HOW TO PREPARE FOR A LONG HAUL FLIGHT
Even for a seasoned traveller, long haul flights can take their toll on the body. Reaching the far shores of Australia takes time and, well, a certain kind of stamina -particularly if, like me, you struggle to sleep on planes.
So here are a few things I'd recommend for a seamless trip.
- Remember to hydrate. I can't say this enough. Lengthy air travel makes you thirsty. The air conditioning on the plane, breathing in re-circulated air for hours, will dry you out. Dehydration has many effects, most common of which are tiredness and muscle ache. Since it is not always easy to get a flight attendant's attention, particularly in the early hours when the cabin is dark and everyone is sleeping, make sure to purchase a few litres before your flight to carry onboard.
- On the subject of hydration, remember that the above point also goes for your skin. Re-circulated air can quickly dry out your skin. So come prepared with travel size portions of your usual facial products, in particular: cleanser, moisturising serum and cream so that you can nourish your skin (reapply regularly) and feel fresh on arrival.
- Because a large portion of the cabin air is re-circulated, your immune system is exposed to any germ present on the plane for the duration of the flight. For this reason, it's said that you are a 100 times more likely to catch a cold when you are flying. So make sure to wash your hands regularly and keep a hand sanitiser on board with you.
- Of course, there are blankets on the plane; however, because you feel the cold more when you're tired, I would suggest bringing a shawl or scarf to keep your neck protected, especially if you are sensitive to strong air-conditioning.
- Socks are a must (invest in compression stockings if you suffer from swollen ankles and legs) as they can help with the stiffness and swelling caused by being seated for a long period of time. Garments aside, stay active during the flight. This is essential to help with blood circulation. Move your legs and flex your ankles regularly, get up and walk down the aisle and stretch as often as possible.
- Remember that not all airline carriers provide a basic toiletry bag for all passengers (something I learnt on this trip). So make sure to pack a tooth brush and travel size toothpaste.
- Finally, I know we all want to look good when travelling and try to be conscious of our airport style, but in this instance comfort truly is key! Don't get me wrong, with the right pieces, comfort can look cool. Athleisure is your friend here; think soft loose pants, structured cotton tee shirt and practical layering. But, please remember to respect basic airport etiquette, i.e. though the urge may be strong, try not to travel in your pyjamas!