When flying for the first time to Australia I was far too anxious – I anticipated the horrors of the long-haul flight. I was not even sure how I was going to survive a flight to Australia. 12 hours from Copenhagen to Singapore and 8 hours from Singapore to Brisbane. I was flying economy but I made sure to book aisle seats as I am 1.86 m and the very thought of not being able to stretch every now and then, made me want to burn my nipples with a curling iron.
Upgrade if you can
On a long distance flights,you have no better friend on the planet than your frequent flier miles. So, upgrade if you can! And If you cannot, at least try to make sure you've got the aisle seat as this way you'll be able to stretch your legs and it will be easier for you to get up and walk for 5 minutes every hour. This is very important as staying in the same position for many consecutive hours can be hazardous for your health. You can also try those compression socks to keep swelling down and help prevent blood clots (which can happen at any age). I know it may sound a bit drama, but I also consulted my physician on that. He advised taking some Aspirine, too.
Work if you really must
When you are on a long-haul you try to do all you can to make these long hours disappear almost without a trace. Work is one good alternative. Staring at spreadsheets and writing proposals may burn up hours, but it does not make them vanish completely. But then again, rarely do you have 15 consecutive hours without a phone or e-mail, so I encourage bringing some work. And if that does not work, never stray away from Hollywood blockbusters. No matter how cliche they may be, they work miracles on flights.
Sleep if you are able to
First of all try to get as much good sleep as it is possible before you board. Do not think that boarding dead tired will be any good. You will not be able to sleep anyway and you will feel as cranky as it gets. When on a flight to Australia, I was considering taking some sleeping aids but I eventually managed without. If you are willing to try something natural or prescribed by the doctor, always make sure to check it beforehand. And make sure it is safe for you.
Have it all handy
When packing your cabin luggage, always make sure to have the things you are intending to use nice, tidy and… handy. I know you can always reach out to that overhead compartment, but still you will not be willing to go through the scenario full of "excuse me" and "sorries" when reaching there to get a book, eye drops, iPad or your favourite pillow.
Bring your go-to gear with you
Bring all you need but do not go crazy. I can't be bothered to lug around neck pillows, eye masks, earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones, etc. – except on a long-haul flight. They become indispensable, then. Those gadgets can make your life so much easier especially after the excitement and first good impression of the flight wear off with every hour. Then you are going to need everything to relax you.
Board as rested as possible
Don't count on a long-haul flight as a good place to catch up on sleep. They are not. They may seem to, but the best way to stay reseted is to board rested. Also when you are traveling west to east try to go to bed an hour earlier for at least a week before the journey and if you are traveling east to west, try to go to bed an hour later than usual. This will minimize the jet lag, I was so scared of myself
If you are a frequent flyer you will also enjoy our post on spotting the best prices on international flights. Photo Credit: Zsombor Lacza via Compfight cc Photo Credit: ~Oryctes~ via Compfight cc Photo Credit: Darwin Bell via Compfight cc Photo Credit: Miss C.J. via Compfight cc