Winston Aldworth 's Opinion

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: The long and short of long haul

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The Ostrich Pillow - "power naps anytime, anywhere". Photo / Supplied
The Ostrich Pillow - "power naps anytime, anywhere". Photo / Supplied

There's only one way to be absolutely certain of avoiding the ill-effects of long-haul travel: don't go.

If, however, you simply must fly, there are some steps you can take to ease the passage.

*The first, of course, is to go first class. Which isn't much use for those of us for whom turning left as you board the plane is a pipe dream.

*The best-value technique I've found involves a sleeping pill, one of those cushioned neck rests and a small bottle or two of complimentary red wine. The neck rest is the key.

As much as boffins and spoilsports recommend avoiding grog at altitude because of the risks of dehydration, I'm generally pretty excited to be airborne so, at 10,000m, I can usually be found seated behind a drink. And then perhaps another.

*It's wise to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, and shoes you can kick off.

One of TV3's star journalists has been known to toddle off to the loos and change into his pyjamas before going nigh-nighs.

*Keep the footspace beneath the seat in front of you free of carry-on luggage. You'll need the space to stretch out.

*Check out the seatguru.com. Type in your airline and flight number and it'll give you the low-down on which seats to gun for and which to avoid.

*European design studio Design Kawamura-Ganjavian reckon they have the answer: the Ostrich Pillow, which they claim will "enable power naps anytime, anywhere".

The pillow encases your head, leaving a breathing hole and side holes to poke your hands into.

The downside: it makes you look like the bastard offspring of the Elephant Man and some sort of Doctor Who villain.

Giveaway

The good people at Scholl have an answer of their own for long-haul travellers. We're giving away three Scholl "travel essential" packs, containing flight socks (to improve blood flow in the legs), an overhead suitcase, Dettol hand sanitiser, moisturiser, heel balm stick and face wipes.

To go in the draw, email travelcompetition@nzherald.co.nz and include your smartest tip for long-haul survival.

- NZ Herald

Winston Aldworth

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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