How to cope with a long haul flight
How to cope with a long haul flight
Long haul flights aren’t pleasant. You’re stuck thousands of feet in the air for a seriously long time. It’ll soon make you feel a little antsy.
If you’re planning a trip away with the band, or just a holiday, and you know you’re going to be flying for a long time, here are our top tips for dealing with a long haul flight.
Upgrading to first class is often a lot of money, but if you fly often, you can put your frequent flyer miles to good use. The key thing you’re looking for to get through your time on board is comfort. If you become uncomfy half way through a fifteen hour stint, the next 7.5 hours will be hell.
We can’t state enough the difference upgrading your seat will make to your flight. So try your hardest!
Don’t take too much stuff
You may think that the more you take, the more you’ll have to occupy your time. But remember, all that stuff is going to have to take up room under the seat in front of you, which just means less leg room for 15 hours.
While you shouldn’t take too much, you should definitely think about what you’re going to need. You aren’t going to be able to sit there for 15 hours without having something to entertain you. Plus, you’ve seen all the in-flight films about nine times. We’re talking things like headphones, a kindle, neck pillow etc... Anything that’ll make the 15 hour journey feel less like a prison stint, more like a comfortable road trip.
Board well rested
You might think that the best way to tackle your long haul flight is to board tired, and spend the time catching up on sleep. Planes aren’t particularly comfortable, and if you can’t get to sleep, the whole journey will be 10x worse.
Sure, you have the window seat and you don’t want to be barging past everyone on your row to go to the loo every five minutes. But hydrating is really important. 15 hours is a long time, and you’re going to want to keep some water to hand all the way through.
Ask about seats at the gate
If you have been unable to choose great seats when booking your flight, ask again at the gate. You may strike lucky and find that the flight isn’t full, and that you can be moved to a completely free row. Asking costs nothing, so you may as well try!
Think twice before sleeping pills
As we said before, the dream long-haul flight would be one in which you sleep all the way there. But not sleeping before the flight is, as we said, not a risk worth taking. One solution many consider is sleeping pills.
They’ll knock you out for long enough, right?
Well not necessarily. Everyone’s different, and the pills may react differently to you. We recommend trying them at home before hand. You don’t want them to knock you sick mid-flight.
Research your airline options thoroughly
Some airlines have horrific reputations, others are well known for being brilliant flying long distances. Make sure you put the hours in researching the airline you’re considering. Some offer things others don’t. Some provide more leg room as standard. Others cram as many people onto a plane as they can.
One site that might help is http://www.airlinequality.com/ - on it you’ll find reviews for pretty much every airline out there.
Know your options. Choose wisely.
Secure your gear
Long haul flights are usually pretty rough rides, so if you’re taking expensive equipment make sure that you have sturdy baggage for it. The last thing you want is to disembark from a 15 hour flight only to find that your guitar is in pieces.
Here at The Flight Case company we have a huge selection of flight cases for a wide range of equipment. Our prices are competitive and all of it is made right here in the UK. If you would like to find out more you can contact us directly here.
If you’re taking the kids...
Long haul flights are difficult enough on your own. But with kids? That has the potential to make the whole thing a lot worse. The trick is turning the flight into more of an adventure than a chore. Try and take plenty of stuff for them to do too. Sure, there will be in-flight films, but they only last one hour or so. You’re on there for 15 hours.
This blog offers up 50 ways to entertain your kids in-flight, and it may just come in handy: http://www.parenting.com/gallery/50-ways-entertain-kids-plane
Make sure they children understand that they’re going to be flying for a long time too!
Beating jet lag
Because of the long distance you’re travelling, you’re probably going to hit some sort of jet lag mid flight. The key to beating it is to organise your connections well. There’s nothing worse than starting a 12 hour flight after already having flown 2/3 hours to get there.
We advise trying to organise the connecting flights towards the end of your journey. This’ll mean the hardest part of your flight (the long bit) is first. You’ll then have more energy to take it on.
It means that after your long flight, you’ll be so exhausted you’ll find yourself sleeping through the easiest part of your journey.
This isn’t always possible. But if you can organise connecting flights at the backend of a journey, then you should.
Get plenty of movement
It’s important that you keep the blood flowing while you’re sat down for long periods. There are few (quite severe) problems that can occur if blood flow is stemmed during travel. Including a stroke. So make the most of your bathroom breaks to stretch out. Hang out in the back of the galley, take walks down the isle – do whatever you can. Just make sure you’re moving plenty!
Virgin Atlantic have put together a nifty little guide on some exercises you can do onboard, so print this off and take it with you: http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/your-health/inflight-exercise.html
Long hauls can be a real nightmare. Just make sure you’re prepared, and that you follow the tips above!