Unfortunately, often getting to pretty places involves a heck of a journey, and having landed in Mexico a few days ago (a 23 hour journey door to door!), I thought I’d share a few of my long haul travel tips while they’re still fresh in my mind.
Like this even needs to be said, but it’s always worth adding ‘Charge all devices’ onto your to-do list for any journey, you never know when you’ll be reunited with that beautiful power supply again. I also always go through the BBC Iplayer app on my Ipad and download as many TV programmes as my memory allows (Live at the Apollo, Masterchef and Pointless are always good staples), just in case the plane film choice is super boring or I have any unexpected delays.
Another massive part of my prep is online check-in as soon as it opens. Call me OCD but airlines do overbook flights, and by checking in as soon as you can, you avoid potential disappoint at the airport. Part of this all also involves ensuring I have an aisle seat. Sure, the views out the window would be great on a nice day, but I’m not sure if I’ll be thinking that half way through the night, desperate for the loo and having to clamber over complete strangers!
2) Bring plane snacks
I don’t know about everyone else, but I find eating to be a brilliant way to pass time. Watching film after film is just so much better when you’re surrounded my snacks to munch away from. Also, as a fussy vegetarian who frequently forgets to pre-order a vegetarian meal for the flight, snacks are a must to get me through!
3) Don’t over pack your hand luggage
Get to know what you really need for ultimate flight comfort without having to lug around a 10kg bag everywhere you go. Think essentials – electronics, food, extra clothes, toothpaste, toothbrush and deodorant. I’ve found myself all too many times transferring in a massive airport and getting beyond sweaty and exhausted carrying a bag full of things I won’t even touch on the flight. I also always find it useful to have a small bag within your big hand luggage bag, keeping headphones, a water bottle, passport and devices in, which you can stow under your seat and access easily throughout the flight.
4) Get comfortable
Planes seem to have no middle ground temperature wise, making them very difficult to dress for. My usual go-to comfy outfit is a pair of thin, loose-fitting trousers, simple cotton top and thick jumper, accounting for the pre-take off heat and mid-flight Antarctic conditions. I also always bring a pair of thick cosy socks to help me settle down and my own headphones for extra comfort (why are airline headphones so massively clunky?!)
5) Get fresh!
Whenever I get to where I’m staying after a long-haul flight I just want to pass out straight away, but I always always ALWAYS make myself have a quick shower, so I can feel like a human again. This is always my routine whether I land in the morning and have a complete day to tackle or am in the early hours of the morning and will be cosying straight up to bed.
6) Be strict with jet lag
For me, this is more important when I’m travelling west, when I wake up at 4am, with my body telling me it’s 10am. It all happens so easily, I wake up, turn my phone on to look at the time, realise all of my world has woken up and quickly get engrossed in instagram scrolling and facebook messenger. Next thing I now, it’s 3 hours later, only just getting light and I realise I now have a whole day ahead of me on only a few hours sleep. This is why this time round I’ve tried to be very strict with myself, if I wake up and it’s dark, I don’t even allow myself to look at my phone until I wake up again and it’s light, and if I really can’t sleep then I’ll just read (I legit treat myself like a child on Christmas morning).
I’ll be in Mexico now for a few weeks and would love to hear everyone else’s tips for long-haul journeys to get me through my journey home. What are your go-to travelling essentials? Is there anything major I’m missing out on?
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