Hour upon hour of undisturbed screen indulgence might sound like bliss to some, but the reality of long haul flights is that they don’t belong in this box. Instead what you’re faced with is an endless achey ride sat staring at the flight progress channel, contemplating your inner most irrelevant philosophies and wondering whether now is a good time to awaken the kraken next to you to shimmy to the loo. So what do you do to survive this torture chamber when the entertainment is terrible and the wifi goes down?
Pen and Paper
Take things back to a simpler time. We all hear about how prolonged screen exposure isn’t great for us and having some sort of writing to do at least makes you feel productive. Tens of thousands of feet in the air, you’ll find your mind is pretty blank, making it the perfect time to finally crack on with that assignment you’ve been putting off for weeks. Dig out the word searches and Sudoku and you’ll feel like a genius for however long that keeps your interest. What’s more, you’ll thank yourself for carrying pens when it comes to filling out those pesky declaration forms.
Come on, be honest, you’re not the terminator – you can’t sit rigidly for hours without a muscle twinge. So why not do everything you can to make yourself more comfortable? At some point on your flight you’ll be gagging for some shut eye and the last thing you want is to be abruptly awoken by the infuriated stranger whose shoulder your snoozing head has rolled onto.
The in-flight packages may sure boast a lot, but a quick flick through often proves how disappointingly little of it is watchable. Be one step ahead of the game. Most airlines will have complete lists available online of what they’re offering, meaning that you can jump on that plane with a plan. If you have a smart phone or tablet at hand, set some time aside to download material of your own choosing as a backup before you board. Most importantly, if you’ve scheduled yourself in for hours on the Ipad, so remember you’ll be doomed if you don’t bring along a cable or portable charger.
This one particularly goes out to those pocket-hoarders who spend half their flight time patting themselves down to find stray passports and boarding passes. Invest in a travel wallet and end your pointless stresses over whether it’s still in your hand luggage or in the duty free café. They don’t have to be unbearably floral either – like with phone cases, there’s a good range of smart, plain ones for those with plainer tastes.
Considering how minimal an amount of effort it takes to glue yourself to a seat for hours on end any normal day, it’s easy to forget how not-normal it is to do that for up to a day at a time whilst flying through the air. It can be pretty achey business staying still as a statue and you never know what maladies are going to creep up on you. Make sure you’ve got those drugstore painkillers, creams and prescriptions packed and not left sitting in the cabinet at home.
Back Up Food
Complimentary nosh is surely one of the finer details about Long Haul flying, though if you’re not familiar with what sort of menu you’ll be dealing with then be warned – they don’t suit the fussy and can bloat you like a puffer fish. To prevent starvation, it’s a decent idea to chuck a few agreeable snacks in your bag once you’ve gotten past security. They might not be needed after all but it’ll save you gnawing through your seat if that’s what it comes down to.
The transit times on Long Haul Flights can push the reasonable limit of how long you can stay in the same pairs of underwear and sweatpants. You and everyone around you will be grateful of that change of clothes and approved-size deodorant that there is always hand luggage space for. Plus, the act of freshening up is a nice way to break up a flight and get time flowing again when it inevitably feels like its stopped moving.