Last two years I have been travelling with Emirates Airlines from Dubai to Santiago, Chile and back. For me this is the shortest and fastest option available and it takes 21 h. If I add time spent coming to the airport, plus check-in, boarding and connecting time I would round it at 26 h altogether on average. The longest flight I ever did was from Auckland to Sarajevo via Bangkok and Istanbul and it took me 36 hours.
Although I love to travel, sometimes ultra-long-haul flights can be really painful. The most common problems passengers face are discomfort, upset stomach, dehydration, dry skin, sore knees and muscles, headaches and swollen feet and ankles. Finally, this year in Feb 2020 my ultra-long flight Dubai to/from Chile went pretty well. Below, I will share the things I did before and during my flight to keep it that way.
AVOID BLOATED AND UPSET STOMACH
Feeling bloated is one of the most common problems I faced during my flights and I believe many people suffer from the same. I will give you few suggestions what to do before you embark on that white bird.
Do yoga before the flight. The night before the flight do yoga. This will help you to stretch muscles, intestines and organs before the flight. Practicing yoga will also relax your mind and will help you to feel less anxious as many of us get nervous when onboard aircraft. Plus, you will sleep better before your trip. If you are not able to attend the class, open YouTube and find some video on how to gently stretch and prepare for the flight.
After the shower massage essential oil in your abdomen. Finish the shower with the cold water and massage 2 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of lavender essential oil over your upper and lower abdomen.
Drink a cup of peppermint tea before the flight – Peppermint tea will improve your digestion, will help to calm down the belly, it is sleep-friendly and helps with stress. I am buying peppermint leave tea (Sonnentor Brand) in the organic shop and I simply love it.
Drink natural charcoal to avoid feeling bloated. The cabin crew will always have some good advice on how to survive the long flights. So one of them suggested to drink Purify Activated Charcoal before and during the flight. So, I ordered this product online and used it during the flight and it did an amazing job. Take 1 capsule 2 times a day between meals with a glass of water for the best results.
Order Bland Meal. Some airlines like Emirates will offer you the option to pre-order a bland meal before the flight. This meal is for passengers who suffer from gastric discomfort. The one offered by Emirates (because I flew with them) can contain grilled lean white meat, fish, cooked vegetables, fruits such as watermelon and melons, poached eggs, egg white omelette, low seasoned food, soft bread and low-fat dairy products. The other advantage is that you will be served before the other passengers and everyone will think why you are so special to get the food before them. 🙂
Drink lots of water before and during the flight. Avoid coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks before and during your flight. Instead buy a big bottle of water and have some natural juice before (I love carrot juice). This will help you to avoid the headache, upset stomach and dry skin. As you will have to use the washroom frequently, choose aisle seat during online check-in and choose the seat close to the washroom. In 777 I always try to choose the seat in the last zone where 2 seat row is available. In that area, you are also close to the galley and there is more space to walk.
KEEP YOURSELF SAFE FROM DISEASE DURING THE FLIGHT
Considering the virus Covid19 and recent pandemic that has grounded flights all over the world it is necessary now to think about our protection when we start travelling again. I believe now everyone is using the masks, gloves and hand disinfectants before and during the flight. Although it is mandatory to use these products now, sometimes hand disinfectants can over dry your skin because they contain alcohol or can irritate you with their smell. The best is to wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible. However, as many people are using and touching the same toilet handle, flush and faucet this can be challenging. The best is to always use some kind of barriers like paper or sanitation wipes when you are going to the washroom.
Make disinfectant wipes from essential oils – If you don’t like alcohol disinfectants like me you can prepare a pack of natural protective wipes and seal them in the resealable bag. The wipes will smell good and clean up the air and kill the microbes. You can use the following blend recommended by aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood and add it to dampened tissues:
Lavander Oil 2 drops
Ginger Oil 2 drops
Thyme Linalol 4 drops
Lemongrass 4 drops
Tea Tree 2 drops
Once you are onboard the airline and find your seat you can wipe the armrests, table, remote control and anything else you might touch. You can also use this wipes when you are visiting the toilets to clean up the handles and toilet flush before touching them.
Add 1 drop of essential oil in your mask – if you want to stay awake and feel fresh you can add 1 drop of peppermint. If you would like to sleep you can use 1 drop of lavender oil.
AVOID CRAMPS, KNEE PROBLEMS AND SWOLLEN ANKLES
Firstly, walk around as much as possible to keep your blood circulating. Secondly, drink magnesium before the flight to avoid cramps. Thirdly, remove your shoes during the flight and wear warm loose socks. However, please when you go to washroom put your shoes back. Finally, you can also massage your legs and do some seat stretching. It is also useful to have a neck pillow and something warm to cover yourself in case the blanket provided by the airlines is not enough to keep you warm.
CLOTHING AND CARRY-ON LUGGAGE
There is no need to write a lot about clothing. The general rule is to choose loose and sporty clothes from natural fibers that is comfortable. I also don’t like to travel with heavy carry-on luggage so I always choose backpacks which are easy to carry. Usually, I am spending lots of time outdoors on my trips so the backpack is something I will definitely use. What I usually have in my carry-on:
- 1 extra pair of clothes and underwear
- Toiletries: toothpaste and toothbrush, breath freshener, hair comb, deodorant, small size bottle of perfume, wet wipes, panty liners, moisturizer, lip balm, blush and blotting paper
- Chargers and headset, notebook and pen
- Medicines (pain killers, probiotics, water purifier, plasters)
- Something warm to cover in case I feel cold
- Neck pillow
- A big bottle of water
Let me know if you have any other suggestions how to make your flight as comfortable as possible. Fingers crossed that we start flying again as soon as possible.