Long Haul Flight Essentials

23 August 2011

When it comes to overseas holidays, getting there is as much a part of the experience as the destination itself, especially when you're going on an international flight for the first time. A long trip need not be tedious or uncomfortable when you are prepared and there are ways to ensure your flight will be enjoyable. Here is a list of the must have essentials and travel tips to help you survive long international and domestic flights.

IPad/iPod Gadgets
What better way to kill time than to listen to your own music or podcasts. Also with some airlines entertainment systems usually won't begin to start in-flight movies until after takeoff. So bring something to keep yourself occupied, make a music holiday playlist that will get you excited or purchase some music video or movies via iTunes the night before. Make sure you also switch your electronic or mobile devices to 'flight mode'.

Noise-cancelling headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones can help block out engine noise, allowing you to enjoy music and movies in peace. Sometimes bringing your own is best as the headphones provided on flights can have poor sound quality and volume control. You also may have to give them back half an hour before landing which can be a disappointment if you're left with 20 minutes remaining on an in-flight movie!

A neck pillow
Sleeping almost upright isn’t easy and if you plan on trying to sleep come prepared, a good neck pillow can make it a lot more comfortable - try to avoid inflatable ones.

A good book or magazines
It’s amazing how the hours can fly by when you have great reading material. Also Sudoku puzzles and crosswords books are great if you don't want to have to squint at your LCD entertainment screen.

Flight socks
These can help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and keep your feet nice and warm Kathmandu stock a wide range of quality anti DVT flight socks.

Eye drops
As the air in a plane is dry and may dehydrate your system. Using eye drops can help if you feel comfortable with dry eyes. (Check with airline security if you're allowed to take in your carry on luggage first.)

Moisturiser and lip balm
Your skin can get very dehydrated during a flight – carrying moisturiser and lip balm will feel like lifesavers! Just make sure to check with your airline on what liquids and gels can be taken onto your flight. GLAD sandwich zipper bags are also perfect for toiletries.

Roll-on deodorant
Taking a roll-on type of deodorant will allow you to be worry free about airline aerosol restrictions and help by eliminating bad odors. This will be a relief for you and your fellow passengers.

A toothbrush/paste
Cleaning your teeth mid-flight can make you feel immediately refreshed. Some airlines can provide you with one, but a toothbrush is also great for at the end of a long flight when you need to meet your loved ones.

A change of clothes
Dress in loose fitting layers to be more comfortable or just freshen up with a change of clothes. Bring clothing suitable to your destination so you can be more equipped to deal with change in climate if you land somewhere tropical or extremely cold. Easy slip on shoes or flats are great for comfort.

Travel Tips

  • To help relieve pressure in your ears, try chewing gum or lollies. Having lollies isn't such a bad idea as it’s a good way to help children deal with ear pressure problems and equalizing. Giving children lollies also will help to keep them quiet too (of course with sugar, give in moderation).
  • Drink lots of water on the plane to avoid dehydration. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Use an eye mask to help block out distractions if you're trying to sleep.
  • Take multi vitamins if you’ve got a hectic travel schedule.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected and get to the airport early. You never can predict if there will be traffic delays or if you need to find a parking spot.
  • Double check carry on security restrictions for liquids, aerosols & gels before you pack, you'll save yourself the disappointment if your favourite perfume is confiscated at customs.
  • Make sure you meet the baggage allowance as specified by the airline you are booked with as this will save you so much time and anxiety if you are over the weight restrictions or carrying items that may be prohibited.

Do you have any travel tips or essential items that are not in our list? Feel free to post your tips in the comments section below.

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