Susie Freeman knows a thing or two about air travel. The founder of Susie Freeman Travel specialises in top-quality holidays to Mauritius and makes the journey herself every few weeks.
Here are some of her tips to make long-haul flights more enjoyable:
"The best thing is to step off a plane feeling rested and refreshed. If you can persuade your company to upgrade you to Business Class or First Class this would of course be ideal in terms of comfort although if you are paying yourself then this may just be a remote fantasy. I would highly recommend joining an airline loyalty programme to benefit from their perks such as pre seating, upgrade possibilities and access to their airline lounges.
• It’s well known that many passengers pick up colds and germs as the air just circulates. Take a small bottle of Olbas oil to sniff or spray with Silver Spray as this kills germs.
• If you are travelling economy at check in always ask how full the flight is and ask if it is possible to have an empty seat next to you.. sometimes on long haul flights if you are lucky you can nab a row of seats and stretch out and sleep all night!
• Wear loose clothing as I find that I expand on a long haul flights and ensure that your shoes are not too tight. Sandals are ideal. If you take shoes off during the flight you may find that you cannot get them back on again on leaving the aircraft! Air quality is very dry in the cabins so I always take out my contact lenses and wear glasses instead.
• Limit alcohol consumption and drink at least 2 litres of water on a long haul fight. I try and avoid bread or any foods that will blow me up.. Often I will buy my water once I have cleared customs as airlines will only provide small glasses of water or small bottles in economy.
• always put my watch onto the time of the destination as soon as I board the aircraft. It seems to help with jet lag. On long haul flights I always travel with my own snuggly pillow from home as it seems to help me to sleep. A large soft pashmina is a godsend. So many airlines give you flimsy ‘blankets’ that that seem to impart very little warmth whatsoever. Before going to sleep I always put on my safety belt to avoid being woken when there is turbulence to strap up.
• From years of experience with luggage going missing I always pack in my hand luggage items that I may need on arrival.. medication, spare contact lenses, a swimming costume, a spare set of clothes and any important documents must never be placed in the checked in luggage.
• If you are travelling Premium class you will be given a bag with a few toiletries. If you are travelling in economy it’s a good idea to take your own bag with an eye mask, ear plugs, wet wipes, a small tube of moisturizing cream, a toothbrush and toothpaste. If you get really bothered by noise then noise cancelling headphones are great as they cut out the noise of crying babies and engine noise.
• Entertainment- If you are travelling on a non UK airline it is advisable to take reading material.. a kindle , paperbacks.. magazines etc. An Ipad with pre-loaded films in case the airline selection is poor or in another language.
• It’s essential to move around and stretch as much as possible and many airlines suggest an exercise programme for passengers flying long-haul.
Susie from Susie Freeman Travel"