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A Guide To Surviving Long-Haul Flights
A Guide To Surviving Long-Haul Flights

Whether you are flying alone, with children or with friends, long-haul flights can quickly become tedious once the excitement of being air bound is over. Despite modern planes now offering comfortable seats, built-in TVs and lots of food, after being on board for ten or more hours, things can begin to feel a little unbearable - even for frequent flyers.

Make your journey as pleasant as possible, and take a look at our top tips for surviving a long-haul flight.

Pre-flight Packing

When the time comes to pack your suitcase, remember to avoid placing the essentials in your hold baggage. Keep them with you by putting them inside your hand luggage so you can access them at any point.

Falling asleep whilst being in the air does not come easy for everyone, it is important to bring a few comforts onto your flight to help you rest. A long-haul essential is a small pillow or neck pillow - even if you do not end up sleeping, it will support your neck and prevent aches and pains. A plane can also be a noisy place, with regular announcements from the pilot and other passengers conversing throughout the journey interrupting sleep. Drown out the noise and purchase some earplugs or noise cancelling headphones so you can rest peacefully, and consider an eye mask which will keep things dark throughout the day.

Many people also suffer from dehydrated skin on board long-haul flights, due to the dry air flowing through the cabin. Avoid this by bringing a thick moisturiser or facial spray, as well as a lip balm, and reapply regularly as the hours pass by. However, make sure these are under 100ml to ensure you can bring them aboard in your hand luggage.

There is also nothing worse than feeling hungry on a plane, and while meals are provided regularly there is certainly no harm in packing a few of your favourite snacks. Choose sweet and savoury options, so you can satisfy any craving - granola bars, pre-made sandwiches, fruit and popcorn all transport well.

In-flight Essentials

Once you are on the flight, it is time to relax. The hours can drag and begin to feel endless if you are doing something you don’t enjoy, so take the time to watch a movie, read a book and listen to music or a podcast. It is wise to download any media to an electronic device before you board too, rather than rely on the airport or in-flight Wi-Fi.

It is best to drink plenty of fluids during the journey as well, but it is recommended flyers avoid caffeine and alcohol. Instead, keep hydrated by drinking water. You will require more than usual due to the dry air, so bring an empty water bottle and politely ask the flight attendant to fill it up for you.

Keeping active can be difficult on a flight but it is highly important, particularly for preventing deep vein thrombosis. Remember to stand and stretch your legs frequently, walk up and down at least every two hours and try some in-seat exercises - popular moves include lifting two legs off the floor and rotating feet in circles (both clockwise and anti-clockwise) and pointing toes towards the ceiling and then towards the floor.

Surviving Jet Lag

Travelling can be tough on the body's internal clock, and once the plane's wheels have touched the ground you may find the following few days difficult due to jet lag. While it is an unavoidable consequence of a long-haul flight, there are a handful of things you can do to make it easier to adapt to a new time zone.

Weeks before your flight, try altering your regular sleeping routine. If you are heading west, push your bedtime forward hour by hour, and if you are going east try to get some rest earlier than usual. You may wish to adjust your meal times accordingly too.

Once you are on board the plane, avoid sleeping medication if possible and try to eat and sleep in accordance with the local time of your destination. Keep active and stay hydrated, as mentioned above, as this can also help to prevent jet lag symptoms such as headaches and dehydration.

At Kempinski, we will do everything we can to help you settle in and beat jet lag upon your arrival. Our attentive staff members are always on hand to offer their assistance - even if you do find yourself wide awake and hungry in the early hours of the morning!

We hope our advice will help make your next flight as comfortable as possible. For more information about staying with Kempinski in any of our five-star hotels around the globe, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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