When preparing for a long haul flight I have a tendency to obsesses. I read and reread articles about airlines, where to sit and what to bring with me. I spent several years doing international flights every month but it doesn’t change the thrill, Flying is exciting and I love getting wrapped up in it.
Tullamarine Airport always has a sort of magic for me, be I heading off somewhere new and thrilling, ducking interstate, sending off a loved one and even better welcoming them home. So partly to help me plan myself out and in part because I hope someone, who loves reading these kind of posts about preparing for a long haul flight as much as me, stumbles upon them I thought I would share some of my pre long haul flight preparation.
So Melbournian Girl Abroad’s (I love that moniker!) top pre holiday thoughts for surviving a long haul flight are -
Book your seat – make a decision if you want a Window or an Aisle seat and try and reserve your seat as soon as you book your flight!
Hand Luggage – only take what you will need on the flight and one spare change of clothes. I recommend using a bag on wheels or a cross body bag to make lugging it around the airport easier.
Book your Seat
Most airlines these days allow you to reserve your seat on the plane. There are lots of web pages out there (Seat Guru) that provide insight into where the best seats on your flight will be. Are you a window or an aisle person (I don’t think anyone is ever a centre person).
Benefits of the Window Seat – Ohhh so pretty. For takeoff and landing it’s great to see where you are heading out from and in to. The rest of the flight, especially long haul, it’s normally windows shut. You will also have the plus of somewhere to rest your head if you are napping, no trolley or passers by knocking your arms and no one climbing over you. On the con side you most likely will have to scramble over people or ask people to move every time you want to stretch your legs or visit the bathroom.
Benefits of the Aisle Seat – This is easiest place to get in and out of your seat. So if you, like me, prefer to spend portions of the flight standing and stretching and chatting with the crew (if they are friendly) then this is the easiest place to be to accomplish that. You also get the luxury of a little more space to stretch your legs and it’s a bit nicer if you aren’t keen on small spaces. The catch is of course that people will want to climb over you, or ask you to get up any time they need to get out. And the trolley and passersby like nothing better than to bump into your arm or feet if you accidentally let them slip into the aisle. Despite all of this I am usually an aisle girl for anything longer than a 5 hour flight.
What sort of carry on bag – This is one of those lessons it took me years to master. You will be carrying this around a LOT. Don’t over pack!! Most long haul flights involve one or two stop over’s and while it’s a great chance to stretch your legs it often means you are lugging around your hand luggage of choice (Airports in my experience like to ensure you get a nice loooooongggg leg stretch getting to and from your flights). My general rule of thumb is a bag with wheels if I have a lot or cross body if less (backpacks work well to – just so not moi!) There is also the battle of where to stow your precious belongings on the flight. I usually pack the stuff I will use most often into a clear cosmetic bag (so scans mean I don’t need to unpack my moisturizer etc) and then add books, scarves and mags to the pocket seat in front of me. The rest hopefully gets stowed above my head (the smaller the bag – the easier to find a place for it).
Hopefully some of this makes it easier to survive a long haul flight (at least I hope so!).
Tomorrow I will show you what’s coming onboard to keep me occupied for nearly thirty hours travel time (just on the first leg of my travel – I think all up I have about 90 hours of travel time ahead of me – oh joy).