Longhaul flying tips...

(24 Posts)
Lumpylumperson Wed 15-Jun-16 11:10:10

DH and I are off for a child-free trip away at Christmas.

We are going longhaul, 15 hours flying but with a stop its around 20 hours.

The longest I have flown is around 10 hours and I really struggle. I don't think I'd normal travel so far without a decent stop-over to break it up but this is top of my bucket list so hopefully will be worth it.

Does anyone have any tips to manage the boredom? I can't afford to upgrade so economy it is.

Anyone else love holidays but loathe flying and want to share tips on making it more tolerable?

Lumpylumperson Wed 15-Jun-16 11:10:52

I should add that it's after Christmas, we aren't leaving the kids over Christmas!

ShanghaiDiva Wed 15-Jun-16 12:41:02

iPad with books and tv programmes for the boredom. Entertainment systems are now pretty good on airlines so you can while away a good few hours.
Alcohol and a couple of sleeping tablets!

tribpot Wed 15-Jun-16 12:58:59

Oh good, I've been looking for a long haul thread that isn't about occupying young children. I'm flying to Alaska this summer (with ds but he will be 11 and is a good traveller) so I'm looking for tips about what kind of bag is best to take on the plane - I think I want something quite large but with plenty of compartments. Also:
- travel pillows
- what to do at Heathrow Terminal 5 for 5 hours
- any tips to make getting through US security less horrendous (I'm not hopeful on this one)
- what could I take to help me sleep that isn't booze and won't leave me catatonic if ds needs something? (I don't drink)
- how to avoid DVT
- knitting needles, has anyone managed this since the rules changed about taking them on board?
- coping with jet lag - melatonin?
- do these spritzy face spray things help at all?

mumchkin Wed 15-Jun-16 13:28:30

This will sound mad but I take my own full size pillow off my bed and always make sure I get a window seat so I can sleep leant against it. Makes all the difference. Plus really good earplugs (silicone ones). And lots of moisturiser and lip balm - slather it all on before passing out with said pillow, eye mask and earplugs!

JamieVardysParty Wed 15-Jun-16 14:09:40

I travel long-haul a fair bit, usually alone. Always looking to pick up new tips.

Always wear something comfortable and in dark colours. I normally travel between countries with very different climates. Usually wear black harems or leggings with a black vest top and then carry a jumper/thick cardigan. Normally wear flip flops and have a thick pair of socks in my bag. I have a thick blanket scarf which is really useful.

Travel pillow - either a normal pillow or a U shaped one.

I then have a little zip up bag which has the following:
Eye mask and earplugs.
My own comfortable headphones and a two pronged headphone adaptor so I don't have to wear airplane headphones.
USB charger
Paracetamol, Immodium etc

Fully charged iPad with a couple of TV series to binge watch. Download a couple of new games too. Fully charged Kindle with 8-10 new books on it.

I don't wear make up and just shove my hair on top of my head.

In terms of a main travel bag, I normally take my gym bag or a big leather tote bag. I then have a smaller bag inside which keeps my phone, passport, purse, iPad, Kindle and little zip bag together.

If you can, try to book into a lounge in your stopover. The ability to stretch out and even have a shower makes you feel a million times better.

I rarely sleep on flights unless I have 2-3 seats to curl up on but often just put some music on and rest my eyes. Makes a lot of difference.

Lumpylumperson Wed 15-Jun-16 17:19:51

Great tips.

I've been wanting a tablet for a while so maybe it's worth me investing in one to pass the time.

Comfy clothes and flip flops sound great. I hate the feel of furry teeth so I'm liking the thought of freshening up.

I find sleeping difficult at the best of times so I'm not holding out much hope for much kip but just resting would be great and maybe taking a sleeping tablet.

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Wed 15-Jun-16 17:31:35

I always take a pillow off my bed with me - much more comfy than a travel pillow. Tablet loaded with films, tv programmes, some music and podcasts/radio programmes. I tend to wear yoga pants, long vest, loose t and cosy cardi in case it gets cold onboard.

I pop to the loos before boarding to wash my face and whack on a load of moisturiser. Cleaning your teeth will definitely make you feel more human. Although you'll get water onboard I never find its enough so I buy a couple of big bottles once I get through security.

T5 at Heathrow has a load of restaurants to choose from and some decent shops to have a mooch around. Not that I usually get a chance to shop as I usually have DS to run after/knacker out before boarding!

tribpot Wed 15-Jun-16 17:51:52

I'm loving this approach of taking one of your own actual pillows with you, but it doesn't it take up 75% of your hand luggage? I'm going to try rolling one of mine up now and seeing if it will compress to a reasonable size. I never have enough pillows in hotels anyway so taking an extra one (or several) sounds ideal.

I've been thinking about a pashmina-y/blanket-y/scarf type thing as temperatures are so varied. I do a lot of travel by train and you can never predict on there whether it's going to be boiling or arctic, so would be useful in general. I think I'm going to go for the real deal unless some of the cheapo options on Amazon are a better bet?

I'm assuming any old moisturiser will do (I don't bother with it normally) but in the right size to go through security.

JamieVardysParty Wed 15-Jun-16 18:51:25

I got my oversized one from ASOS - they have a couple at the moment in the oversized check style for about £18.

YY to the moisturiser and lip balm. I also take a travel toothbrush and paste with me as well as eye drops and a spare pair of pants.

Seriously, if you can get a shower, it is the best ever. It totally revives you.

Where are you going to?

