Long-Haul Flights – Survival tips!

If you want to visit faraway lands and exotic destinations, you have two choices: you can cast yourself away on a ship for months on end, or you can jump on a long-haul flight!

The first choice may sound romantic, but it is certainly only for those with time on their hands and if you are thinking about your annual summer holiday, it’s not really an option.  The second choice is far more realistic, and while you may dread the thought of 10, 12 or even 14 hours straight on a plane, there are certain survival tips that will help get you through it, feeling fit, refreshed, and ready for your fabulous holiday!

Over the years, I have taken more than my fair share of long-haul flights, the most uncomfortable being from London to Kuala Lumpur on a budget airline! 14 hours with no entertainment system, no blankets, and no food or water (unless you purchased onboard), it really was the most uncomfortable journey I have ever made, but then it was a cheap ticket and my mother’s words still ring in my ears “you only get what you pay for”!

Most respected airlines offer a great service on long-haul flights, and I have yet to take a bad flight with Virgin, KLM or British Airways.  Good clean aircraft, great entertainment systems, above average food & beverage options, and plenty of blankets and pillows help those long journeys go a somewhat quicker, and so I find it is well worth paying that little extra.

What to wear is an important factor when taking a long-haul flight. Heels, jeans and tailored dresses may look glam at the airport, but after 10 hours on board your shoes will no longer fit, your jeans will feel two sizes too small, and you dress will look like it has just come out of the laundry basket!  Casual, comfortable is definitely the way to go, with loose-fitting trousers, a comfortable top, and shoes that will grow with your feet!  If you can’t bear to dress in such attire, do what I do and change on the plane!

Exercise is important on a long flight and while you may feel a bit silly stretching your arms and doing the circular motion with your legs, it really does help.  I generally choose a seat near the rear of the aircraft so I can stand at the back, enjoy a drink, and exercise my legs at the same time – perfect.

Good airlines offer a free bar service throughout the duration of your flight, so if you fancy a gin & tonic after take-off or a bottle of red wine with you meal you just need to ask.  It is claimed that alcohol has a stronger effect at altitude, and it does dehydrate you, so while I am not going to suggest that you do not drink on board, I would say drink plenty of water to help limit the effects!

If there are any free seats next to you take advantage and put your feet up whenever you can. If you are able to take a nap, it will help pass the time, relax you, and you will arrive at your holiday destination before you know it.

Long-haul flights do not have to be uncomfortable, and if you make it part of your journey and see it as a means to an end, you may find your travel experience much more enjoyable!


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