long haul flight travel

Jul 3rd, 2004, 03:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 90
long haul flight travel

Hey seasoned travelers... I haven't had much experience with long haul flights. What do you do (or bring) to make them more enjoyable? Thanks!
ms_katydid is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2004, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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ms_katydid, there have been quite a few posts, especially on the Asia forum, about jetlag in particular - they might be worth a search. But you didn't ask about jetlag as such, so all I can pass on are some common tips: try to get an aisle seat so you can get up and walk around now and again; drink lots of water (which also suggests an aisle seat); having a few alcoholic drinks is OK, but not too many, as they'll tend to dehydrate you. I don't like the idea of taking sleeping tablets, but some travellers find it helps, if you can find one with minimal after-effects. Whatever, a snooze or two kills time. Definitely take a couple of good page-turners. Airline movies are usually lowest-common-denominator stuff, but if you have an individual seatback screen and a choice, that's one way of passing a bit of time. Overall, though, you do need a fatalistic attitude. Of course, if you can afford business class, that makes quite a difference.

As far as jetlag is concerned, the best idea is not to crash during the day at your destination - drag yourself through to night-time and get to bed at or not too long before your normal bedtime. You should be fine next morning. Good luck!
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2004, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 482
Make sure you take a bottle of water with you. Most airlines only give you those silly small cups - it's much easier if you have your own. We always have earplugs as well, and I also travel with a small water spray and a light silk scarf to drape over my nose and mouth (yes I know it sounds weird) - but it creates my own personal humid atmosphere and I get off the flight feeling reasonably human. While I find it difficult to read a novel on a plane, I do read the guidebooks of the place I'm heading to.
maryk is offline  
Jul 4th, 2004, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I've always found that eye blinds help me sleep as there is always some sort of ambient light in the cabin.

Definitely get up and walk around from time to time, flex your calf muscles, stretch your legs and drink plenty of water to avoid DVT (deep vein thrombosis), a relatively common hazard of long distance air travel.
RalphR is offline  
Jul 5th, 2004, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 51
I've done a lot of long haul flights but my own doctor has done many, many more. He is a very seasoned traveller. I've learnt loads of valuable information about various international terminals over the years; places I should definitely visit and good places to shop- whilst being treated for throat infections or other sundry complaints!

Prior to my last overseas trip (when getting tetanus and flu injections), my doctor told me that he takes Asprin (1/2 a tablet per day), for 7 days before a flight, AND for 7 days after to minimise the risk of DVT. Sounded like good advice, so I did the same.
I also tried to be pro-active, and bought knee length compression stockings. I'm 40. I go to the gym 5 days out of 7 and I play tennis at a highly competitive level. In a nutshell,I'm very fit. I figured that I didn't really need the stockings, but that they could possibly be useful, since DVT seemed to be an increasing problem for travellers.

Can I just say that the compression stockings were extremely annoying. I took them off when only half way from Melbourne to Singapore and went barefoot afterwards. If a benefit was to be had- it was lost on me. The things were just too uncomfortable to wear.
I always dress in loose, comfortable clothing and follow the hints others have mentioned (ie water, walking etc.)I take a CD player with a few favourite CD's and a journal that I can write in. Plus a book of crosswords, puzzles and wordfinds and a current "gossipy" magazine(from the local newsagent). I watch any good movies, happily eat airline food (I'm a nibbler and love a variety of foods in small portions)and I love gazing out of plane windows. For me- there's lots to do and no time to be bored. I don't stick at any one activity for a long time- but if I've got loads of options, that's fine.
When the flight is within 4 or 5 hours of landing, I'm usually glued to the window view, my travel books and the informative "flight progress" screens on board. And eagerly anticipating the landing.
On the average Melbourne to London 20 hour flight- the first and last 4 or 5 hours are easy. You will probably sleep for a few hours, but it is in the remaining 6-8 hours when the CD's etc are very helpful.
Possum is offline  
Jul 5th, 2004, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 482
I forgot to mention that I also take Asprim both before and after the flight. I also tried the compression socks and found then just too uncomfortable to bear.
maryk is offline  
Jul 5th, 2004, 05:48 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,637

I'm a lousy sleeper on or off planes. On our recent 13 hour San Francisco to Sydney leg which departs 10:30 pm, I ate dinner, drank a lot of water, watched a movie, took an Ambien, put my sleep plugs in and my sleep mask on and slept for 8 hours. After arrival at 6:10 am we kept going and went to bed at 9pm or so took another Ambien and slept until 6am, woke up raring to go.

Not as easy on the way back as we left at 1:45 pm, but after eating and watching a movie and a half I followed the same procedure and slept 7 hours.

I normally don't take sleeping pills, but resreve them for long flights and jet lag.

sweet dreams,
AndrewDavid is offline  
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