A Comprehensive Guide to Surviving Long Flights
If you live in Australia and travel regularly, chances are that you’re pretty used to long-haul flights. Australia is fairly isolated from the rest of the world geographically, with travellers usually finding themselves having to spend seven or more hours on a plane just to get across our beautiful country!
The positioning and size of Australia means that long flights are unfortunately just part of the deal if you’re looking to travel to Europe. However, they don’t have to be stressful or tiresome. Whether you’re stopping over in Bangkok, Dubai, Doha or another location on your journey up north, we’ve put together our best tips and tricks for surviving your long-haul flight.
Know your schedule
Before you fly, be sure to get to know your itinerary so that you know where you’re going to be stopping over and how long each leg of your journey is going to be. Being aware of the schedule can often ease anxiety as you’ll feel more in control – that’s why they have the flight path monitors in the onboard entertainment systems!
Knowing your itinerary will also allow you to plan your sleep patterns – do you have an overnight or a daytime flight? Will you be arriving at your destination in the morning or at nighttime? Although flight staff will usually try to guide you as to when you’re supposed to be sleeping or awake (for example, turning the lights in the cabin on or off), it’s always good to know what to expect so you can mentally (and physically) prepare yourself for sleep if necessary.
Check-in online and select your seats
One of the most important tips for surviving a long-haul flight is to get in early and choose a good seat in the cabin. You can usually do this through early online check in, which your airline will notify you of when it’s available.
If you’re travelling with a partner or in a group, this will ensure that you’ll be seated together for the duration of your journey. And if your trip has multiple legs – don’t worry! If it was reserved in the same booking, your seat reservation will often carry over from leg to leg (but be sure to check with your airline).
Checking in early will also give you more opportunity to explore whether your loyalty points with the airline may put you in good stead to be eligible for an upgrade.
Here are a few simple rules for picking a good seat:
- For extra leg room, opt for exit rows if they are available.
- Children often get placed at the front of the plane, so if you‘d like to avoid potential excess noise then head towards the back.
- Choose an aisle seat if it’s important that you have quick access to the toilets (or if you’re a restless flyer and enjoy moving around the cabin).
Pack smart and get listening
It’s very easy to go overboard when packing your carry-on luggage. Keeping things to a minimum and only packing the absolute essentials will simplify your travel experience and make you really consider everything that you bring. There’s nothing worse than trying to stuff an oversized cabin bag into the overhead locker while everyone else stares, so stick with the size regulations just to be on the safe side.
Before you start packing, make a list of the absolute essentials that you’ll need to have with you in the cabin. Keep this list and use it to double-check you have everything before you leave the plane or as you move around locations during your travels.
Some essential items you may consider packing in your carry-on luggage might include:
- Medication that’s necessary for the duration of your flight
- A device to play music on and noise cancelling headphones
- Toiletries (especially moisturiser for dry skin)
- A spare change of underwear
- Special snacks for when you get hungry outside of mealtimes
- Earplugs, an eye mask and a neck pillow
- Books or an electronic reading device.
Stay hydrated and move around when you can
Staying well-hydrated during your long-haul journey is an important way to help you avoid jet lag as much as possible. The dry air being circulated in the cabin dehydrates our bodies, so in order to stay fresh for your arrival it’s vital that you’re topping up your water bottle and water glasses frequently.
Flight attendants are more than happy to provide water whenever you need, so don’t hesitate to ask. Try drinking a little more than you would on the ground, to compensate for the dehydration your body is being put through.
Moving around the cabin and stretching your body is important when it comes to lowering your risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg. It usually occurs in the larger vein that runs through the muscles of the calf and thigh, meaning that getting up to walk around the cabin is a great idea during long-haul flights. You can keep the circulation flowing in your legs by doing gentle movements at your seat, or getting up to move every two hours.
The journey of a lifetime with Albatross Tours
Now that you know how to make your next long-haul flight easier, why not explore the option of a European summer getaway? Request a free brochure with Albatross Tours today and start planning your next adventure.