Aviation writer Adrian Schofield reveals his top tips for long-haul flights.
1. Noise-cancelling headphones are a serious advantage. They help you forget you are surrounded by hundreds of complete strangers and their annoying habits. Great for working and sleeping — and it makes watching the onboard movies miles better. They are not cheap but you will have them for years and will wonder how you ever travelled without them.
2. Dress for comfort rather than style — save the trendy clothes and shoes for when you get to your hotel. Time to break out the loose-fitting trackpants and cotton T-shirts — or at least bring them to change into. Pack a light sweatshirt, since it can get chilly (and also doubles as a pillow/cushion).
3. If you see those disposable slippers in a hotel, grab them for your next flight. You do not want to be walking into the bathrooms during a long flight in your socks. Disposable slippers are lightweight, pack flat, and you can ditch them after using.
4. Always ask the flight attendant as you board the plane if they can hang your jacket or garment bag. They usually can on long-haul flights.
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5. Get an aisle seat and walk around every hour or so. Stay away from the booze and drink lots of water. If you bring a water bottle, the crew will often refill it for you.
6. Shut the window shade and turn out your overhead light if you are not using it. You may not notice the light, but the people sitting behind you trying to watch their movies or sleep sure do.
7. Long stopovers are hell, so do some research on the airport in which you will be spending time. Download the airport app, find out where the free Wi-Fi is,and look at traveller tips and reviews. Recharge your devices on the plane if you can, because power outlets are often scarce in airport terminals.
8. If you travel reasonably often, airline loungemembership is something else you will not regret.
Otherwise, if you have a long stopover, check out the lounge day-pass fee. When you factor in what you would usually spend on food and beverages, it can make the fee seem more reasonable.