Living in Australia pretty much makes almost all flights long haul. In my book if its more than 6hrs, its long haul!
On the plus side when you live in Australia and are originally from the UK, you get used to that 24hr trip, and a flight to anywhere else is unlikely to be be long.
Seriously, if you can do the flight from Sydney to blighty, you can tackle any trip head on.
Do I really need to mention this? You know this is number one for any flight long or short as we get incredible dehydrated while airborne. So all I’m going to say is this!
Do you want to get over your jet lag quickly to enjoy your trip?
Do you want your bowels to move like clockwork after time in the sky?
Do you want you want to avoid puffy eyes, dark circles, cankles, DVT, Dry mouth and much more?
Yep, you got it! DRINK WATER my friend…
Reduced Calorie Fasting
This one isn’t for the faint hearted… or those with medical conditions for that matter!
Je déteste plan alimentaire (I HATE PLANE FOOD and yes I just busted out some French on you) and ever now and again I take the ride in the sky as an opportunity to give my digestive system a well deserved rest.
This can take some planning, and is very dependant on what country you are flying from in terms of juice options as you won’t be able to prepare your own juices and take them through airport security (due to liquid restrictions).
If I’m flying from London or LA its super easy to get hold of a set of pre-made juices and take with me on the plane. I normally take four bottles,which is enough to stop me from getting hungry on the flight. 2 green juices, 1 red juice and one nut mylk based smoothie.
Most air stewards are friendly enough to pop them in a fridge for you, however they are not supposed to, so do this at your on risk. Top up with water in between and take some light snacks to keep you going like rice crackers, nuts and dried fruit.
I have noticed that the times I do this, my jetlag is far reduced and I tend not to suffer from the water retention, bloatedness and pimply face.
If you decide you want to try a fast while travelling please ensure you speak with a medical professional before attempting, also use your common sense. If you have never fasted before, do not use a long haul flight as your trial run.
Favourite Yoga Moves
Viparita Karuni (Legs up the Wall)
This pose is one of the most restorative poses you can do, as it requires no effort from the body. Elevating the legs can also help relieve fluid retention in the legs and increases oxygen flow. Stay in this pose for at least five minutes for maximum benefit.
Supine Thread the Needle
Sitting for extended periods leaves my lower back and hips as locked up as Alcatraz. This pose gently releases through both areas. Hold this pose for 1 minute on each side and repeat as necessary.
Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend)
Is my most loved after a long flight, it helps to relieve stress and calms the mind. It also aids digestion, liver and kidney function which can sometimes slow during inactivity on long haul flights. It also gives me a sense of security and inwardness after being surrounded by others for so much time. Stay in this pose for 1 to 3 minutes.
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Night Cream
I am in no way affiliated with Elizabeth Arden or this product! I just hands down love it, so much so I bought about 4 tubes a few years back and carried one in every hand bag I owned. This cream is a god send at the best of times as it somehow banishes pimples and leaves my skin feeling super soft. When stuck on a long haul flight hydration is critical. Slap on a good layer before take off and you will step off that flight being the only person looking like they just had a facial. Shhh don’t tell anyone, I also pop some on my feet as they get super dry from the freezing cold aircon. That paired with a pair of warm fluffy socks and I’m set.
Reflection and Journaling
I can’t be the only person who actually looks forward to flying because its probably the only time noone can get hold of me. No phone, no internet or social media and more often that not I am sitting in my seat left with only my thoughts. I relish the opportunity to let my mind decompress, be still and notice what comes up.
I often find that this time to myself often activates and allows space for my imagination and creativity to come through. I always have a large black notepad in my bag where I can brain dump new ideas, class sequences, recipes and blog posts. Where do you think this one was born?
For those of you that find confined spaces a drag or pick up easily on other peoples energy at close proximity, meditation is a must and this is where guided meditation serves me well. Being a yoga and meditation teacher means I have an iPhone packed with meditations. My top picks for long haul flights are guided relaxation and good old yoga nidra to aid with exhaustion. Yoga nidra helps to stimulate the production of melatonin
Connecting with strangers
Just a few weeks ago I was on a 7hr stop over at KL, it was hideous and I certainly won’t be choosing that route again. To make the entire experience worse we landed at 3am and let me tell you, there is absolutely nothing open at KL airport at that time in morning. I wandered around passing time with a bit of window shopping. Thinking I had crushed at least a few hours, I realised that only 45 minutes had passed. So I found an uncomfortable seat (Yoga pun intended) and set forth amusing myself with social media.
I noticed a guy walk past my row of seats, a short time later I noticed him again. On the third time past I looked up and laughed, he grinned at me with a knowing smile.
London flight? I asked.
London flight! He responded.
And that’s how I met John. John is from western Sydney, has family all over the UK and thought he would take advantage of the cheap flights for a two week holiday. We talked and talked about our lives, how we have ended up where we are in life, movies, books and favourite travel spots. Our laughter carried through the airport terminal and we got a few disgruntled looks from the café staff, who were engrossed in some type of soap opera.
Low and behold before we both knew it 4hrs had passed and it was almost time to head to the gate. Why not be the person that smile and connects with others on your trip. I find that every time I travel I meet people from all walks of life that I wouldn’t usually come into contact with and always learn something from the experience.
Long haul flights are never fun! I’d love to know you long haul flight hack, leave me a comment and let me know what works for you.