Sorry for going MIA lately, but if you follow me on social media you might have seen that I was traveling to Japan aka the country of the sunrise. It was my first real long-haul flight (+10 hours), flying from Dublin to Tokyo via Dubai for a layover. It took about 24hours in total to get there. First time that I am traveling for so long. But I was traveling with Emirates airline for this journey and they made the whole experience very enjoyable.
Let me share with you couple tips that I learned while this first long haul experience.
1. Pick your seat
Couple days before your flight, your airline will send you a notification to check-in online so that you won't need to do it again at the airport and also the possibility to pick your seat. We all have our preferences. I love to sit at the window. Pick your favourite seat for a better flight experience.
2. Travel light
Wear comfortable clothing. The tip here is all about layers. You will switch between cold and hot quite frequently and that's the best way to get sick and ruin your holidays if you don't come prepared.
Comfy sole shoes, sweat pants, long sleeves shirt, hoodie with a front zipper and a cap is my go to outfit for long haul flight. The hoodie and the cap especially to sleep and not be distracted by the light that can be quite bright on a few airlines.
Try to stay hydrated. Plane cabins are dry, so it's recommended to drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and skin. So get those bottles at the airport once you've gone through security.
Food on planes is not always the best depending on the airline company you are flying with. So it is always a good idea to bring some snacks or meal with you. Nuts and chocolates are my favourite snacks. Also provide good nutritient value. Avoid smelly food as a courtesy to the other passengers on the plane.
5. Bring a LOT of things to keep you busy
Entertainment depends on everyone's preference: Do you prefer to read? Listen to music? Watch movies? Work? Whatever works for you, make sure to bring everything you need to make your journey the most enjoyable as possible.
I personally work on my laptop to catch up on to-do lists I kept on postponing due to my busy work lifestyle. Some planes also have plugs you can use by your seat so you never run out of battery. But it is also good to switch off and just listen to music or watch a movie for a while.
Make sure to bring in your carry-on bag some toiletries items. Keeping a good hygiene while flying is important. It makes you feel better and not disgusting after so many hours being in a plane with recycled air. A toothbrush, a travel size toothpaste, a deodorant are simple but efficient items that will make you feel fresh and alive again!
7. Airport lounges
If you have a long layover, consider staying at an airport lounge, they offer great amenities to help you deal with your long haul trip. Comfortable seats or sofas, free food, free drinks, internet access, sockets to charge your device, showers. Check with your airline company if you are eligible to access them. Otherwise, it is definitely worth to pay the fee. Less hassle and more relaxing environment.
Let everyone else board first
I still don't understand why people rush to get ON an airplane. All seats are allocated and you will be sitting in there for couple hours, so why rushing to sit down. Instead, let all the hurry passengers get on board first and enjoy your last minutes before boarding. Go to the bathroom, stretch your legs, send a last minute email...whatever it is, no need to rush, your seat will wait for you.
Hope you will find these tips useful.