Nov 9, 2012

Are we there yet? - 5 ways to survive a long-haul flight

The holidays are fast approaching but, taking a long-haul flight is never in anyone’s list of favourite things to do. So, until taking business class becomes an option, these are some survival tips to swear by.
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Airline blankets are a necessity (as least for me) as it tends to get pretty chilly over time in the plane. However, I always end up frustrated with what I end up with - lint on my clothes.

1. So, if you have to use what the airline provides you with, try not to wear dark colours. Lint is more obvious on dark, porous materials.

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Long haul flights mean no transit for at least the next 8-12 hours. If that is the case, try not to be caught in the middle seat. A survey commissioned by 3M indicated that more than half of respondents would rather go to the dentist than tell a seat-mate, "Excuse me; I need to go to the bathroom." Hilarious, right? 

2. Most airlines probably allow check-ins 48 hours before the flight, so put in some effort to secure a decent seat. It will pay off in the end. If all else fails and you are stuck with the middle seat, check out this great article on “Surviving the Middle Seat.”

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I once made the mistake of wearing high-heeled leather boots during a 24 hour flight to New York. The boots had to be out during the flight to get comfortable but, they took up space limiting the legroom. I also had to struggle with the footrest and boots each time when I had to answer the call of nature. Another reason why high-heeled boots are a bad idea - Navigating endless airport terminals and the security lines can be a nightmare.

3. So wear slip-ons or flats that are properly cushioned and easy to take off.

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Keeping bags in the overhead compartment can be a pain especially if you need to take items needed during mid-flight. A bag under the seat in front with only essentials + of course valuables (including passports) secured deep inside the bag, might do the trick.

4. Make full use of your personal space. Grab the in-flight magazines, duty free catalogues from the seat pocket in front and toss them in the overhead bin, instead of your bag. This way at least you can keep some essentials within easy reach. The following items should be easily accessible mid-flight. 

• A bottle of H20/Gatorade. The little cups of liquid they give are not enough! (Buy at duty-free shop after security checks);
• Neck / small pillow;
• Headphones (bring your own noise-cancelling ones);
• Face moisturizer;
• Hand-cream;
• Cozy socks (to keep blood circulating);
• Glasses / Eye-drops;
• Ear-plugs

These are the other essentials you might need at the end of the flight.

• Toothbrush + paste (These will probably be provided on long-haul flights);
• Dry shampoo to get rid of greasy hair (try to apply about 5-6 hours before landing);
• A pen to fill up immigration cards;
• Passports

So, bon voyage and party away at your next destination!

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