Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Tips on how to survive a long haul flight (part 2)

I am currently sunning it up in Thailand, well actually I am doing a PADI diving course so not really seeing much sun in the classroom or under water. Anyway, Thailand is one of my favourite countries (I think this is something like my 7th trip...the Boy does tell me that I need to branch out and see more of the world!) but it is a mission to get here with a 12-13 hour flight from London to Bangkok. That is a serious long haul flight! 

Whilst I love flying and don't mind a long haul journey (hey, nothing is ever going to be as bad as the 32 hour coach trip to Rome I once did) I know that a lot of people dread it. But there are things that you can do to make the journey a little bit more bearable, maybe even enjoyable...
goes without saying that you need to arrive on time

Top tip 1: arrive to the airport in plenty of time

Over the years my dad has taught me a thing or two about travelling well and this is another one my dad's specials. My mum is notorious for leaving at the very last minute and she has missed some flights before. Do yourself, and your blood pressure a favour, don’ rush. As my dad preaches leave plenty of time (including what I like to call ‘cock up’ time) and get there early. Once you are air side and through security then you can relax and get yourself a glass of wine (I think my dad said that is compulsory). 

relaxing at the airport before the flight

Top tip 2: look after your health

Sounds silly but flying can take it out of you, what with the drying air, lack of space and the pressure. Make your flight more comfy by taking any medicines with you – after all there is no pharmacy up there! I always take peppermint oil capsules to soothe my stomach and sudefed to assist in my congestion and blocked sinuses.

 Top tip 3: simple leg exercise

We’ve all heard of the horror stories of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) caused by flying which causes painful swelling and potential blood clots! But there are sensible measures you can make to prevent this. 

If you are worried then I would recommend that you buy the special socks but I personally never have. Instead I make sure that whenever I go to the toilet, I do a little leg stretching in the asile of the queue. You don’t need a lot of space. Just some simple pulling stretches, such as rotating the ankle in circles whilst standing, doing a gentle quad stretch(pull the ankle towards your bum with your hand, rotating the hips round in a circle, calf raises etc. 

Top tip 4: get into the right time zone

I am lucky enough to have only experienced jet lag once (I was 17 and in Thailand but reading one page of my A level reading book, Jane Eyre, I was straight to sleep). One thing to do to avoid jet lag is to set your watch for the time zone of the country you are going to and start working to that immediately, rather than waiting for then you get there. If you need a little assistance in sleeping, then maybe try a gentle herbal sleeping tablet* rather than plying yourself with G&Ts!

T5 Heathrow airport

Top tip 5: stay hydrated!

One of the reasons people feel exhausted after a long flight is dehydration, caused by the thin dry cabin air. I drink a lot on a normal cold day in England, but I drink extra water on a long haul flight. Actually, on any flight. You'll be how well this simple trick serves you. 

If you have any more tips, then please leave a comment! 

X x X

Read part one of how to survive a long haul flight here

Check out my blog from last summer about what’s in my flight bag

* please seek your pharmcaidsts’ advice about the sleeping tablets 

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