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Wed 15-Jun-16 19:15:40

I've always taken my pillow in addition to my hand luggage bag without it ever being questioned. That's flying with BA.

Lumpylumperson Thu 16-Jun-16 07:39:54

Were going to Hawaii. I'm so excited but dreading the flights!

I'm a terrible traveller and I have CFS so am a bit nervous about not being able to sleep but I'm thinking I might go to the doctors and get some sleeping tablets or sedatives.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 16-Jun-16 07:52:33

Have been to the Hawaiian islands; which island are you flying to and from which West Coast mainland city?. That second flight from the west coast is around 6 hours in duration, the initial flight from the UK is around about 11 hours.

Flip flops are terrible things to travel in and are bad for feet (as they give no support), wear trainers instead for the journey.

Lumpylumperson Thu 16-Jun-16 07:59:03

On the way out we are changing planes at Seattle and on the way back at LA.

We're staying on Oahu. It's only for a week but I'm so excited. It's a very long way for a week but we've wanted to go forever and I just can't be away from the DC for anymore sleeps than that.

We've left them for 5 days before but this will be 9 including the travelling and I think that'll be all I could do.

tribpot Thu 16-Jun-16 08:02:21

We're changing in Seattle too, about 9hrs from London. Rather different destination as we are then off to Alaska smile Hawaii looks amazing, hope you have a great time.

Lumpylumperson Thu 16-Jun-16 08:55:59

Alaska, wow. Sounds amazing!

Hope you have a fab holiday.

CaitAgusMadra Thu 16-Jun-16 10:17:41

Do you listen to any podcasts? I find they are great for killing a couple of hours and I will often drift off to sleep listening to them. There was a great thread about recommended ones a few months ago - sorry have no idea how to link - but I'm sure you will find it if you do a search

I personally hate sleeping tablets - they give me an awful hangover but It might be worth a try

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Thu 16-Jun-16 10:42:03

Compromise with an over-the-counter sleeping tablet? I get hangovers from prescription ones but find that Nytol help me sleep without the same grogginess next morning.

Download the entirety of Cabin Pressure onto your tablet and listen to that. Because it's a radio programme, you can plug yourself in to it and listen snuggled up against your pillow with your eyes closed. Plus there are 27 episodes of half an hour each so...

LazySusan11 Mon 20-Jun-16 10:13:18

I travel long haul most months my tips are similar to the others you've already had.

Wear comfortable non restrictive clothing, layers are better.

I take a pashmina to wrap myself in, hate airline blankets.

Buy plenty of water before you board as most airlines come round with a small cup of water but it's not really enough.

Noise cancelling earphones for watching films or earplugs if you're sleeping.

In my hand luggage I take
Hand cream
Facial oil/moisturiser
Toner
Couple of cotton wool pads
Lip balm

Flight socks

Reading material, check what films are available on your flight if there's nothing I like or have already seen I download stuff to my iPad.

Pay to get into their lounge and have a bit of a relax.

Ask for a bulkhead or emergency exit seat so you have more legroom.

Or ask for a row with a free middle seat so you can put the arm rests up and stretch out.

I also take my own food as airline food is full of rubbish which makes me feel bloated and puffy. Long haul is bad enough without arriving dehydrated and puffed up like a rice crispy!

Try to avoid to much alcohol

LazySusan11 Mon 20-Jun-16 10:16:29

You can also ask at check in if they have any upgrades available and how much they are. Most of the time they are cheaper. However if you're on a popular route that may not pan out.

Isthiscorrect Fri 24-Jun-16 20:01:15

Following for tips.
I'm travelling dirct 15.5 hours! Waaayyyy hlongest flight I've ever been on. As for co ing back the timing is 27 hours. I can't even work out if I will be jet lagged or not. Lol.
Generally I travel between 7-10 hours so I've got everything mentioned except I've never taken my own pillow. I shall try rolling it and see how much space it takes. I like the idea of podcasts, normally I watch 2 or 3 movies. This trip I have to be super vigilant as I'm supervising 5 16-17 year olds!
Travel safely everyone and enjoy your holidays.

thestylethatdecadesforgot Sat 25-Jun-16 10:34:36

You could buy pillows in Ikea that are rolled up tight and then open them on the plane? No good for on the way home but definitely rolled up tight for on the way!

Vlier Sat 25-Jun-16 11:13:13

There are some really good tips here.

Bring a SMALL & EMPTY plastic bottle with you. You are allowed to take this with you. Ask the flightattendent to fill it with water. This way you dont have to wait for the small cups of tea if you are thirsty.

Don't drink anything with bubbles in them. It can make you bloated and uncomfortable.

Take a commercially sealed bag with nuts and raisins with you. This way you always have a snack and you can choose between sweet (raisins) and salty (nuts). Make sure they dont contain peanuts though. If there is a passanger with a severe peanut allergy you cannot eat them because the particles get in the air and can result in a medical disaster.

If you can sleep, do so. Any sleep at any time will make the trip easier.

Go to the toilet the second your tray is put away. The rest of the plane will follow five minutes later.

Brush your teeth halfway and towards the end. Change your underwear. You will feel so much better.

All women should bring your own pads and tampons. You dont want to be faffing around with the airlines cheap pads.

Bring some of your own entertainment (ereader, tablet, notebook, music, powerbank or whatever)

Take two pens ( one for your DH who will forget) with you and put them in the most accessible place in case you need to fill in a form while in a queue. Sometimes you can get processed quicker than the others because you're already done.

Vlier Sat 25-Jun-16 11:19:48

I hope you have a great time. Hawaii sounds lovely!

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