Like most people these days I love reading about travel hacks. Every time I see a how to guide pop up on Facebook or Pinterest my finger barely hovers over the link before clicking. I’m now well versed in putting clips over my razor and my bagels in a CD case, but regrettably I feel like I’ve yet to learn much about flying.
The problem, I believe, lies in the fact that most of these flying gide posts are written by people who clearly hate every minute of being in the sky. “Know that flying is an unfortunate side effect of travel”, they will write, “a terrible hardship that must be endured.”
I’m sorry, but what? Flying long haul is fantastic! You sit in a seat with your own tiny TV screen getting to choose exactly what you want. There are friendly people who bring you food at intermittent intervals, and deliver you wine every time you press a button. Getting to sit on my arse, watch films and have wine literally on tap is my idea of a good time. So here is a guide that’s a little different, coming at it from a slightly more positive angle.
Flying long haul can be fun, and here’s how:
Wear your PJs
Seriously now, the first time I did this on a flight with my mum she looked at me like a mental person. After five hours of her sitting in jeans? Not so much. PJs are designed to be comfortable, warm and snuggly. Plus they hide that lovely plane bloat you’re definitely going to get. Feel free to chuck on your matching tartan set, although I do try to go for darker colours. You can thank me later.
^^In my PJ’s at Sydney airport and looking fly (geddit?)
I swear to God, can people dishing out flight advice stop telling me to keep off the booze? If I’ve paid $2,000 for a return trip you can be damn sure I’ll try and recoup to costs somehow. Now obviously getting drunk is going to dehydrate you, but a couple of glasses of red wine is absolutely going to help you sleep. Plus feeling mildly tipsy definitely passes the time.
Eat the damn food
There is limited space on the plane so, guess what? They don’t prioritise the galley, choosing to pop a couple extra life rafts on instead and that is just fine by me. Outside of first class you’re not going to find a gourmet meal being chucked on your lap, so lower your expectations and try to enjoy it. Personally I love plane food, being a bit of a compartmental eater anyway, and it definitely helps to chuck salt alllll over it first. Plus you’re not going to feel comfy with an empty tummy and no one wants to sit next to the hangry guy.
Pack a colouring book
No no, listen to me. Have you see those colouring books everywhere for adults? The ones masquerading as mindfulness tools? It turns out they actually work. A few minutes of trying to stay between the lines and you’l find your brain starting to relax. If you’re trying to sleep you’ll find this a lot more relaxing than watching the latest Captain Hulk Man film.
Do your full bedtime routine
One of the most powerful things that affects your brain is habit (probably). You’re preparing for bedtime, so why not treat it the same as you normally would? Wash your face, brush your teeth and have a hot chocolate (or, if you’re me, wine) and I promise that not only will you feel more comfortable bt you’ll also find it was easier to sleep.
^^What I look like after 35 hours of travel. Not Good.
Have you ever felt comfortable with cold feet? No, of course you haven’t. There has never been anyone on the planet pleased about having toes like icicles. Wear the damn socks. Ditto for using an eye mask and ear plugs. If you try to sleep on a busy flight without covering your eyes and ears then you’re dreaming. Well, or not I guess!
And there you have it. Take my advice (especially the wine bit) and I guarantee the next time you fly long haul it’ll be that little bit more enjoyable. Just like it should be.
What do you think? Are there any tips that can help me love flying even more than I already do?