It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Long Haul Economy Travel Tips

Seriously, this is NOT what it's like flying in economy class.

My gorgeous, and much travelled friend, Felicity, pinned this great blog post from Hilary Fischer-Groban on The Hairpin blog about how to travel long haul economy "like a lady".  As someone who travels long haul fairly regularly, I have to agree with most of the things she said, especially about being hungry on planes when you're bored - I'm so on board with that!

I could eat from the moment my butt touches the seat until the moment we have wheels down at the destination.  Something about being on a plane makes me ravenous, and I think it is to do with the boredom.  When I fly out of Australia I'm very lucky that my lovely friend Sarah packs me a brilliant snack bag with all of my fave foods to last me some of the way home - except the Cheetos, the Cheetos usually get eaten at the airport before I've even boarded!

Ah yes, the glamour of long-haul travel.

Hilary recommends packing some or all of the following:-

Here’s what I bring*: at least eight whole wheat (or spelt, gluten-free, whatever) cracker sandwiches with chunky peanut butter wrapped up in tin foil. Baggy of almonds. Baggy of Honeynut Cheerios, or equivalent. Dried apricots wrapped up in tinfoil. Baggy of baby carrots, cucumber sticks. At least one apple and not-too-ripe banana (I recommend tin foil inside a baggy for this one). Couple squares of dark chocolate in tin foil. Ha ha, just kidding, bring the whole bar. Put all those foods into one lunch bag the night before and then don’t forget it on your way out. Bring a giant empty water bottle. My new favorite trick is handing it to the flight attendant before I take my seat. They will actually fill it for you and deliver it to your seat before take off – delivery! Press the button with the glass of water on it to get them to refill it at least once during the flight.
I'm not too sure about handing the FA your empty water bottle as you take your seat so that they can fill it for you.  How many times have you seen a helpful or friendly FA just bursting to help fill water bottles when they're trying to seat 200 plus people and jam everyones overloaded carry-on bags into the overhead lockers?  Me, I've not seen very many of those kind of FAs at all!  I'd wait until the seatbelt sign went off after levelling out and go up and ask if they could please do it for me.

Another great tip is about what to wear when travelling long haul.  I have the undying dream that one day I'll get an upgrade because I look nice when I check-in.  This isn't ever going to happen, I know it deep in the back of my mind, but I always try to look decent - at least at the start of the long haul trip.  I know you've got to dress for comfort too, no-one wants to sit for 12 hours being wedged into restrictive clothing, but I do think you have to make a bit of an effort.  Take your comfy clothes in your carry-on and change once you've levelled out - by then you know you're not going to be up the pointy end of the plane and you can relax a bit more.

Here's Hilary's tips for long haul dressing:-

I like to wear “nice clothes” (jeans, long sleeve t-shirt) to the airport. On the off-chance you run into a judgmental former classmate, or are travelling with coworkers, it can be best to look somewhat put together. I also bring black yoga pants, an attractive shawl, and a sweater-type thing. If you're hot you won’t need to wear either, but you will have extra pillows! But seriously, who has ever been hot on a flight? (If you are flying to Asia and will have time to shop, maybe skip the shawl since you will probably want to buy a pretty one here?) Some things to consider: Are you likely to break into a flop sweat? Are you probably going to spill on yourself? Do you really need to wear a bra? I like to wear a cotton “bralette” under a tank, with a loose fitting cotton t-shirt (have you seen this?!), and my “sweat jeans” (jeans that are so comfortable they might as well be sweat pants). Simple stud earrings that won’t come off – or nothing.
Wear cotton underwear and bring a spare pair in some sort of opaque bag, or inside your toiletries bag. Don’t just let them wander around in your carry-on bag! They will fall out when it is least appropriate…
Wear TOMS or other easy-on easy-off flats, but definitely bring a pair of socks in your bag. If you’ve ever gotten a pair of socks on a fancy flight (or hospital…) that have the rubber grippers on the bottom – bring those. They will make you feel slightly less groady when you wear them in the airplane bathroom. Sometimes flights provide them but you cannot depend on that.
And, seriously, if you insist on wearing shorts and flip-flops to travel, at least pack some long pants and socks for the flight.  Planes are very often COLD, and when you're cold you can't sleep, and all you really want to do on long haul flights is sleep so that the time goes past faster.  I've seen so many people wearing shorts about 6 hours into a flight who are so cold that their legs are nearly blue.  The airline blankets are usually very thin and not very big, they don't add much in the way of warmth.

Oh, look at you looking all cute in your shorts before you board your plane!
Hope you've got some long pants in that designer handbag.

There are loads more of her tips too, you can check them out by clicking HERE.

What's your best long-haul travel tip?

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