Air conditioning, constantly changing temperatures and lack of sleep can impact hugely on your health and on your skin, and a combination of all three can be found on your average long-haul flight. Chances are you’re heading off to a stellar destination, but will most likely feel out of sorts on arrival and for a while afterwards. We’d like to gift you some of our favourite long-haul life hacks to help you with your journey, so do read on… and bon voyage!
Many seasoned travellers say the single most important thing to do on a long-haul flight is to drink water, because flying is the ultimate dehydrator. Try hydrating before you fly with a litre of water, then aim for at least 1 litre every 5 hours on board. And we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but drinking that extra vodka tonic after take-off does not count as in-flight hydration - in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Try and stay away from the drinks trolley if you can, as tempting as it may be!
A good pillow
The average travel pillow may not look that cool, but it’ll stop your head falling at an awkward angle whilst sleeping during longer flights and make your journey that bit more comfortable. However, deciding what is the best travel pillow for you can be difficult.
There are several different styles and materials to choose from and not all types will work for everyone. Some people say that travel pillows are ineffective, but these people have usually just tried the simple inflatable version – there are a whole range of types and options that they might find more comfortable. Try a few on for size before you fly, and find one that’s inflatable or compact for when it’s not in use.
Your skin gets very little oxygen during a flight as you are in an encapsulated environment without fresh air. The air conditioning is often blasted sky-high too, leading very quickly to dehydration, sensitivity and generally tired, dull skin. It’s always a good idea to travel with well cleansed skin, even if you wear makeup before boarding and use a cleansing wipe to remove it post-take off.
Always carry a travel-sized moisturiser or skin loving balm to apply during your flight, reapplying whenever your skin starts to feel dry and tight. If you’re facing a long-haul flight, you can even take advantage of the extra time and supersize your skincare regime with a moisturising mask. We recommend that you leave the clay and foil ones at home unless you’re looking to scare the daylights out of any children sitting nearby.
Noise cancelling headphones - are they worth it? They are often pricey, but once you have a pair you won’t look back. It’s important however, to remember that even the best noise cancelling headphones can’t work magic.
They essentially reduce unwanted ambient sounds using active noise control, making it possible to listen to music without raising the volume excessively, and they can help a passenger sleep better on a flight. Low frequency noise is where noise cancelling headphones shine. Low, steady sound is easy to cancel out, but higher frequency and transient sounds, aren’t.
Keep germs at bay
Some may call it excessive, but a good idea when you first grab your seat on a long-haul flight is to get out a pack of wet wipes and wipe down any surface that you will be touching for the next few hours, like the screen, belt buckle, window, etc. Oddly it isn’t recycled air that usually makes you sick after a flight, but your body's compromised ability to deal with normal bacteria and viruses. Recent studies have found that your tray table is probably dirtier than your own bathroom floor; and don’t even get us started on what’s hiding in seat pockets!
Get some rest
Chances are you’ve had to rise at some ungodly hour or spent the previous night panicking about forgetting your phone charger, but try to sleep a full eight hours the night before your flight. You’ll be able to handle the stress and foreign environment of air travel with greater ease. If you can, try to sleep on the plane too, as after a real long-haul flight, you’ll probably be dealing with both a new time zone and jet lag.
A great alternative is staying on-site the night before at our Novotel Auckland Airport, located conveniently adjacent to the international airport.