Long flights can present travellers with a real physical and mental challenge. Combine the arduous distance and duration with cramped seating and interruptions from unsettled infants, and the experience can become distinctly tiring. Moreover, twenty-two-hour flights from Europe to Australia with engine roar and the risks of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) make the experience look even less appealing. Nonetheless, there are ways to survive long flights and make your journey by air easier. Here, we review a few air travel tips.
Reducing the effects of jet lag helps. Although some stalwarts advocate booking night flights wherever possible, this relies on being able to sleep on the plane. Crying babies put paid to such well-laid plans, however, so you may wish to consider a quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs.
Leaving aside the flight duration and one's ability to fall asleep almost anywhere, do arrive at the departure point on time – but not too early. Two hours should be enough. Also, why not print your documentation when checking in online? Use the bag drop if necessary – or take no hold luggage, only a carry-on bag.
Airlines offer passengers free upgrades if economy class is overbooked; some operators allocate premium seats to the last economy ticket holders to check in. With the airline’s smartphone application, it may be possible to monitor seating status. In particular, when there are only a few places left, the chances of getting a complimentary upgrade might be higher. Needless to say, business class travel provides passengers with so much more space, comfort and legroom.
For creature comforts, other air travel tips include wearing comfortable clothes and having a travel pillow with small wash kit. Thick socks double up as slippers and keep the feet warm, ideal for a snooze. Plenty of entertainment helps to pass the time; podcasts use less power than movies. Kindle, e-reader or time-tested paperback books are good backups, too.
Making arrangements for after arrival at your planned destination could well be a shrewd move; avoid unwelcome feelings of frustration, further waiting around or – worse – feeling lost in an unfamiliar location. In London, the Heathrow Express is an extra trimming that speeds business travellers to the centre of the capital, whereas the Gatwick Express transports rail passengers into Victoria Station with speedy efficiency. For the quickest door to door journey, why not book chauffeur service for the ultimate in comfortable travelling?
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