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Essential Tips on how to Travel on Long Flights in 2023

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

Contents for Flying Tips in 2022:

No doubt having a break from travel in the last 2 years has taken a toll on airports and ourselves having not traveled for so long and now taking the plunge and flying overseas on a long flight. This article has been created to help those flying for the first time during Covid-19 to give you tips and share the experience I recently went through flying from Australia to the UK on a long-haul flight.

Flying on an extended flight is not easy and I hope these tips make your flight and trip much more enjoyable, easy, and less stressful. If there is anything you find useful or could be added please add it in the comments, message me, and share this post with those traveling on holidays soon.

Tip 1: Drink Water, Stay Hydrated for Long Flights

During any long flight, you must consume and make an effort to drink water. You will need to start drinking water when your mouth starts to dry out. Generally, airlines will give you a bottle of water but if they don’t you should not be afraid to ask for water or go get some. A tip I use for long-haul flying is taking an empty water bottle with me on the flight and then asking the cabin attendant to fill it. During a long trip in a plane, the cabin pressure will generally be 6000ft and due to the compressibility and heating of the air from the outside, the air is very dry. Therefore you tend to use more water than you would normally when not flying. If you feel thirsty then you should start drinking water as you are already dehydrated. Drinking water on a flight will help with your physical comfort and helps reduce DVT, and tiredness, and allows you to recover better after the flight. Many people will also advise you to not drink caffeine or alcohol on a flight as these do not help you hydrate and do the opposite. Drinking water is important throughout the day and not just when flying. Make it your goal to get some water after every movie or meal you have on an airplane to help with dehydration during the flight.

Tip 2: Courage, No harm in asking

It's not rude to ask the person next to you if they could get up or move, but so many people stay seated as they lack the courage to ask or feel it will inconvenience someone. We all booked Economy Class and don’t have the money for Business, so it's not irresponsible or too much to ask someone to get up so you can. So don’t be afraid to just ask the person next to you if they could move or let you climb over them. I try to ask just after the meal service has been collected or just before, that way the toilet is generally free and the passenger next to me isn’t sleeping just yet. Once a person knows you are out and coming back they won’t go back to sleep so I have a walk and stretch for about 10 minutes minimum. Another great tip is to ask the person next to you if they have a preference or issue with you getting up every couple of hours before the flight begins. If they do, maybe they can switch seats with you or let you know when the best time is that they won’t be sleeping. It's usually normal for people to go straight to sleep on a Long Haul Night flight or for people to try and get to the other time zone while on the plane. Don’t be afraid to ask to get up, holding your bladder and not stretching have major health impacts and you should beagle to get up when you need.

Tip 3: Passport and Vaccination Record

Traveling is not as easy as it used to be, you want to make sure you have the correct vaccination records, visa if required, quarantine booking, and passport. Most places around the world now allow quarantine free (except Hong Kong) and no vaccination record is required for flying. I would suggest it is a good thing to have your international travel record printed and with you just in case you need it for a tour or down route after your long-haul flight. You can get your international travel vaccination record from your myGov account and print/screenshot it. When I travel for a long period away or catch International Flights I always have a travel sleeve or pouch that contains all my important documents like my passport, vaccination record, or trip itinerary. To fly into Australia you don’t need to provide a vacation record or proof anymore but may require a visa if not a permanent resident or citizen.

Tip 4: Back-Up Entertainment

On a recent flight from Perth to Qatar, a long flight of 9 hours with a delay at takeoff due to a technical issue, the Pilots told us that we would not have any TV system due to the issue. Luckily it was a night flight and I was able to sleep for 5 hours. However, during the remaining time, I used my Ipad to watch TV. This was a perfect example and time where I had backup entertainment for the long flight without working TVs onboard. To entertain yourself on a long flight use your Ipad or small laptop and take it in your carry-on case. Just to note the pain in this is that you must take it with you for some security procedures. I normally get my laptop and Ipad out just before I take my seat. That way I have everything I need and don’t need to get up again until after the meal service. I use Netflix and download episodes or a movie and generally have enough downloaded for half the flight or either some work I can do on the flight. Generally, all Long Haul flights and Carriers now have Wifi however it's not infrequent that the Wifi doesn't work or is cut out in certain countries (Russia and China). That's why it's best if you can download anything for offline use before the flight.

Tip 5: Travel Kit

I generally have 2 travel kits, One is for general use and the other contains my passport and important papers or flight documents that I will talk about after. I get little bags that are similar to the Amenity Kits from Business. I keep a pen(or two), eye mask, lip balm, hand cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, charging cables (USB, phone/earpods), and my earpods at all times when traveling. This travel case accompanies me in my hand luggage and comes out before I get my seat. That way I have my most essential items with me for easy access during a long flight. Other things you could include in yours include medication or valuable items. I find after years of travel I don’t forget any items as I have them always in a travel kit and that it always comes out with me when I’m seated. I am always the person lending a pen or charger to someone who needs one as they don’t want to get up or forgot them at home before the flight. These items and the travel kit are essential for anyone traveling long hours on a flight, there's nothing worse than running out of battery or not being able to listen to music on a long flight. Having the items in a travel kit makes it all so easy to travel anywhere at any time on long-haul flights.

Tip 6: Clothing

It's important on a long flight to wear comfortable clothing, clothing that allows flex and breathability but at the same time something that doesn't get too cold. We all know on long flights with the temperature so low in the atmosphere that it gets really cold. Most airlines offer a blanket however budget airlines won’t. I personally always wear nice flexible longs with a comfortable shirt and a jacket I can take off easily or tuck behind my back when flying on a long flight. I also am a huge fan of thick socks and compression socks as stated above, I feel thick socks act as slippers and I am comfortable walking around the cabin in them. I think airplanes are disgusting (hygiene-wise), however, walking around in big socks I feel more able to walk around without my shoes on. Generally, I have my largest or heaviest shoes on so I can pack more in my baggage. Hence I always take my boots off once I’m seated or after takeoff. It's important to be comfortable on long-haul flights and feel at home.

Tip 7: Headphones/Airpods, Ear Plugs

One thing I never leave home without for a flight is my AirPods and earplugs. Depending on comfort levels, some people will use noise-canceling headphones to help sleep on flights. I personally just have a pair of earplugs I use to sleep with and on long flights and trips away. You never know when you get a screaming/crying baby on the flight or your neighboring passenger snoring so loud you can’t get any sleep or even watch your movie. I think headphones or earplugs are of huge importance on long flight trips. You never know when you will need them if your hotel is right next to a busy road, snoring passengers or maybe you can’t get any peace on your trip away with a friend or loved one.

Tip 8: Compression Socks

Traveling on a long flight is physically demanding and we are not designed to be seated for 15 hours in economy class or on an airplane in general. I would highly recommend wearing compression socks that allow your body to reduce the blood pooling in your legs. The pooling of blood is due to the lack of use of your legs as you are seated for hours on end without getting up, exercising, and being able to move about how you normally would. One of the biggest health issues caused by long-haul flying is DVT Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT is caused by blood clotting due to the lack of use of your legs while being seated for too long. Compression socks can help reduce the pooling and clotting of blood in your legs by putting pressure on your calves. I wear compression socks on long flights as a pilot as I am always sitting for long periods in an airplane. Another helpful method of reducing DVT and clotting is Exercise and Stretching.

If you would like more flying tips please go to our other flying blogs and get the best and most accurate information to help you with your flying journey. If you would like more info or think you can add some information to make this article better and more accurate please comment below or send an email.

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