10 tips for long haul flights! (from a flight attendant)

Til now I still don’t enjoy long haul flights when I am travelling as a passenger, even though I fly weekly! I’m sure it’s no longer a secret to say that yes, we do get beds during our rest period if we are on duty for long haul flights, since we are on our feet for all that time you guys are asleep! Either way, I always feel tired, jet-lagged and grubby when I try to start my day after landing, even when I felt fine upon landing. Some people have told me they get jet lag for weeks!

Here’s 10 tips you could read to make your long haul possibly internet-less flight feel more comfortable, and tips on how to reduce jet lag!

 

1. My MUST HAVE toiletries of all time, I will never travel without these inflight.

– Yes they are all under 100ml! (please note no products below are sponsored, purely based on my own opinions)

I have separated the products into UK and Asia, as I am aware that some products can not be bought in your own country.

From the UK

From left to right:

THE ORDINARY 100% Plane-Derived Squalene Oil 30ml – A Canadian brand, selling a very very affordable product range, this was only a great bargain of £5.50 and lasts me forever! This facial oil is a VITAL oil I will use every flight upon waking up to feel refreshed, and can be used for dry hands and anywhere thats dry – so handy right?! My face feels very tight and dry after any form of nap so this oil dries non-greasy but bringing the youthful quick and easy skin back to life! If you don’t want to retouch your make up I usually squeeze it onto the back of my hand, and dab it on top of my make up with the tip of my fingers (instead of rubbing it in). An alternative would be the Khiels Midnight Concentrate oil, but this costs about £50.

DIOR Dreamskin, Perfector Cushion – this compact bb cushion with mirror and applicator is the alternative to my other favourite BB cushion (Laneige) from Asia. This perfecting cushion does not have thick coverage, it is very light but best of all has SPF50 which is a great 2-in-1 UV protectant (since you are now much closer to the sun) AND a light moisturising foundation for very dry inflight conditions – and because it’s so lightweight it won’t give you those foundation clumps and foundation lines on your face even without a primer. Be sure to grab this from duty free before you board to save on some money since it’s quite pricey!

Disposable eyedrops – there are many brands that produce disposable eyedrops. Since normal bottled eyedrops need to be thrown away after a month of opening I find these super convenient for when my eyes feel so dry and tired. The ones I buy are suitable for contact lens wearer too. You can just rip then off and throw it after one use. I bought these from Boots.

Vaseline – in any colour or smell! This has been a life saver for me on many occasions. Although it has less multi-functions compared to PawPaw, it is both my lip and cuticle moisturiser (and emergency hand cream). If you get chapped areas on your face or have a dry nose from blowing your nose inflight this will do a perfect job to protect the skin, always comes in handy!

 

From Asia (all purchased in Hong Kong but are sold all around Asia)

From left to right:

LANEIGE WATER BANK ESSENCE – my must have for a quick and easy wake-up pamper. This non-greasy formula facial cream and is gel based, so glides on super smoothly even on the driest and flakiest skin! It is also super lightweight and would be suitable for oily/acne prone skin.

LANEIGE BB CUSHION (anti-ageing) – this is the best compact foundation and sun-cream 2-in-1. It has SPF 50 to protect your face from the extra harmful UV rays you get from being much closer to the sun than usual but also anti-ageing properties preventing your skin from freckles, black spots and fine lines. The compact comes with a mirror and applicator so you can touch up and see your face in your own seat, perfect for window seat passengers!

Disposable eyedrops – there are many brands that produce disposable eyedrops. Since normal bottled eyedrops need to be thrown away after a month of opening I find these super convenient for when my eyes feel so dry and tired. The ones I buy are suitable for contact lens wearer too. You can just rip then off and throw it after one use and be purchased in many pharmacy shops.

Lucas PAWPAW Ointment  – the famous Australian brand serving as the multi-use handcream and lipbalm, but also ointment for boils, burns, cuts, rash, splinters, open wounds, insect bites and nappy rash! It states on packaging their ointment also helps relieve and cleanse. Definitely a must have for any holiday not just flights, you almost don’t need any other ointments! Please note there are many branded Pawpaw ointments but I’ve never tried another brand. You can purchase these in so many shops, such as in 711 and Mannings.

