Look, flying is what we do. We get you from A to B at the best rates, to all the best places. And some of those places are a bit more than just a hop, skip and a jump away (Dubai – we’re looking at you!). So we don’t just know flights, we know long-haul flights. Flying can often be exhausting – especially day-long jaunts through the clouds at 31,000 feet. But we’re here with ten top tips to make you feel a little more relaxed during those extensive journeys, and to make sure your holiday really does start the moment the flight crew welcome you on board.
1. Stuffing yourself silly is, well, silly
Getting to the airport early is good. Getting to the airport early and passing the time by heading to the nearest restaurant and scoffing your face in the spirit of getting the party started (we get it – airport you does things normal you would never do) is bad. Avoid eating large meals right before or during your journey. They’re more difficult for your body to digest (especially at 31,000 feet), making it harder to get to sleep, making you more cranky…you see where this is going. And just so you know, feeling bloated can cause discomfort when flying, making it harder for you to stay seated – the person next to you won’t be happy. Love thy neighbour and all that.
2. The smart snacker
If you want to keep your blood sugar levels low – making it easier to deal with the dreaded jet lag – choose nutritious, carb-rich items like wholegrain bread and oatmeal. Protein-rich snacks are another option. Yogurt, cheese, or even protein bars will have you feeling energised and satisfied after eating them. But in general it’s good to be wary of what you eat from the on-board menu – studies have shown that being inside a pressurised cabin at 31,000 feet can mess with our senses, dulling them down. To compensate, food from the on-board menu will often come with a higher amounts of salt in it – a whopping no-no.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Air travel can be highly draining, so health experts advise drinking plenty of fluids – that’s water, not wine – throughout the flight. Bring a re-usable bottle with you and ask the flight attendants to fill it up for you throughout the journey. You’ll really want to follow this one if you’re prone to ‘flight flu’ – where low humidity causes the nasal passages to dry out and develop irritation, and allows viruses to linger for longer. Yikes.
4. Abstain from the coffee (or at least try to)
Avoid drinking too much coffee or tea as it may keep you awake, dehydrate you, and could cause agitation, anxiety, and inability to relax.
5. Sweats are the new black
Long-haul flights are notorious for going from chilly to sweaty and then chilly again. Loose-fitting clothing and a few breathable layers will help managing the temperature alterations during the journey and between the terminal and the aeroplane. We know you want to dress your best for the airport but, really, no one wants to spend eight hours with a tight waistband slicing into their belly. And don’t turn your nose up at those compression socks – they can work wonders.
6. Don’t knock the Crocs
This goes hand in hand with comfortable clothing. Ankle and foot swelling isn’t uncommon while flying (see compression socks above.) Sitting in the same position, and then sitting some more, and then some more with your feet on the floor for an extended period of time? Think about this when you choose your shoes. Want to stop foot swelling altogether? Try taking short walks every couple of hours if possible, flex your feet and legs while you are seated and try to shift positions every now and then. And, again, don’t knock the compression socks! Or your finest pair of Crocs, if that’s your thing.
7. Catch some ZZZ’s
Even if it’s just a short nap, try and get some sleep. We know it’s not always easy when you’re on a plane surrounded by crying babies, people trying not to throw up and the generally obnoxiously loud sounds an aeroplane makes. Invest in a nice, silk eye mask, some noise-cancelling headphones – or earplugs if you prefer sweet, sweet silence – and a travel pillow. Do not forget your travel pillow. If you ask us, forgetting this vital piece of equipment is practically a flying sin. Oh, and yes, you heard right. You are supposed to wear it at the front and not the back.
8. Get your bum on the right seat for you
Think of the extra leg room… sometimes paying that little bit extra can really enhance your travel experience! If flying first class isn’t for you, try bagging an aisle seat so you can take walks or a window seat for a built in (very hard) pillow! And here’s a bonus tip if you’re really not a fan of turbulence: book a seat over the wings or towards the front of the aircraft. Sitting further forward not only decreases the effect of turbulence, but because you’re ahead of the engine, you’ll be in for a quieter ride too. Well, that’s if a baby isn’t riding next to you. You win some, you lose some.
9. Keep yourself entertained
It’s easy enough to download episodes of your favourite series onto a tablet or keep it old school with a book or magazine to help you pass the time during a long flight. If you’re subscribed to the premium version of Spotify you’ll be able to download as many true crime podcasts as you want. But remember to download all your content prior to your flight so you can avoid any in flight Wi-Fi costs!
10. Be bloomin’ positive!
Do you want to know the best thing you can do? Our toppiest (definitely a real word) tip? Be positive. It’s a bit fluffy, but SO true. Don’t dread your flight, plan for it, and you’ll be reet. Going on a trip can be stressful and exhausting, but it’s always well worth it once you arrive at your destination.