Surviving a long haul flight

One of the hardest things that puts a lot of people off visiting us here is the long haul flight which most people dread. But I find its got easier over time because you adapt to what makes it more comfortable to you. Most people either haven’t been or have had bad experiences of long haul, the screaming kids, the economy class cramped seats or toilets that start off hygienic and slowly deteriate as the flight goes on. But it really doesn’t have to be that bad..

Avoiding the bathroom can be done by dehydration start drinking plenty of fluids preferably just water avoid alcohol as it has the opposite affect. You will find drinking in advance will reduce the number of trips to the toilet and will no doubt mean things like trying to sleep will be a bit easier as you won’t be having to get up in the middle of the night.

Nothing better than being smartly dressed at the airport but lets be realistic its not the most comfortable of clothing to be sat in for the next day in a a restricted space. But it doesn’t mean you have to dress down either for women wool suits and draw string trousers are two things that could make life more comfortable especially with the bloating that some women experience during flights. Also worth carrying a shawl as it helps during the night when cabin temperatures drop for something to wrap up in.

For the guys its a bit different a good pair of comfy jeans and a polo shirt are not only comfortable but sticking a light jacket over the top its casual but still smart. The jacket also helps if you get cold during the night or to act as a second pillow. Wearing the right shoes is also important and I recommend having shoes that can easily slip off to allow good circulation. I have yet to be on a flight that won’t supply travel socks so well worth using them to reduce risk of swollen ankles as circulation is very important during flight. Men or women doesn’t matter comfort comes first trying to tie shoelaces in a tight space isn’t easy or fun so just getting something basic to get your feet in and out of easily is all you need.

Another important factor is try and get the stewards to feed you early! reason being that often its too far into the flight than I would like so asking ahead if you can have ASAP as you would like to rest (obviously be nice about it) they may accommodate you or may not but if you can get fed early you can start resting early. If its a night flight its best to get your head down and sleep as much of the flight as possible especially on the first haul of the journey. When I come into Hong Kong or Qatar I do different things for example because I know in Hong Kong its time to freshen up as the next flight is only just over two hours long so will head to a bathroom and change. Which is why its important to pack a second set of light clothing if you have the space in your hand luggage as this will make you feel a lot cleaner after a long flight at the same time giving the face a quick wash and no doubt the ladies would like to freshen up on the moisturiser and make up after the flight to get a fresh face for the day ahead. Qatar on the other hand is a different ball game as its normally a few hours until my next flight so feet go on the hand luggage and I go to sleep in a chair. When I arrive in Cebu I go through the clothes changing etc. reason I don’t do it early in Qatar is that if I freshen up its hard to go back to sleep on the next flight which is if I remember right still another 8hrs from Cebu?

How to keep busy when your on the plane if you can’t sleep or its the last part of the journey is sometimes awkward. So having a light book to read so that if your interrupted you don’t lose your space works throughout the journey but also good if you keep getting interrupted by the person next to you on the flight. Also a good time to check your still on budget as you may have already spent a little bit extra at the airport or found the exchange rate wasn’t as great as you first thought. If your coming to the Philippines don’t change your money in the UK. I also find as a blogger its a good time to write on the blog with windows live writer as I can just save the articles and upload especially if its journey specific e.g. “just arrived in Hong Kong from first half of the trip”. So that while waiting for the next flight in Hong Kong which is normally 45mins for me between flights the article is uploaded straight into Tropicalpenpals within 10minutes of hitting the airport allowing people to know I have arrived safely and at the same time a quick run down on what happened on the first part of the journey. Its also a good way to do your emails in advance so that when you get into a Wi-Fi zone you can simply just bulk send. I probably suffer with a lack of being able to switch off than most people so understand the problems with long haul at the same time if doing it regular you can have routines. E.g. I always try to get some good in-flight photos but rarely get what I am happy with so will keep trying.. When we get to Luzon from Hong Kong looking down its interesting to watch the islands and also the differences in landscape especially after the volcano eruption last year.

Main thing though is to work out what makes you comfortable in advance and plan for it. Instead of dreading the flight work out how to make the flight interesting and easier to travel. Like most things its easy to find the negative but you have no choice on this so make it easy for yourself and adapt to it.