  • Since the air is so dry inside the cabin, if you don’t wear make up then facial creams are a must to avoid your face feeling tight and flaking – but more importantly don’t forget to wear sunscreen or have SPF inside the face cream! If you have oily skin you can use a gel texture or a face mist (such as the Evian face mist), if you have dry skin a cream is perfect.

 

 

2. Fill yourself with Water / bring your own bottle

  • Water is something I cannot stress people don’t seem to care enough of! Typically skin needs about 40-60% humidity and a cabins air contains only 20%, and at 40,000ft there is less blood flow to the skin, which makes us have a dull complexion. Since our skin reflects the internal conditions of our bodies, over time so you will notice very dry hands and face if you don’t keep yourself hydrated!
  • Despite there being water and drinks given on most airlines, I would still recommend either buying bottle another after security or carrying a recyclable plastic bottle to fill up. Sometimes during flights that are 12-16 hours its hard for 300 passengers to be asking for water all the time, and the tap water from planes may not be the best thing if you have a weak stomach too.

3. Have enough rest/don’t fly hungover or drunk

  • More than half the time, people who are feeling ill or do not have enough rest (especially if boarding hungover) will only feel worse inflight. I can never stress to friends to get at least some rest before a flight, especially if it’s going to be long-haul. Some people vomit even if they have had plenty of rest, so why make yourself only feel more nauseous!
  • If you do board a very early or late flight I’d advise trying to force yourself to rest and sleep during the flight so it doesn’t ruin the start to your holidays.

 

4. Seatbelts are for your own safety

  • Turbulence can be expected or unexpected, due to many factors such as air pressure, weather or winds. Some turbulence can be for-seen by the pilots, but clear air turbulence may not.
  • It only takes once to hurt yourself, sometimes the plane can drop 20metres, so if the seatbelt signs are on the Captain didn’t switch it on only for fun!
  • The FAA have a record of 44 people being injured during 2016, which is why we have to make sure everyone has fastened their seatbelts if turbulence is known to come ahead.
  • If you don’t want to be disturbed during a flight I’d recommend you loosely fastening your seatbelt before dozing off! Remember that arguing with a flight attendant about not wanting to fasten a seatbelt doesn’t get anyone hurt but yourself…
  • If you are scared or get motion sickness easily, sitting near the wings of the plane is advised to be the most stable part on the airplane.

5. Wear comfortable clothing, leg support and neck pillows

  • If you do plan to be stuck in one seat for 12-16 hours, make sure you wear comfortable looser clothing. I recommend ladies to take scarf for MANY different uses! For example you can use it as a blanket if you start feeling chilly or don’t get/don’t want to use the blankets inflight, you can also fold it up to use an extra pillow!
  • If your legs do swell up and have had a history of DVT in the past, you can try using compression socks to promote blood circulation and decrease the chance of blood clotting and DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Scholl do a pretty good range of compression long socks to ‘thin’ calves and put pressure on the legs. There should also be a guide to in-seat exercises onboard the airplane.
  • Investing in a good neck cushion could prevent you getting neck strain and improve on your sleep.
  • If I am travelling light I bring a blow-up air cushion which I can fold up when not using, this can be bought in Daiso at HK airport T2 for 12HKD or pound shops in the UK. Or you can buy a cuddly pillow like below, perfect for solo flights – also makes a good cushion!

 

6. Reserve yourself a good seat, as soon as online check in is available

  • Majority of airlines now have online check in to select seats usually 48 hours before a flight.
  • If you prefer not being disturbed (DND) during a flight I’d advise sitting at a window seat, it can also be more comfortable having one extra side to lean on, and having a lovely view of the sky.
  • If you like to stretch and walk around or visit the bathroom often, then an aisle seat is your best option.
  • Sitting near the wings of the plane will have the least motion for those who get motion sickness easily.
  • Passengers traveling with babies should check in ASAP to find seats together as bulkhead seats may require extra payment and after boarding may be hard for someone to swap with you.
  • If you have had blood-clot or DVT in the past, try to request a bulkhead seat, or an emergency exit row seat for the extra leg space room.

