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Long Haul Know How

9 January 2012 One Comment

Regular Flip’n Travels readers will know we ain’t no strangers to long haul flights – and all the cramps, jet lag, bad airplane movies and dehydration that entails. But along the way, from our own experience and from friends, family and fellow backpackers we’ve picked up some really useful tips for making long haul flights more bearable. They might not get rid of the dreaded jet lag altogether but they’ve definitely helped lessen the effects and helped us feel more human when we step off that plane 14 long hours later. So we thought we’d share them with you, and we’d love to hear if you have any more too!

Booking your flights 

There are some things you can do before you’ve even booked your flights to help beat that jet lag. When you’re flying for the best part of a day or longer, any extra legroom is like a gift from god. So while flying first class might not fit our backpacker budget, looking out for deals on premium economy seats is a good way to go. It might not be the lap of luxury but at least you get a bit more space to get comfortable with these seats. DialAFlight always have a wide range of premium economy discounts for long haul flights, from cheap flights to Bangkok to Bali, so check them out before you book.

Another way to up your legroom is to compare airline’s seat sizes. Some airlines give you more legroom onboard than others, even in standard economy seats. Head to the SeatGuru site and you can check the exact seat dimensions of almost every plane so you know exactly how much seat space you’re paying for.

If you can choose your direction of travel, it can make a big difference to the severity of your jet lag. If you’re planning a round the world trip, try to fly east to west rather than west to east as it’s easier on your body clock.

On the flight

OK, this might sound pretty obvious, but sitting in your seat for the entire time you’re onboard is gonna leave you feeling pretty stiff by the time your flight has landed. So try to get up regularly to have a walk around the plane and stretch out those legs as much as you can.

Even short haul flights can leave you feeling dehydrated, bloated, tired and uncomfortable. The inflight air conditioning and free alcohol onboard doesn’t help! I always carry a big bottle of water onboard with me and make sure that I get plenty of (non-alcoholic) liquids during the flight. It’s amazing the difference that it makes to your mood and the jet lag issue – and staying hydrated always helps me sleep better on the plane too.

A case of cabin fever?


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  • http://www.escapeislands.com dong ho

    leg room is really important. i remember taking a 3-hour flight with a limited leg room. that time i at once didnt like being on the window side.