Surviving Long Haul

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There are many benefits to travelling. You get to see the world, meet new people and have amazing experiences that you will never forget. However, sometimes to get to these places you have to do the dreaded long-haul flight. Now some people absolutely love flying, whilst others hate it with unrivaled passion - but the majority do not enjoy flying long-haul. Why? It's boring, it's tiring, it's annoying and most annoyingly... it takes up a big chunk of your time! 

But fear not, wannabe-travelers out there! I have some top tips on how to survive a long-haul flight with the majority of your sanity still intact and leave you well rested, ready to take on the next location as soon as you leave the plane!

Let me entertain you...

Ahh the famous words spoken, or rather, sung by Mr Robbie Williams. He was up and ready to entertain the masses, and whilst most airlines offering long-haul flights try and follow his method by supplying various streams of entertainment, there is only so many films one can take in an 8 hour period. So, solution is... make your own entertainment... or more like, take your own entertainment with you. Don't rely on what airlines deem 'recent' in the world of movies... load up that tablet with your favourite TV, films, books and games to leave that noggin of yours sane. Or if you like to kick it old style, pack your hand luggage with your favourite page-turner (or two if you're a quick reader like myself). Like to draw? Take a sketch book. Like to write? Take a notebook! The possibilities for entertainment are endless. So as long as it fits in your bag, isn't offensive to other passengers (you might like to play the recorder for hours on end, but I can assure you a cabin full of tired flyers certainly will not appreciate your effort), and will keep you occupied for quite some time... pack it!

Annnnnnnd stretch!

Now a long-haul flight is no place to try and re-enact Eric Prydz 'Call on me' video, but it also isn't the place to spend 10 hours sitting on your behind, not moving like an old potato. Not only will a little exercise and stretching keep you occupied, it will also keep you in good check. I'm talking about easing cramps, stiffness and warding off the dreaded DVT. Keep your feet moving even when sitting by lifting up onto the balls of your feet, and rolling your ankles clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Then, every so often, get up out of that seat and do a lap of the cabin. Now, no, I'm not saying Usain Bolt it around trying to get from on toilet to another in a new world record, but walking will get that blood pumping and those muscles moving. Speaking of toilets. It's doubtful that you will go a whole flight without making the visit, so use this to your advantage and whilst you wait in line (At least if you're British.. we do love a queue) bend your knees and use the extra room to stretch out those legs! Moving around and keeping active on a plane will keep your energy levels up and stop you feeling lethargic when you eventually land. There is a good article on in-flight workouts that you can check out here.

It's a plane, not New York Fashion Week!

You heard me! You're not debuting this seasons must-haves, you're on a cramped plane for hours on end probably surrounded by moaning Brits and crying babies, so dress appropriately! I'm not saying you have to dress like a tramp... far from it, but you aren't Victoria Beckham in her 9inch stilettos either. You want comfort for long-haul. Something you know you can move around in, sleep in, and wear for hours without feeling gross. Jeans, leggings, jumpers... they can call be stylish but they also scream comfort. Also, steer clear of the metal accessories and complicated shoes that take ages to take off... they will make security a nightmare and you will feel the wrath of other passengers for holding them up.

Layer it up!

You may be heading to the hottest place next to the sun, but that doesn't mean the plane ride there is going to be as heated. Planes can get really cold, but you don't want to dress like an Eskimo only to boil once you leave the place. The answer to this is to layer up. This mean leggings under dresses, thick socks and taking advantage of the free blanket, if your airline is kind enough to supply one. These tactics will leave you comfortably warm en-route, but can be packed away or left on the plane once it's time to leave. To be even more prepared, purchase or check that your airline supplies you with compression socks which are designed to aid blood circulation when you have to sit for a long period of time, i.e. a long haul flight. They will help combat swelling and discomfort, whilst helping keep your toes a little warmer.

Hit Re-fresh!

Long-haul flights can leave you feeling groggy and gross thanks to the recycled air and increased number of bodies in a confined space. Give yourself a quick refresh during the flight to wipe away the 'yuck' to leave yourself feeling a fresh as a daisy as you land. Pack wet wipes, non-liquid make-up, spare contact lenses and a toothbrush/paste and escape to the bathroom to freshen up. It will wake you up and just make you feel a little less 'traveled'.

Stay Hydrated!

One of the main reasons people feel groggy after a long-haul flight is because of how dehydrated they become during the journey. Recycled air and the lure of in-flight drinks zaps you of any hydration, so it is important to drinks lots of water during the flight. This will stop you from feeling tired and your skin from feeling dry.

26A....I choose you!

Many airlines these days allow you to pick your own seat before flying, meaning you're in control of at least a small part of your flight experience. Plan ahead and use websites such as Seat Guru, which have seat maps for most airplanes that shows you which seats offer extra leg-room, seats that don't recline well, or are more restricted. Picking the right seat can change the experience of flying long-haul, so choose well!

Doctor Who ain't got nothing on my Time Travel!

Struggling with jet-lag can kill the beginning and end of a trip, and it all begins on the plane. To help combat jet-lag, do a Doctor Who and travel in time by setting your watch to your destination time to help settle your brain in to thought of being 5 hours ahead or 8 hours behind from the get-go.

Snob it up..

Sometimes, just's OK to go a little Made in Chelsea and go for the upgrade when flying. Although it isn't always necessary, an upgrade can sometimes help aid jet-lag if it means you get a decent sleep on a night flight. So if you can afford to splash out a little, treat yourself with an upgrade and good sleep, especially if you're flying back at night. Plus, if you don't fly much it's also a nice way to make it extra special.

I hope these tips have helped you if you intend to fly soon!

Happy flying!