7. Keeping cabin baggage minimal for your own ease

  • Flight attendants are encouraged not to help with inflight baggage if the person is an able body. Think about that flight attendant in her heels lifting all 200 suitcases into the overhead compartments! Unfortunately we have been trained for safety onboard, rather than lifting and handling heavy items – because we’re elegant like that.
  • Your hand luggage will need to be placed in to the overhead compartment so you must be able to lift it yourself, otherwise it may be asked to be checked into the cargo. Unless your strong husband or a handsome gentleman is going to help you for sure, I’d advise not overloading and causing yourself a wrist sprain.
  • If you are a gentleman, kindly please do place the luggage into the overhead compartment yourself instead of asking the lady who is also your inflight nurse, inflight waiter, and always trying to smile even when she can’t remember when she last slept 🙂

 

8. Requesting Special meals and being served first

  • Ever seen people getting their meal trays before the meal service? Thats because they ordered a special meal before the flight, by the time they have finished their vegetarian meal and dosed off perhaps you havn’t even been served yet.
  • Each airline have different special meals to choose from, so make sure you book it 48 hours and confirm before the flight especially if you have allergies or preferences (not during ticket purchasing).
  • Studies have found that foods rich in carbs induce insulin secretion, minimising jet-lag and making a sleep and eating schedule easier to transition. This means you can try to eat foods such as spaghetti, whole grain bread, and oatmeal to prevent or combat jet lag.
  • If you have a weak stomach, try to stay away from eating seafood inflight. Foods such as chicken or pasta are believed to be the safest.

 

9. If you hold an AMEX, you can use lounges at airports and get free upgrades

  • There are many cards that allow you to use the most widely accepted airport lounges Premium Plaza across airports worldwide – click on link to view if your airport provides a lounge by Premium Plaza. Here you have access to shower facilities, generally better seats to nap on/sleeping areas, food, computers etc. You can also pay for services if you do not hold the required cards.
  • If you have an American Express, and have never used it for lounge pass, you may be missing out! -Depending on the credit card you hold,  each different card has a different limit on how many times you can visit the lounges a year, this will come under your contract terms and conditions.
  • For example the AMEX Platinum card has access to unlimited free lounge entries a year (Premium Plaza, terms and conditions may apply depending on your application), the Cathay AMEX also has unlimited amounts of free lounge entries a year.
  • Most of the AMEX cards offer free upgrades in exchange for points if you didn’t know already! So if you are able to make that long haul much more comfortable for free, it may be the best flight ever!

10. Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum

  • Alchohol is a depressant, so the the first few hours after you drink it may actually keep you up instead.
  • Drinking too much causes dehydration, which will leave you feeling groggy possibly effecting you with jet lag.
  • There is also a chance you may feel or get sick, and that would not be the most pleasant 12-16 hours in the bathroom or in your own sick in a full flight for you!

 

Ps. Did you know you can find out where you are inside the flight by opening ‘maps’ on your smartphone? Even without signal your phone has GPS , therefore you can still see where you are in the world!

 

So sit back, and enjoy your flight! Make the most out of watching movies you havn’t watched, and the sky views that are never the same. Hope these have helped some of you! And tips for short-haul flights? Well, would you want a blog post about that?

 

All opinions, photos and written content belong to Heidi Leung and Heideexyz.com© 2018 All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidi and Heideexyz.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Wendy
    May 26, 2018 / 6:32 pm

    Wow, some great tips in here I had no idea about l! Thank you for sharing 😊

  2. Steph
    June 4, 2018 / 11:02 am

    Omg I read all of it! This was so so useful! Thank you so much girl, you’re the best!! Also what you told me about the plane never dropping to the ground during turbulence has made it so much less scary haha! Big hugs to you!!

    Such a great article!

    Steph xxx
    http://www.stephyttravels.com

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