How to Get Through Long Haul Flights
As an Australian, I have a general sense of envy for everyone living in Europe who's only a one or two hour flight away from a zilllion amazing holiday destinations. For us however, European destinations involve a years worth of planning and 20+ hours on a plane, which to be honest, is just gross.
But having just recently undertaken the 22 hour journey in the sky, I found there are definitely a few things you can do that will make your long haul flight just a bit easier...
SELECT YOUR SEAT IN ADVANCE
How good is sitting in economy on a long haul flight? said no one ever. And no, unfortunately I haven't discovered a secret way to transform your economy seat into a flat bed, but what I have discovered is the that some seats are definitely better than others. And thankfully most airlines let you choose your seat these days so make sure you've got their apps when you're ready to fly.
Obviously exit row seats are ideal, but sites like Seat Guru by Tripadvisor, Skytrax and Seat Maestro have done all the nerdy work for you and provide surprisingly detailed info on almost all seats on almost all airlines. From seats near the food preparation area to which parts of the plane feel any bumps the most, these guys have gone into just about everything, so hit them up and find your ideal seat so when you come to book, you know exactly what seat you're after.
FLY ON AN A380
I know you usually don't get to choose what aircraft you fly on, but if you do have the flexibility with dates, check what plane your fare is allocated to and if you can, always go with an A380.
When the A380 first came out, I remember hearing about how much more spacious it was - bigger seats, more legroom blah blah. But seriously, the last two OS trips I've had, I've flown on an Emirates A380 and I'm not kidding you when I say there is actually more space than you'd think. Both times, I've been surprised when I've sat down, as there is definitely more leg room that there used to be on the older planes and the seats are definitely wider. It might not seem like much, but when you're in that seat for 12 hours, every little bit makes a difference.
And because the plane is so dang big, you don't feel the turbulance half as much as you do when on a little plane! Plus, on the long leg, Emirates give you socks, an eye mask and toothbrush & toothpaste, which is great as it's one less thing you need to pack in your hand luggage.
A380 Cabin Image courtesy of Emirates
LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN
By now you would have surely heard this from just about everyone, but be good to your skin when flying long haul. There's nothing worse than getting off a flight and feeling dry & crusty.
Aside from the lack of fresh air, the cabins are pressurised meaning your skin is under conditions it wouldn't normally be in and this usually results in dehydration & congestion just to name a few. I always cleanse & moisturise (twice on a 10 hour plus flight) and use Bioderma (or any other hydrating water) to give my skin a mini cleanse in between. I also have no shame, so I'm not afraid to put on a mask and I always finish with eye cream. But remember it's not just your face - take a hand cream to keep your hands feeling fresh, and also use on your feet if you need to, as the rubbing will help with circulation.
And finally, a fresh face mist is a non-negotiable - my fav is Mario Badescu Aloe, Cucumber & Green Tea but annoyingly, this only comes in a 118ml size, meaning customs made me throw it out. But fortunately I found a Kiehls counter in Duty Free and they had a travel size of their Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng facial spray.
PRE-PLAN HOW YOU WILL SPEND YOUR FLYING TIME
This sounds a little ott, but allocating your hours is a great way to help pass the time in the air. Start thinking and planning well before getting on the plane though - what podcasts/series can you download to your phone to occupy 4 hours, how many magazines will you get through in an hour, how much sleep do you realistically think you'll get, is there any work you can do for an hour or so. You see all these little things add up, so once you throw in a bit of time for meals and stretching, before you know it, you've almost landed! And don't forget, some airlines offer a limited wi-fi service, so now you can add a little bit of time in for socials too. Happy Flying.