I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but having flown 3 return flights to New Zealand in the space of 12 months one year, you could say I’ve learnt a long-haul thing or two. For each of those trips I spent over 50 hours hurtling through the clouds, cruising through 4 hemispheres, over several continents and hours staring at a screen roughly 8 inches in diameter.
But, it was totally worth it for the smiles at the end of each journey.
1. – If travelling with more than one person, especially if you have flight connections, split your clothing between the two cases. It sounds a little random, but should they lose ONE it means you’ll still have a few things to wear adventuring whilst the airline gets your delayed baggage to you.
2. – Carry a change of clothes for each leg of the journey plus minis of your favourite shampoo/body wash/toothbrush. Especially if you have sensitive skin.
3. – Take face wipes, a soft scarf and a bottle of water.
4. – If you’re not flying in a class that has a shower on the plane, investigate lounge options OR in-terminal facilities. We flew 25+ hours from London to Brisbane (via Dubai) which included a 2 hour delayed connection sat on the plane, and because of that we had to wait another 3 hours in Brisbane airport for our connecting flight to New Zealand. But. The shower we had in Brisbane airport whilst we waited was the best feeling in the world. THE WORLD.
5. – Take an excellent book and your own headphones (ideally with a little plug adapter).
6. – Fly direct (it’s worth the extra money for the least hassle) and never get the last flight of the day (you risk being bumped to the next day) or plan a few days as stopover if you do need to break flights and research terminal transfer times for connecting flights plus add an hour to the recommended time. There in nothing worse than not having enough time to stroll through the airport.
7.- Get on the time zone that you’re travelling to as soon as possible. We prefer to take a Friday night red-eye flight which lands in Auckland late afternoon. This means I’ve knackered myself during office hours and sleep on the plane almost immediately and once we arrive, we can roll out of the airport and straight to our hotel to for a long old sleep overnight.
These are just my essential tips – also check out my more exhaustive long-haul tips and tricks post.
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What is your best long-haul flight tip? (Answer below or on Twitter and I’ll do a follow-up roundup post)