How to survive a long haul flight.

Being trapped inside a metal contraption for +20 hours does not sound very fun but it’s doable and dare I say enjoyable?

I’ve recently flown from London to Melbourne and have lived to tell the tale so here are some tips I have learnt from the journey:

1. No books.

I’m a massive bookworm so I stuffed my bag with Sylvia Plath poetry, a Haruki Murakami novel and Lionel Shriver’s brilliant ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ – none of which are very light reads. Especially in this case, reading is a mental exercise and you want to relax and veg out. God knows how business folk get any work done because that takes proper concentration!

2. Book with a good airline.

You only get what you pay for and whilst you can settle for lower quality on some occasions, flying across the world isn’t one of them. I flew with Cathay Pacific and got a relatively good price because of the London – Melbourne deal they had going on. Always shop around to get the best price but more importantly the best airline. I used SkyScanner to investigate prices and Skytrax to check the quality of the airline.

3. Forget about food. (Unless the airline won’t give you any)

Cathay Pacific’s food was brilliant (a reason why I’d recommend them, food is very important to me). Plus, I’m a vegetarian and I didn’t know what direction they’d take with that so I bought pasta, pringles and chocolate biscuits to keep me happy. However, I only nibbled on the biscuits in Hong Kong whilst waiting for my connecting flight. The airline will keep you fed and watered just fine, no need to panic.

4. Think about your essentials.

You don’t stay very fresh cooped up with a lot of people in a relatively small stuffy space. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and chewing gum will all help. Plus, if you’re ready to sleep while the air crew still have the lights on, bring an eye mask and ear plugs. I’m a heavy sleeper so I can pass out quite easily… Also, it’s easier if you bring as little as possible onto the plane so you can fit the bag under the chair.

5. Go to the movies.

Another plus if you go with a quality airline is the in-flight entertainment. I got access to the latest cinema hits such as ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, ‘Maleficent’, ‘Lets Be Cops’ and ‘What If’. Vegging out watching movies is the perfect way to shed the hours away.

6. Dont, I repeat don’t, keep checking the time.

I already knew this tip before I stepped onto the plane but I sneakily checked the screen in front of me for countdown until arrival. “Still 6 hours to go? Okay well thats only 2 x 3 hours or 12 half-hours which isn’t that bad..” Then it feels even longer! Don’t do it! Just sleep.


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