7 Tips to Make Long Haul Travel Easier

Is your dream holiday a trip to the other side of the world . For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, Europe is often a dream destination. And for those in Europe, New Zealand and Australia are often on the bucket list. But half way around the world is a long way to travel and involves long haul flights in most cases.

Every year, in our winter but in the Northern Hemisphere summer, my husband and I travel to London to spend time with our grandson. It's my favorite time of the year just because we get to spend so much time with our grandson - he's so gorgeous and I love him to bits.

Living half way around the world from your family is a challenge so I'm very grateful that we're able to relocate to London for 3 months a year. It does mean, however, that I'm very familiar with long haul travel - you can't get any further from the United Kingdom than New Zealand!

Not surprisingly, I have a few tips to make the trip easier. These tips will be useful however you travel, economy to first class. Some things are just part of the long haul and can't be bought away :-)

Maud's Travel Tips for Long Haul

1. Wear comfortable clothing - you'll be sitting for long periods of time on the plane so you don't want tight or ill fitting clothing, especially as you try to find a comfy position to sleep in. You may want to take a change of clothes and change once on the airplane to your comfy clothes and then put on your best for arrival. Personally, that takes just a bit more effort and I prefer comfy clothes all the way - I can always jazz them up with a scarf.

Wear layers so you add or remove layers for comfort. I often get cold once at altitude especially if flying at night but during daylight hours and near the equator it can be very warm. You might want to wear a pashmina wrap or shawl that will glam up your outfit a bit but also act as an added layer to keep you warm on the plane - an extra blanket.

You'll also be changing seasons so layers will allow the most versatile way of dealing with whatever temperature and weather you face.

Space can be tight, so keep your clothing loose

2. Comfortable shoes are a must. With larger planes and airports there is always walking between gates and to immigration and you may have 15-20 minute walks to get from one place to another. So, wear shoes you are comfortable walking in. I am always in awe of women leaving the plane in beautiful stilettos - if you can walk distance at pace in those, all hail you, but for me, they just won't do for travel.

And not only do you need comfortable shoes, you need ones that are not too snug a fit. Your feet will swell on long haul flights and if you've removed your shoes which I suggest you do for comfort's sake, then when you put your shoes back on they will feel tighter, so if they are tight to start, you're going to have trouble putting them back on. And blisters because your shoes are rubbing is only going to make for a miserable trip.

3. Take a book or a music playlist that you can read/play during times you are waiting. There's a lot of time sitting on a plane with 10-14 hour legs but there's also time just waiting - waiting to board, waiting in immigration, waiting for flight connections. It's a great time to catch up on your reading or listen to some favourite music.

Once on the plane, you will have movies, TV shows, games etc at your fingertips, but planning for waiting when these are not available will make the trip seem to go more quickly.

There's lots of downtime while traveling and lots of walking

4. Keep your carry on luggage manageable and as much as possible wheelable. You will be walking between gates and after arrival and lugging a heavy bag is not much fun.

I have a beautiful leather handbag that has so much room and seems perfect for travelling - only thing is it is heave before it even has anything in it. Long haul travel is definitely a time when function overrules style.

However, there are so many great carry-on options that have wheels, that you should easily find one that suits your style.

5.  This one's for the ladies. Personally, I like to feel fresh and travelling for over 24 hours is not conducive to that. I could plan to change regularly but that is quite a lot of effort. One of my best tips is to wear panty liners - change them as frequently as you want during your travel - believe me you'll really thank me for this tip when you are able to arrive at your destination feeling fresh.

There's probably another word rather than fresh, but I think you know what I mean. And, you're welcome :-)

6. Get into the time zone of your destination as soon as possible. So, we leave from Christchurch and head to Singapore and then onto London. The final destination is 11 hours behind. Obviously, pretending that it's evening when I get on the plane in the morning is not that easy but I do change my watch to the next destination - Singapore - as soon as possible.

If I am arriving into London in the early hours of the morning, I plan to try and sleep/rest for the majority of the flight into London so I arrive ready for the day. I then try to stay awake until at least 8pm so I get into the timezone early and reduce jet lag.

If I do arrive in the morning, then I try and get some natural sunlight outside for a bit as this helps my internal clock. Then some exercise - walking to the shops to get some groceries, for example - in the afternoon to prevent me wanting to nap.

If on the other hand, I'm arriving in London in the evening, then I try and be awake for the flight in so that once I get to our apartment and unpack, I'll be tired and have a great sleep.

So, basically, what I do on the flight has more to do with me adjusting to the time zones than the movie selection or the fact that the alcohol is free. :-)

7. Moisturising Mist. This is the last but one of my favorites. The atmosphere in the plane is incredibly drying and dehydrating for you skin and you body. That's why drinking plenty of water is important. But my little secret weapon is my NaPCA mist, which you can use in several ways to enhance your travel experience.

NaPCA is a natural ingredient of our skin's natural moisturising factor. It's a humectant which means it absorbs water to plump up dehydrated skin.

This image shows a dried apricot that has been in NaPCA mist compared to one that has been in mineral oil (which, by the way, is the major ingredient of most moisturisers) - I know how I want my skin to look.

Imagine your skin as a dried apricot after flying - what moisturiser do you want to use: mineral oil based product (left) or NaPCA mist (right)

As well as just being a refreshing face and body spray, NaPCA mist will also:

  • provide light moisturisation
  • remove static from your hair - so you don't have to carry a separate hairspray
  • set your make-up if you are planning on doing that before you land

You have to make sure you carry it in a spray container that is 100 ml or less - otherwise it'll be confiscated before you get on the plane. But this mist is multi-functional and will definitely freshen you up on the trip.

And this little gem is a steal at the price. Speak to the person who referred you to this page to order. or contact Zansie or me (form on the right or if you're on a device, at the bottom)


I hope you found these tips useful and feel free to share this blog. If you want to make sure you don't miss out on the free weekly blog, then complete the form on the right (below if you are on a device)

And safe travels always