16 tips for maxing and relaxing during your long-haul trip

2016-07-11 19:00
Post a comment 0

The December holidays are slowly creeping up on us (phew), and its time to start planning your annual family break.

Apart from booking your flights, choosing your accommodation, and planning your activities, it’s important to keep a focus on your family’s health before, during and after your flights.

SEE: SA's visa rules in review: 5 key developments to keep an eye on

Here are 16 handy long-haul flight pointers to ensure your happy travel memories aren’t tainted by any health woes.

Before your flight

1. If you require special assistance for elderly, child and infant passengers, let your airline know in advance. Some airlines offer ‘meet and assist’ services to its passengers. 
2. Book appointments for any vaccinations required for your destination, giving enough time for them to take effect. 
3. Find out if your airline charges extra for a car seat or pram as part of your luggage. Perhaps you’ll rather book one with the car hire company.
4. Allergies or dietary requirements? Find out what special meals your airline offers and book them in advance.
5. Pack formula and sterile water for your baby. Store all baby food and liquids in a clear, resealable plastic bag to be presented separately from hand baggage at the security check-in.
6. Flying long-haul with small children? Try to book flights that will fit their night-time sleep routine. Your fellow passengers will thank you for the quieter flight.
7. Travelling east? Get the family to bed a little earlier each night for a few days, to prepare for the change in time zones. 

SEE: In-flight groping of teen raises unaccompanied-minor travel fears

SEE: Top Five airline meals

Airport time! 

8. No last-minute packing! Pack your main bag at least 24 hours in advance, giving you the time to shop for any last-minute requirements. 
9. Remember to pack a pacifier for your infant or toddler. This will help them equalize their ears, avoiding ear-pain that often occurs during these parts of the flight. 
10. Dress in layers! Airports may be well air-conditioned, but aircraft cabins can get chilly. 
11. Dress children in brightly coloured clothes, to spot them easily in a crowd. Write your telephone number on their arm. Good idea to have international roaming enabled on your phone…
12. A long-haul flight means loads of sitting. Walk around the airport, browse the duty-free shops, and keep as active as you can before boarding. Let the kids burn off some of their energy ahead of the flight.

SEE: 10 hacks to make travelling the world easier

All aboard!

13. Stay hydrated! Drink lots of water during the flight, and don’t let the onboard alcohol temp you too much.
14. Apply moisturising lotion and lip balm to counteract the effects of the air-conditioned cabin. 
15. Avoid deep-vein thrombosis (blood clots in your leg veins) by bending and straightening your legs every half hour, and pressing the balls of your feet down hard against the floor. If the seatbelt lights are off, take hourly strolls up and down the aisle. 
16. Catch some Zzzz's! Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks that may keep you awake. Avoid overeating, as that overly full feeling could make you too uncomfortable to sleep. 

(Source: Cathay Pacific)

What to read next on Traveller24:

Luxury Travel: Which tribe do you belong to?

Weekend Review: 5 stories you might have missed

From lovely leopards to tempting lunches: our best this week