It is predicted that there will be 7.2 billion air passengers each year by 2035, a figure almost double than what it is now. Air travel has become increasingly accessible, and as a result, more people than ever before will be taking long haul flights over the coming years. No matter what time of year you travel, a long haul flight can be an endurance test, so if you’ve never taken one before, it’s worth doing some strategic shopping before you fly to make your journey as comfortable as possible.
You’ll be wearing your flight outfit for 12 hours or more: it’s vital that it’s comfortable. Make sure you wear loose-fitting clothes and choose layers so you can add and remove them as necessary. If you live in jeans, investing in some comfortable sweatpants or yoga pants before you travel would be wise. It’s also a good idea to buy some compression socks: deep vein thrombosis is a risk when you’re forced to sit in one position for a long time. Compression socks keep swelling to a minimum, reducing the risk of blood clots. Another sensible wardrobe investment, if you don’t have one already, is a small, soft bag for your hand luggage. This will make it easier to store under the seat in front, giving you more legroom and upping the comfort of your journey.
Long haul flights tend to look after you well, and you’ll usually get at least two meals and a light snack. However, there are a number of reasons it’s a good idea to have your own stash to supplement the plane food. If you have any dietary requirements, the best way to be sure your food suits your needs is to bring it yourself. It also means you have a backup plan if you don’t like the food that’s offered, and if eating more frequently allows you to better manage your blood sugar levels, it means you can choose when you snack. This can be particularly important once the lights are out and the flight attendants aren’t passing through the aircraft: if you can’t sleep, having a snack and a bottle of water can help you out. Avoid food and drink that’s high in caffeine, salt and sugar in order to ensure the best sleep possible, and source your travel snacks from places that feedback into your travel plans: Woolworths lets you earn Qantas points, for example, which you can then convert into air miles or hotel stays for another trip.
Shopping For Sleep
Despite the length of the flight, sleeping can be tricky when the plane engine is roaring and your fellow passengers are awake. Earplugs are an essential investment to block out the nose. If you struggle getting earplugs that fit, look for wax ones, which you can mold to the shape of your ear. A sleep mask is also a wise investment to block out lights that other passengers may be using, and a neck pillow will make sure your spine is aligned while you’re sleeping in your seat. Memory foam is a good choice for this and should help you avoid jarring your neck when you’re nodding off, or waking up with a sore neck.
Preparation is key to a comfortable long haul flight. It may be tempting to avoid extra costs and forgo the pre-flight shopping trip, but a few wise investments can make all the difference to your enjoyment of the flight.