As aviation technology continues to advance, passengers have the opportunity to explore more parts of the world at a cheaper cost. However, for all these benefits, it means that flights are often long – tiring even the most energetic individual.
At present, the second longest flight in the world starts from Sydney, getting to Dallas/Fort Worth after a staggering 17 hours. The Los Angeles-Melbourne route also checks in at close to 16 hours, discharging more than a few bleary-eyed individuals upon landing.
So, if you are facing a long-haul flight on your next luxury holiday, here are our top four essentials to have on-board.
1) The sleep essentials
Long-haul flights often depart or arrive at night to allow passengers to grab some sleep before entering the new time zone. As such, you will need to have all the sleep essentials necessary to block out the snoring from the man behind you, and the screaming child in front.
These includes a comfortable neck pillow, earplugs, an eye mask, and we really do recommend going out to purchase a really good pair of noise-cancelling headphones, these make all the difference.
Should your budget allow it, you should definitely think about upgrading into either premium economy or business class. While this might seem like a luxury, when it comes to getting quality sleep on an plane, these classes can give you all the room you need.
Most good airlines today have fully flat beds in business class, but make sure you speak to your consultant about the right product for your budget and journey, so that you can easily catch some sleep during a red-eye flight or have a nice afternoon nap before arrival.
2) The entertainment essentials
In modern society, 17 hours without the internet is unheard of. However, this is the reality of long-haul flying and with boredom a constant issue, you will need more than the in-flight entertainment system up your sleeve. When you think about it, 17 hours is actually quite a long time so an array of activities are required – books, podcasts, videos, movies and music – just to start.
Of course, in-flight entertainment systems on planes are more advanced than ever with many playing movies that are still in the cinemas. Take a look at your airline’s website for a full list of new available content and plan out your time on the plane to avoid the onset of boredom. We would also recommend preparing yourself ahead of time. If you haven’t already got an ipad or tablet, this is a really good investment, then download the full season of your favorite TV show, or just the episodes you missed. This way you can watch what you really want, not just what the airline has on offer.
This could also be the opportunity to start on that colouring book you got for Christmas or begin writing your life story!
3) The clothing essentials
Many people treat a flight as a fashion parade, but for a long-haul journey, the focus should be on comfort not design. In addition to wearing footwear that is easily removable upon boarding, you need to be wearing clothing that is durable, warm and supportive, for long periods of sitting down.
As such, items to avoid could include high-heels, tight jeans, heavy jackets and short skirts.
We also recommend layering. The temperature onboard aircraft can fluctuate, so you want to be prepared in advance so that you can take off or put on layers as you feel. Additionally, you may need to pack clothing for the destination. Long flights often bring a change of seasons or temperature so that t-shirt and shorts might need to be replaced with jumpers and long pants before you exit the airport.
Remember to always pack at least one change of clothing in your hand luggage, in case of emergency. We have all experienced our luggage not turning up at our destination at least once, but there is also the chance of accidental spills and mess onboard any moving craft – best to be prepared.
4) The healthcare essentials
In 17 hours, most people would have showered once, brushed their teeth twice and washed their hands numerous times – so why can’t your long-haul flight experience be the same?
This means that you will need a handy toiletry kit on hand, filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes, face wash and deodorant – ready to keep yourself feeling and smelling fresh for your landing. Remember many countries still have the security limit of maximum 100ml on liquids, so you will need to adhere to this. We recommend purchasing special clear small travel containers from your chemist or supermarket to put your favorite toiletries into.
One handy trick is to bring along a pack of sugar-free minty gum. This can help with your breath after meals and make your teeth feel fresh and clean!