Tips From The Nest: Surviving Long-Haul Flights
When it comes to travelling, it’s easy to focus on the destination and forget about the journey. In my experience, I have learnt the hard way how uncomfortable it can be to fly across multiple countries with only quick stops in foreign airports. If you’re planning your next overseas trip, it’s worth paying attention to your creature comforts during your expedition as well as checking off what you’ll need once you get there.
A Clean Change of Clothes
It’s the little things that can make you feel human again after a long-haul flight! My number one recommendation for comfortable travelling is always ensure you have a clean set of clothes in your carry-on luggage (including underwear) in case you arrive at your destination before your suitcase.
Unfortunately, I had to teach myself this tip after a trip from Singapore to Cambodia in 2006, when my luggage was delayed for three days. I desperately wanted a hot shower and bed, but instead had to run around, trying to find an English-speaking clothes vendor. Tucking a small set of clothes into your hand luggage is the fail-proof way to get much needed bed rest when you get to your hotel – best of all, it doesn't cost a thing.
Don’t Forget the Essentials
Feeling clean after eight hours in a cramped plane seat with little sleep is no easy feat, but you can make the most of the on-flight amenities if you’ve got the right gear. Most airlines won’t allow liquids over a certain volume (and most travellers won’t have the room to carry them in hand luggage anyway), but it’s handy to have a small toothbrush and toothpaste set, travel friendly deodorant (non-aerosol), a hair comb and a small shampoo and conditioner set for when you touch down. Ducking to and from the toilet occasionally gives you the chance to freshen up, stretch your legs and try and shake that mid-flight zombie feeling.
Sort out a Shower
After flying from Brisbane to Singapore and then on to Europe, I discovered the Singapore International Airport offered shower facilities for a small fee. Because we had departed Brisbane at nighttime and attempted sleep during the dark, a shower in the morning before the next leg of daylight flight was extremely welcome for my tired, jet-lagged body.
While most international airports may charge for the use of shower facilities, it’s well worth the money in my opinion. If you are planning a double-leg flight, do your research before you leave so you have a hot shower to look forward to when you get there. Many major international airports now offer showers as part of their restroom facilities, and some have even developed the concept into a ‘luxury service’, like the Hong King International Airport, which offer showers, blow-drying facilities and beauty rooms as part of their visitor lounge areas. Both Brisbane and Sydney airports currently offer their guests complimentary shower facilities.
If you’re concerned about what you can or can’t take on board with you, check out the airline’s website or feel free to get in touch with the Albatross Tours team. In my experience, the best way to avoid mishaps and make for a comfortable trip is to be prepared.