The longest flight I’ve ever been on was for 12 hours. From Auckland (NZ) to Bangkok (Thailand) and also from Auckland to Los Angeles.
Going to Thailand, the flight seemed a lot shorted than it actually was. Sleeping was great as me and my friend I was travelling with had the whole 3 seats in our row to ourselves. She’s so tiny so we top’d and tailed’to stretch out for the flight.
When I traveled to LA, it was a night-time flight (Leaving home at 7pm) but as I was heading off for my first big trip by myself overseas I was pretty anxious. I was much more prepared packing-wise for my trip but emotionally I pretty much silently cried to myself for the first 3 hours.
However, if you’re heading on a long flight. Read ahead for a bit of travel advice I have for ya!
1) Bring entertainment!
I remember I went on a 1 hour flight from Auckland to Wellington and I packed my damn earphones in my checked in luggage so couldn’t listen to any music. I know it was only an hour but it was terribly boring. Imagine going on a 10 hour flight without your tablet, smartphone or kindle to keep you entertained. Even a book or a deck of cards is useful if you’re travelling with someone else.
I’m assuming most flights these days provide headphones so not all is lost of you forget yours like I did! And then you can just watch the movies on the plane 🙂
2) Charge your devices. Before I go on any trips I have my smartphone, kindle and iPod all plugged in on charge up until I leave. Most planes these days have USB ports where you can plug in your phone otherwise you can get those little portable charges to take with you.
3) Choose your seat if you’re picky. I have a nervousness of flying so I have to be sitting next to the window. Being able to see if there’s lots of clouds prepares me for a bit of turbulence. I also like being near the wing of the plane as you feel less movement in the center of the plane. However, if I was bumped up to first class for a middle seat I’m not gonna complain 😉
If you’re one of those people who always need to go to the loo or stretch your legs, choose as aisle seat so you’re not making the people next to you get up and move all the time.
I’m not sure what the deal is for all airlines but for my flight to LA I think it cost me NZD$20 or $40 to choose my seat. I can’t remember now….
Otherwise I think you can sometimes ask the person at the counter when you check in where you want to sit.
http://www.seatguru.com is a good website to have a look at the plane you’re flying on and read reviews on the best places to sit.
4) Stay Hydrated!
Airplanes make you so dehydrated. Everything from your eyes to your skin. When I board a plane I’ve usually got a bit of make up on but will cleanse it off during the flight and put a good night cream on. My friend and I once did a nice Origins 10 minute mask for our flight to Bangkok and left it on the whole time. No one cares how you look after 4 hours to your destination anyways.
Drinking lots of water and packing eye drops and a contact lenses cases is essential for contact lense wearers like myself. My eyes already dry out so much at work from the air con that in a metal tube they’re 10x worse.
5) Order a special meal if you want to be served first
If you order a special meal on the plane, you’ll always get your meal first There are multiple choices you can request depending on the airline you’re flying, from vegetarian to gluten-free. Make sure to check online before your flight as you’ll have to put your order in then.
If you hate airplane food, pack snacks! You’ll get hungry on a long flight and it’s always nice to have something to nibble on. I’m more of a lollie/candy eater myself but protein bars and muesli bars etc… are probably a lot better for you. Don’t be that dick though with the smelly chips and seafood flavored whatever. Yuck. You’ll end up stinking out the whole plane.
6) Carry On Bags!
Sort it out before you check in your main bags. There’s nothing worse than realizing you have a 200ml bottle of your favorite foundation/fake tan/moisturizer/perfume whatever in your carry on and not being able to take it because it’s over the 100ml limit 😦
Your liquids under 100ml’s should also be packed in clear plastic bags (like those zip lock bags you get from the supermarket) when you’re going through security. It just makes it easier for Airport Security to see what’s in your carry-on.
What I pack in my carry on bag:
☆ Documents! Passport, Boarding Pass, Flight itinerary and all print outs of where I’m staying, important phone numbers etc… just in case my bag gets lost when I land.
☆ Snacks and a water bottle (empty until after you pass through security)
☆ Neck Pillow
☆ Face wipes (to take off my make up during the flight)
☆ Tooth brush & mini tooth paste
☆ A Good Lip balm!
☆ I pod, my Kindle and any other devices you may need
☆ Wallet with my cash or credit cards/travel cards
☆ A spare change of clothes + spare underwear (again in case my bag gets lost)
☆ P.j bottoms/couch pants for when you want to go to sleep and curl up your legs
☆ A pen!! For filling out the forms before landing
☆ A spare pack of contact lenses and solution + case
☆ Make up (just the essentials like foundation, mascara & lipstick)
☆ Ear Plugs
☆ Nasal gel
☆ Compression socks (I don’t usually pack these, but I put it on here for anyone that gets really swollen legs during flights)
☆ Medication eg, the pill, pain relief, sleeping pills (bring a prescription from your doctor if you’re not sure it’s allowed)
7) Move around to get the blood moving. Stretch in the aisle or get up to go to the bathroom every few hours. This will also help with deep vein thrombosis that people sometimes get from sitting for long periods.
8) Sleeping – If you plan on it, bring a neck pillow or some type of softness that isn’t the person’s shoulder next to you.
I’ve read that sleeping near the front of the plane is probably the worst as this is where parents and babies often are and flight attendants will be working with all the drinks making some noise.
Also put your seat belt on where it’s obvious for a flight attendant to see so they don’t have to wake you.
9) Jet-lag – how annoying being in another country at 10am and wanting to fall asleep because it’s 11pm back home!
I’ve never really experienced major jet-lag but I know a lot of people do.
There’s stuff you can buy like ‘no jet-lag’ tablets which are homeopathic pills you can take, otherwise some people like to take sleeping pills or melatonin to help with sleep.
Before you leave, it’s best to try and be stress-free (easier said than done sometimes) and have a good night’s sleep the night before so you don’t arrive at your destination frazzled and angry.
10) Do some In-Seat exercises
Before your flight, try and get lots of exercise in by hitting the gym or going for a quick run. However if you don’t have time or you can’t walk around much during the flight because of carts and people in the way, try some in-seat exercises.
As shown in the picture above, rotate your feet in circles a few times. Or keep your arms still and roll your shoulders forwards five times. Then backwards, five times. If you google ‘In flight exercises’ lots of examples will come up. Virgin Atlantic has a good little work out plan on their website.
At some stopovers they have showers which are great to get your muscles and circulation going again as well as freshening you up.
I hope my little tips and tricks helped 🙂 if you have any recommendations let me know in the comments below!