As we head into a new year, we're revisiting some of 2016's most popular Travel stories. This was one of them .....
It is something New Zealanders have to live with: long-distance flying. But there are ways to make it a little easier.
Having had some pretty extensive experience in travel, I have learned that before getting on the flight, it helps to be prepared. These tips should help you:
• Always take a wrap or big, squishy shawl: It's like your own blanket (and can double as a pillow or a barrier between you and your on-flight neighbour). The large scarf is also perfect to use as an everyday wardrobe piece especially in unpredictable climates. I found a great one at a Tree of Life shop for $50 in Byron Bay, but the likes of Zara, Uniqlo, Myer and DJs have them too. You could consider a luxury designer brand, and go cashmere, but as you will be throwing it around a lot, it is best not to spend too much money.
• Small-size moisturisers: These are perfect as your regular face and skin creams and shampoos can get very heavy. And you just won't need that much, even if you are away for a few weeks.
• Socks: Yes, if you are not already wearing them (and most female travellers usually don't) remember to take some with you as they will keep your feet warm throughout a flight. (If you are fortunate enough to receive an airline amenities kit, you will find some in there. Ditto earplugs, toothbrush and eyeshade. Take them all.)
• Learn to enjoy you own company and remember to put your phone down(for a while at least): Take in your surroundings. Oh, and make sure you sort out your global roaming situation and buy one of those travel passes with your existing carrier. Use free Wi-Fi whenever and wherever you can - you won't regret it.
• Pre-plan as best as possible: Remember visas and health jabs you may need, and have a vague itinerary in your head, especially if you are going on a holiday that you are totally planning yourself and time isn't an issue. Also don't forget power adaptors.
• If you like the place you are in - and time is no option - stay a bit longer: Don't go back to the place you thought was 'just OK' the first time - there are so many more exciting cities and towns that you could spend your time seeing.
• Avoid work as best as possible: If you are on a 'real' holiday - as opposed to a business trip - make sure you put your Out of Office Assistant on your computer. I tend to never do this, so end up receiving a zillion emails and go on and answer them like I am still in the office. Yes, I think I am mad.
• If you are flying economy take a blow-up neck pillows: OK, they may look dorky - If. You. Wear. It. Around. Your. Neck. Already. Blown. Up. Before. Boarding. But they do save you lots of potential neck ache.
• Dry shampoo: This can be your best friend, especially if you don't have the time to wash your locks every few days. And forget taking a hairdryer - you can cope without one for a short time and just think how grateful your hair will be.
• Pack carefully: All those big beauty essentials need to go in your checked luggage. Ditto, all those little pointy objects - scissors, tail combs, tweezers. How many times have you seen that big plastic box full of rejected items (and cans without lids) as you make your way through the security check?
• Fill in your immigration card as soon as a flight attendant gives it to you on board: There is nothing worse than waking up, searching for a pen and trying to quickly fill it in before you face a long customs queue.
• Water, water and more water: Flying can sometimes make you feel like you have aged five years after a 24-hour flight, so keep as hydrated as possible.
• Use a (credible) ATM at your location once you land: I always seemed to get slightly ripped off when I changed money in my home town at one of those airport changers, so if possible, wait until you land at your destination.
• Always roll your clothes as opposed to folding them: I can't believe the difference this makes at the other end. You won't have any obvious creases - win. And who wants to waste time actually ironing on a trip away? Not me.
• Avoid posting pictures of your boarding pass on your social media platforms: The personal information that can be gleaned from these is extraordinary. So if you do, make sure your #humblebrag post covers up any frequent flyer numbers, your full name and important bar codes.