mistake of watching 'The Impossible' on the second leg of my flight, I cried more than every infant on that plane, thank god I had 3 seats to myself because that could have been very awkward, I spent the rest of my flight severely depressed. Note to self, in future watch How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory on repeat.
5. Do a little exercise - Walk to the toilets, or just walk up and down the aisle every now and then. At the very least do some leg exercises whilst sat in your seat. It's good for your health!
6. Don't miss the inflight meal - If you fancy a nap, a bit of shut eye, that's understandable, but don't be THAT person (ok me), the one who misses the food cart and has to wait for another 6 hours to eat, :(. If you leave your tray table down the cabin crew usually take this as a sign you still want your meal. If like me you've missed your inflight meal, it's a level of hunger like no other. Ask the flight attendants for a snack if you really are hungry. Be smart, don't starve!
Having made all of these mistakes just so you don't have to I hope you enjoy your next long haul flight!
How to survive the boredom of a long haul flight!
Here are a few more tips that have helped me to survive the boredom of long distance travel, you might be able to use a few of them to help you survive your journey (and it's worth reading this about plane etiquette so that you don't ruin other peoples long distance journey)!
Prepare yourself before the flight of what you can bring into the plane for your entertainment. Stuff like: books, magazines, computer, electronic games (make sure it is charged) your ipod for example or DS (don't forget to turn electronic items to flight mode when the pilot asks you to!).
You can kill some time with those things. Or look into the airline shopping catalogue, look out of the window, eat. If you like to communicate you can talk to the passenger next to you, make friends. Or if you are a good sleeper you can sleep against the window. The very best thing I've found to do is watch a good movie and after that go for a sleep! Those two are the best time killers ever.
AND! Don't forget to bring a pen with you, you will always need one, even if it is just to fill in the customs arrival card.