Any trip that lasts more than eight hours it is already beyond what we should stand!
Adding to that, we are encased in a big flying box with little space and reduced comfort. We must wisely choose what to take with us. Ah! And we also have some tips!
In our case, the longest trip we make lasts about 14 hours – Hong Kong / Lisbon – not counting with transfers, of course. This means 14 hours of pure excitement and adrenaline…
The truth is another: 14 hours inside an airplane, shrunken, with no room to stretch your legs, trying to sleep in a chair that no matters how much you put it down it always seems to be at a 90 degree angle (is it just with us?), breathing the same air as other 500 persons and meals that, for sure, were cooked in a hospital kitchen.
The best you have to do is to sleep (at least trying) and watch some movies; but even this life bores at some point …
So here are some tips and essentials. The trip will not get shorter, but may improve a little:
This is a must! The quality of Airlines’ headphones is average, not to mention that flight attendants will start collecting those 40 minutes before landing! What the hell! In 40 minutes we finish watching the movie or we can even watch an entire episode. So we always take ours. If you don´t know you can plug in them in the same place as the one from the Airline and if you desire to share the sound with your travel partner you can do so using the earphones, which would simply not work with headphones.
Well this is kinda obvious. If you were already squeezed inside an airplane and seated in a chair no bigger than your body’s width, then just wait until you start cuddling in the chair trying to sleep and the seam of your jeans start making trouble in the groin area or in your legs making them dormant in one second. Nop. Not cool. Therefore, use wide and comfortable clothes, but no shorts or skirts, unless you want to freeze…
Since we spoke about cold, which is a reality inside the airplane, better you take a lip balm because things will get bad and there’s nothing worse than arriving all ugly to our friends and family and kiss them with chopped lips like a sloppy one.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Linked with the above mentioned, you don’t want to make someone pass out with your breath from the dead after a long 14 hours (or more) flight without any kind of oral hygiene. In order not to overpacking our bag and to avoid any issues when passing through security zone, we simply take one of those little kits that we bring as “souvenir” from the hotels…. (yes, we know you guys also do it).
In our case we cross mega-airports such as Hong Kong and Dubai, where thousands of people pass by every day from all over the world. It also means hundreds of diseases concentrated in one place only. Because getting sick during holidays is not part of our plans, we use the gel from time to time and after touching objects widely used by others. And no, Dodot wipes will not work here.
That small pillow will avoid you from falling into your neighbor’s shoulder (which will be strange if that person is not your partner), and will give that extra help in the neck’s curvature decreasing the back pain. If you opt for those filled by air, they can always be easily packed in the bag, on the other hand those stuffed pillows are more comfortable, but obviously will take up more space.
Book or Magazine
After watching 3 movies in non-stop mode… eyes will get on fire! If you cannot sleep then rest your eyes by shutting down the screens and reading for a while.
Scarfs will always give you the ultimate versatility! It is true that airlines provide blankets, but your scarf will bring you extra comfort by covering those holes where the blanket no longer can reach. Moreover, flight attendants will start collecting the blankets 40 minutes before landing… 40 minutes with even more cold.
Earplugs and Sleep Mask Kit
For those with great difficulty to sleep or those which the objective is to sleep the whole trip, this kit is a must! Some airlines provide them but, just in case, it is better to take your own.
In addition to the meals that are already include during the flight, you can try to bite some other snack in meantime. Actually, if you feel hungry and if you ask the crew to give you a snack, they won’t deny. But, if you feel shy for asking or you simply just want to do the things by yourself we can tell you that you have two other options:
Some flight companies (like British Airways) have a trolley at the kitchen and back area of the airplane. This trolley has many goodies, like cakes or cookies and also water, tea bags or even coffee. Just exercise your legs a little bit and go hunting this trolley.
Also we have experienced before, that during night (when the lights are off and everybody is sleeping), a few crew members are padding around, to check who is awake and to offer cookies, cakes or even small ice creams.
If it’s your first time in Asia let us inform you that the power plug will most probably be totally different from what you are used to. So, to charge your phone or computer at the airport (during a never ending flight connection) better you bring and adaptor G with 220V. At the hotel you can easily get one in exchange for a deposit.
If you like to stretch your legs and have more space during flight, you may try checking at the check in or at the boarding counter if there’s any seat available at the emergency areas.
Disable people, pregnant ladies or children will have priority but sometimes there are some extra seats that you can take without an extra cost.
Credit Card at the Airport
At the airport, better than keep with you a big amount of money it´s to have and use the credit card. This way you will not keep so many different currencies with you every time you have to transfer flight. It is also fast and convenient.