How to Handle a Long-Haul Flight Like A Pro
Whether you’re flying from London to Singapore, LA to Sydney, or any other 10+ hour flight, there are many ways to make them far more enjoyable and comfortable with just a little preparation.
1. Bring chargers for your devices as most modern airlines usually provide in-seat power for very long flights.
2. Turn the air on full force – the air coming from the vents above your seat is almost to operating room standards and will be the cleanest air you can breathe on board.
3. Bring a neck pillow – though airplane seats are some of the highest engineered pieces of commercial equipment, sleeping in them is a drag. Bring an inflatable or plush neck pillow and you’ll be sure to wake up with far less neck pain than you would have if you didn’t. It might not be luxury, but it's the best you can do!
4. Bathrooms – if the bathroom nearest you is occupied, its no problem to walk to any of the other ones on board. Some airlines will section of the first class or business portion of the plane but it’s pretty easy to just walk in and use the bathroom if truly needed.
5. Get up & move – make sure to get up and stretch or walk around every few hours to help you avoid stiffness and body aches.
6. Immigration on arrival – when the plane crew hands out the short immigration form that you are required to fill out prior to entering your destination, make sure to do it as soon as possible. Doing this prior to getting to the immigration line will save you time and you will be able to beat a large portion of the line who is still completing their paperwork. Also, if you don’t have a pen, ask the plane’s crew if you can borrow one, most of the time they’ll be happy to assist.
One of the most important tips to keep in mind is to keep hydrated! Most planes have a very low humidity level when operating, causing you to feel the effects of dehydration and discomfort quickly. Making sure to drink plenty of water and fluids prior to the flight and while in the air will combat these feelings and ensure happier travels.
These flights can be pretty boring, especially when flying alone or without some form of entertainment. So, make sure to spend some time prior to the flight loading up your phone, computer, tablet, etc. with any music, movies, or television you may want. Otherwise, you should bring a book or some magazines to keep entertained as not all of these flights may have in-flight entertainment with television or movies. Though most modern airlines provide this during your travel, it’s always better to have your favourite show ready to play in case the selection is poor!
When preparing for these long-haul flights, it’s always important to prepare a plan when it comes to eating. It's best to have a full meal a couple of hours out of a long flight as you will have some time to digest and use the bathroom prior to leaving. Additionally, most modern airlines will provide around two meals to customers while in the air. These, of course, depend on the time of day you’re flying and can range from a light breakfast to a decent chicken dinner. So, make sure to take advantage of any food or drinks provided on board as they will keep you from starving throughout 10+ hours of travel.
Also, make sure to pack a few snacks like protein bars and your favourite candy. These will make sure you're satisfied in between meals and able to travel in comfort. There's nothing like a snack to look forward to!
Knowing what to wear on these flights can be a challenge. It’s hard to predict how cold or warm a large plane’s cabin will be based on the altitude your flying at and the airline's regulations. I find its best to layer up as its always best to be overprepared than underprepared. So maybe wear some light shorts under a pair of sweatpants, a t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt under a sweatshirt and comfortable shoes. Having all of these options onboard can ensure that no matter the temperature in the cabin, you will be prepared and can avoid freezing or sweating for hours.
Now that you're prepared for your flight, it's time to get your trip sorted. Check out INTRO's group tours in Asia and Australia here!