2018 has been a big year for travel, with more people boarding flights across the world than ever before. More people are choosing comfortable long haul travel over short haul, knowing that the further their destination, the more they can see in the world. Large Australian airline Qantas made huge waves when they began their epic flights from London to Perth in March, and it won’t be long before other airlines follow suit.
Being able to fly around the world to Australia is mostly done in pieces; two or three smaller flights with breaks in between. Now, you can sit and travel for 17 hours one way with no break; history in the making. There is a big difference between hopping a few states and going to Florida for a break than jumping on a flight to England, and then onto Australia from there. Long haul travel is not always comfortable and it’s definitely not always easy. It can be done, though, and it can be done comfortably for the whole family.
One of the most important things about choosing your vacation is knowing whether you can bring along the whole family at all. Some people intend on flying long haul for two to three weeks, and when they do this, they need to know that they can bring their dog along for the ride. While you won’t be sitting in the economy section of the airplane with your dog on the seat beside you, it can give you comfort to know that there are many pet friendly airports in the US that have no trouble making things comfortable for your pets while you’re going through security and getting checked in. Those long-haul flights aren’t just daunting for you, they’re daunting for your pets, which is why I’ve put together this 10-step guide to the ultimate comfort during your next long flight – the more relaxed you are, the happier your pooch will be. Let’s get you relaxed and ready to go. (Yes, this is geared towards dogs as I’m a dog person and own three.)
You’re on a long flight, which means sitting in skinny jeans just isn’t going to do the job. The mere thought makes me uncomfortable. Think about how you would feel the most comfortable while relaxing for a long flight and go with that – hello Spanx leggings! Several loose layers are always better to be adjustable to the changes in heat or air conditioning, and it’s always ideal to keep a spare pair of socks with you. Comfortable footwear is a must, but for the long flights, consider bringing some fluffy socks or slippers and wearing those once you can kick off your shoes. Going barefoot on an airplane floor is NOT something you should do.
Prep A Sleep Kit
You need to get some rest on a plane, especially if you are flying overnight. Think about packing a small bag within your carry on with sleep masks, ear plugs, travel pillows and meditation music – if that’s what you need. You need to make sure you’re not going to be too uncomfortable. Unless you’re in First, you’ll be snoozing sitting up, so you have to do what you can with the tools you have at your disposal to be as comfortable as possible. Some people prefer to pack sleeping pills – I highly discourage this because if something unexpected should happen during the flight, you’ll be rendered incapable of caring for yourself. Melatonin on the other hand, is less potent than let’s say Ambien, and is okay to take.
The plane food…well, you may like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be enough for you. Pack some snacks for the flight because time zone hopping means you’re going to be fed when you don’t expect it. Always have extras with you just in case you’re hungry. Protein snacks will keep you fuller for longer, but carb loaded foods can help you to cope with the jet lag. The more you have with you, the easier it’ll be to feel satisfied at height.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Recycled plane air isn’t the nicest to breathe in all the time and it can make you feel incredibly dry – including your skin! Avoid too much coffee and alcohol as these can dehydrate you further, and add some moisturizer and eye drops to your hand luggage to hydrate your skin and eyes. Lip balm is another good option for your hand luggage, and you can then make sure you stay as hydrated as possible for the flight. I’ve included below my absolute favorite hydrating masks, a roller, and lip balms. Flying any distance greater than a couple hours with a face full of makeup does more harm than you might think. Apply your makeup an hour or so before landing!
Everyone travels with their tech these days – how else are you going to show the flight attendant your dog who’s flying in the hold?! Anyway, these tablets and Kindles that we fly with are all going to need charging on a long flight, you need to think about a battery power pack to bring with you in case your flight doesn’t have chargers available on your seat. Portable bars can charge more than one device!
Sometimes, it’s not always a good idea to go for the cheapest airline just because of budgets. You need to choose the airline with the best reviews that are really going to make you feel comfortable. Think about the seat widths and learn about the amenities and services available. Take a look at TripAdvisor, too, and get to know some real reviews from real people who have used the airlines.
Bring A Washbag
You may have packed your regular toiletries in your hold luggage, but the best thing that you can do is to add toothbrushes and paste along with a wash cloth to be able to refresh after a stuffy flight. Lots of airports have washrooms for you to use after you’ve landed, making you way more comfortable.
Headphones & Hollywood
The average Hollywood blockbuster is 2.5 hours long. On a 17 hour flight, that’s almost 7 hours of movies. That’s the entire Avengers list, right there! You need to divvy out your time, and you can really while away the hours when you are flying, by watching movie after movie. Not into movies? Go for TV series, books, games, whatever it is that will make the hours fly away – do it! Personally I go back and forth between a movie and reading a book on my Kindle!
Book Your Seat
For ultimate comfort, pay that small fee and book yourself a preferred seat for the duration of your flight. You need to be able to feel comfortable, from the window seat to the exit rows. Pick the seat that suits, sit back and enjoy your flight!