Tuesday 26 July 2011

Tuesday Ten

Ten Tips for Flying Long-haul

1. Water
My simple rule of thumb is, the longer the flight, the bigger the bottle. Of course they have water on the flight but the cups are always tiny. It hurts a bit because the shops in the airports, at least the British ones, know they have a captive market and charge a scandalous price (I mean you, WHSmith, you embarrassment of a newsagent) but always buy 2 litres for a long-haul flight and make sure you drink it.

2. Avoid coffee/alcohol
I know. When the booze is (ostensibly) free, it's difficult to say no; but don't give in. Coffee and alcohol will both dehydrate you and counteract all that over-priced water you're pumping into your body.

3. Have lots to do
When I fly to Australia this week, I will have my Kindle, a magazine (maybe 2), my DSi, some knitting and my MP3 player. Then there are the in-flight movies. I hate getting bored.

4. Big, fluffy socks
...or slippers. My feet always swell to some extent on the plane and I'm not the best at wearing shoes, but my feet get a bit cold otherwise. And unless you have uncomplicated shoes, take something you can slip on over your socks for those visits to the toilet, like flip flops.

5. Layers
I am always very careful to wear comfortable clothes - not trousers, no seams on the underside of my skirt. I also make sure I dress in thin layers because planes can be all over the place in terms of temperature. I also always take a sarong or shawl to wrap up in, because I've been on a large number of flights where they have run out of blankets. I expect all the first class passengers were using them to wrap up their diamond necklaces and so on.

6. Listen to your body
If I'm flying near a workday, sometimes I try and make myself sleep; sometimes I make myself stay awake. But if I'm flying for a holiday I just do what comes naturally. I take a sleep mask and my MP3 player to block out unwanted noise.

7. Moisturise
I have a whole in-flight beauty routine. I try and keep my skin hydrated from the outside as well as in. This makes me feel more poised and confident when I get off the flight, and curiously seems to leave me slightly less jet-lagged too, for some reason.

8. Toothpaste/gum
Everyone will thank you for it. Don't rely on the airline to provide. The first class people might be using it to clean their diamonds.

9. Don't watch the flight map thing
It will only depress you, particularly in the final hour, during which the plane will not appear to move one iota.

10. Don't overpack your hand luggage
People on long-haul* who refuse to check luggage irritate me with their enormous cases (why do they never get stopped?) and their smug "I'll get through customs first" attitudes. I prefer to use the baggage allowance I paid for and keep my cabin bag on the light side, so I can find things easily without braining the poor unfortunate sitting underneath the locker.

* the same does not apply for Easyjet or any other flight where one has to pay to check luggage.

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