A long haul flight most likely means you are going somewhere cool and exciting! But a horrible plane journey can make the beginning of your holiday a sleepy, confused daze… These are my recommendations for a good flight and how to avoid jet lag.
1. Check in online and pick a comfortable seat. I prefer being on the aisle seat so that I can walk around, stretch out and go to the toilet whenever I want. You might prefer the window so you can rest your head on the side… Pick your seat early- some airlines let you pick as soon as you’ve bought your ticket. Also consider whether you prefer to be at the front/middle/back of the plane (if you even get that choice). You’ll probably get your food and drinks quicker if you’re sat at the front 😉
2. Pack an organised carry-on/hand luggage. Check out my other blog post about what to pack in your hand luggage!
3. Wear comfortable clothing: think trackies, trainers, loose clothing, layers. Think about the weather when you arrive- you might want to pack a spare set of clothes for sunnier/much colder weather. Wearing/bringing layers means if it gets chilly on the plane you can just put an extra jumper on, but if you get too hot in the airport (or wherever), you can just take something off! Bear in mind you will probably want to slip your shoes off for the flight.
4. Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Better to be super early than to be close to missing your flight. You might have to walk far to your gate, etc etc… so just get there early, check in, and relax!
5. Sort out your food for the trip. Google what your airline’s food is like, and if it’s going to be gross, bring snacks. If you are vegan/veggie/want halal meat/etc, make sure to book a special meal in advance with your airline. This also means you’ll probably get served first ;). Snack-wise, protein bars are good for combatting jet lag, plus if you choose a good one, or even make your own, they can be pretty filling.
6. Sort out your entertainment for the trip. Bring books, magazines, newspapers, laptop/tablet, e-reader, music player, games, crosswords… Whatever will keep you entertained on that long, longggg flight! You’re probably bringing your own headphones- if not, pack some. Airline headphones are often suuuper scratchy and uncomfortable, and if you’re planning on catching up on movies during your flight, you won’t want some cheap crap in your ear.
7. Drink plenty of water– as much as you can. A cup per hour is recommended. Planes are so dehydrating, plus you can help avoid horrible jet lag if you drink tons. Avoid caffeine and alcohol on the flight. It’s worth being sensible for the flight so that you’re not suffering for days when you arrive, falling asleep at random times of the day etc.
8. Move around. If you’re already drinking tons, hopefully that means you’ll need to go to the toilet more often. Walk around, stretch… It’ll make you feel better. In your seat, you can move your legs/ankles around to keep
9. Be ready just before the flight starts landing. If you’re super patient, you won’t mind being the last person off the plane. But if you’re anything like me, after 11 hours in the air you’ll want to be off that plane asap. So just before the plane starts landing, make sure you are all packed up and ready to go. Put your shoes back on! Get your passport in a handy location for immigration when you arrive. That way when you have to put your seatbelt on for the landing, you’ll be all ready to go!
10. You’re off the plane! Wahoo!! . Now- walk fast. You (probably) want to be the last person in the queue for immigration. Have your passport to hand and your phone off/on silent- you don’t want to annoy a grumpy immigration officer. Have a pen to hand if you are going to have you fill out more forms on arrival. Once you’re through, you might want to pop to the toilet and freshen up before getting your luggage- it’ll take a while for the luggage to start going round the conveyer belt anyway. Choose a strategic location near where the luggage first comes out so you can leave the airport as quickly as possible!