Saturday, 6 September 2008

Tips for surviving long haul

It’s one thing to go on a short hop, but a long haul flight of, say, twelve hours, presents completely different challenges. So, having been on rather too many long haul flights myself, I have put together a few tips to help you survive the long haul.

1. Dress comfortably! You are going to spend a long time in one set of clothes, so make sure that they are not too tight. The low air pressure in the cabin during flight tends to make your body swell a bit, so avoid tight waistbands and the like. You might like to slip off your shoes too. Have plenty of layers so that you can be cool if it’s hot, and warm if the cabin is cold – they often tend to be! You also find that your body temperature drops when you are sleeping.

2. Drink loads of water to keep yourself hydrated – the cabin air is very dry, and tends to slowly dry you out. After I have checked in, I usually go and buy a couple of big bottles of water, and drink these over the course of the flight.

3. Go steady on the alcohol. OK, having a few is a great way to pass a bit of a boring time, but one alcoholic drink on a plane is supposed to be the equivalent of two on the ground.

4. Try to exercise. Usually on long haul, once the meal is out of the way, the cabin staff are fairly liberal about letting the passengers walk about the plane a bit. Also, try leg exercises with your shoes off, such as wiggling your foot around so that your toe goes in a circle. Walking and exercises will make you less prone to deep vein thrombosis. If your plane has any stopovers, make sure you do plenty of walking about the airport – don’t just sit it out in a bar or café!

Follow these guidelines and you should be well on the way to a happy and healthy flight. Bon voyage!

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