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  • Writer's pictureThe Roaming Scribe

How to conquer the long haul flight (and win)

My most frequent long haul destination

My most frequent long haul destination is LAX

Is there ever the possibility of arriving in your destination after a ten-hour flight refreshed?  That is, without paying the price for business or first class?  Possibly not but here are a few tricks that can certainly help.

1) Always carry a flight pillow.

And, if you won’t feel like a numpty, even a regular size pillow. Also, a large bottle of water (purchase after security) and shoes that lace up or fasten with velcro – you might feel like your Gran but when your feet swell, you will thank me.

2) If you have a bit of cash, premium class can sometimes be affordable.’s premium is virtually like upgrading to Business Class…and usually costs about an extra £200.  Blissfully wide seats recline back and, with the extending foot rest, make an enormous difference.  Delta Economy + has 4 inches of extra leg room and dedicated overhead bin space for a small price.

3) Crazy early morning flight?

Book an airport hotel with a transfer included.  Hotel price comparison sights will help you find something reasonably priced. You will board your flight having had a decent night’s rest.

4) Fly direct and cut out the additional stress of transfers and connections.

Ever had the stress of running through an airport with personal belongings flying hither and yon as you go?  Then you know what I mean.  There are some destinations where a connection usually cannot be avoided, such as flying from London to Yangon, but the number of direct flights on offer is increasing all the time.

5) If you are a twosome travelling together and the plane has a three-seat configuration – plus you can choose seats – then book an aisle and a window.

Unless the flight is fully booked, it is likely no one will take the middle seat.  You can still sleep in each other’s arms if you want but you will love the extra space.

6) Bring ear plugs, an eye mask and flight compression socks

If you are in economy, you will likely be positioned over the roaring engines so ear plugs help if you want to sleep.  Even when lights are lowered, other passengers’ entertainment screens might be near enough to disrupt, so eye masks are a necessity these days.  Flight compression socks help circulation and have been proven to combat Deep Vein Thrombosis. Plus, anything that addresses your well-being can only be a good thing.

7) Pack a smallish ruck sack with essentials to put beneath the seat in front of you.

You will want your lip balm, water, tissues and snacks handy during the flight.  Plus, if these items are close by, you then don’t risk having locker contents falling onto grumpy passengers below when rummaging through a larger bag.

8) Bring a tablet along

If you have a tablet (lap tops may soon be required to be packed in your hold luggage) with your favourite film or two downloaded, then you are prepared if the entertainment system goes down.  Of course, if lap tops are to be in hold luggage this may apply to i-Pads as well.  If so, bring magazines and anything to keep your mind occupied and help you feel at ‘home’.

9) Limit alcohol intake

I don’t mean to be a party-pooper but alcohol is significantly more potent at higher elevations.  The dehydrating quality of alcoholic beverages alone is not conducive to your health and relaxation on a flight.

With thanks to Discover Los Angeles for providing the image of LAX.

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