Top Tips for a Long Haul Flight - My Family Travels

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    Ratna Singh

    The most common question that crops in our mind when we are travelling long distance for the first time is – how would I spend 10 to 15 hours in an aeroplane ? Similarly I too had been getting quite anxious about managing a 15 hour flight – how would I spend my time, that too in a cramped space? But, contrary to what I expected, my maiden long haul flight was quite alright.

    Just to think that you’ll be inside an aircraft for hours together might make you uncomfortable and claustrophobic . Luckily, for me all these assuaged after my first trip. The flight was quite satisfying, and the reason for that are enumerated in this article.

    1) Book your ticket on a top-notch airline ( preferably, Emirates, British Airways ) , to get maximum comfort. This not only assures a pleasant journey, also you’ll reach your destination feeling fresher. Not only are the insides spacious and hygienic, they even provide passengers with an attractive kit with all essential items – eye mask, socks, lip balm, tooth-brush and tooth-paste. So you’re saved from carrying these in your hand baggage.

    Do not compromise on quality for the sake of slightly higher prices. Moreover, kids are quite happy as they are given a goody bag full of soft toys, puzzles and games to keep them occupied.

    It is always a good idea to stick to one airlines for all your trips if possible, so that you can collect miles, and utilize it later on for discounts and upgrades. The same principal applies to hotels also. Keep your membership number handy while booking and during check-in, so that you don’t miss on getting your points added. Members are also given access to lounges and other perks.

    2) What you need to carry in your hand baggage are firstly, a soft jacket/ hoodie / scarf as the temperatures inside may be pretty low. A neck-pillow, to help you relax, get some sleep and not end up having a neck or back pain . My favorite calming product is essential oil (lavender or tea tree) which I bring along for soothing the senses.
    Flights aren’t the place to be trendily dressed in the latest fashion. Wear your most comfortable, loose clothes and footwear!

    Noise cancellation headphones – though you are provided with normal earphones, but that doesn’t cut off the background noise. As such having your own insulated ones is worthwhile.

    For me the in-flight entertainment is sufficient enough for the entire duration of the journey. Depending on your requirement you can have your own movies, shows or playlist downloaded . This will come handy in case you don’t find movies of your choice or if the system has some problem.

    One important item which we usually miss is a pen, it’s required to fill up immigration forms and other documents.

    Medicines are essential, you never know when you may need them. It’s best to carry all medicines with you in your bag.

    Having these things with you in addition to a hand sanitizer and mask, specially now during pandemic time is an absolute necessity.

    Few things that are not allowed in the cabin baggage is liquid more than 100 ml (to be carried in a bottle kept in a transparent pouch), lithium batteries, any hazardous items. Make sure you don’t carry any of that.

    Put all the hard copies of your travel documents in one place, preferably a file – this includes tickets, travel insurance, proof of identity, passport, visa and now the covid test reports. For safety sake, you must also have soft copies of all of these in your device.

    Reach the airport 3 hours in advance, that’s a requirement for an international flight.
    Keep all your travel documents handy, as you enter the airport. You wouldn’t want to search your baggage at the airport if you’ve forgotten where it is kept! Next, get your baggage checked in and collect your boarding pass. It’s here that you can request for seats of your choice, so check it out. All this may take some time, depending on the queue .

    After this is the immigration and security checks which are mandatory. Once through with these two steps, you can be fairly relaxed. If there is time you can window shop or buy if you wish from the plethora of stores open 24/7.

    Or head to one of the fine restaurants, (offering a great variety of cuisines to choose from) and enjoy your favorite meal. This will not only uplift your spirts before boarding the flight, sometimes meals served on flights may not be of your liking.

    As most international flights are in the nights, be prepared to be awake. A day or two prior to your departure, take proper rest and sleep. Better not to exhaust yourself, with last minute packing or shopping etc.

    If you’re not one of those travelers who gets to sleep easily on a plane, perhaps you can try reading a book or practice meditations or deep breathing exercises . These would surely help you in getting some shut-eye.

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