Thursday 18 April 2019


Today is a special day for your girl. I will be flying to Manila via Singapore later. As I pack my stuff and presents for my loved ones, I got inspired to write the things I'll tell my friends about surviving enjoying long haul flights. You read the title right, 17 hours plus 7 hours time difference if you'll factor that in... so 24 hours overall, that's my flight time. When I was in my 20's, I had a different view on flying, I loved it. It got me excited. Now that I'm in my 30's and if I'll be brutally honest, the whole airport thing puts me off. I don't hate it, but I don't like it as much. If there's a choice between a train (say, Eurostar if I'm going to Paris) or a plane, I'd choose the former any day. Having said that, there are joys of getting out of your comfort zone, a welcome break if you like,  especially for a routine loving creature like myself.

I'm not saying that you should fly first class because I get it, it's just a flight from point A to B. But your comfort should be a priority, within reason. I decided to pay for an extra fee to get a guaranteed seat rather than to stress whether I'll be miserable for next 13 hours of my life (that's my flight from London Heathrow to Singapore Changi). Likewise, I didn't reserve a seat for the second leg of my trip (Singapore to Manila) because I don't see the point of paying another fee for a 3 hour flight. Also, since I have a humongous luggage (not the one on the picture, that's just my hand carry, if you're wondering) I can't stand the thought of dragging this to Piccadilly line tube, so I booked a one way cab from my flat to LHR.

Whether it's a pen and paper or a Google Keep (I recommend it!), please make a list of all the things you need. If you can, start the list at least a month before your flight day. This way, you still have a chance to add or remove stuff as you go along. I'll be attending one of my best friends' wedding, meeting my friends and family, going to the beach and so much more so I made a presents list, things to bring and update my calendar so my schedule won't get muddled up. Planning also means buying your ticket as early as possible. I bought my ticket seven months before my trip and I saved a lot by doing so.

Here are my hand carry essentials: spare shirts, comfortable leggings, undies, cosy socks, slippers (in case I need to go to the loo). Moisturiser, 800 ml water bottle (top tip: make sure it is empty when you are checking in to the security then refill it after or ask the flight attendant to refill it for you), facial oil (because airplanes can suck the life out of your skin), iPad (with downloaded Netflix movies and Readly magazines). I subscribed to Readly app for £0.99 and put a reminder to my calendar to cancel my subscription one month after. Nuts and oranges for snacks, pen and paper.

Try to do some form of exercises before your flight day. I ran two days before and attended a yoga class last night. Since I've completed listing my things to bring days prior, it's likely that I won't forget anything and it's just me ticking off the list. Tip: Clear a specific area, like a table, and put all the things that you wish to pack there. This way, you know that all these (on the table) should be inside your luggage after. I made a mistake of mixing my everyday stuff and my things to pack, I ended up not packing the stuff I intended to bring!

If you can, work from home. Also, get to the airport as early as possible (this depends on you, really). However, for me, I always err on the side of being early. The worst thing that will happen is I'll sit around or window shop in the airport while waiting, which is not a horrible thing. The other possibility is rushing from gates to gates because I'll miss my flight - I've been there and it is NOT fun at all! Try to eat (or drink) greens as well. I had a spinach and berry shake earlier. It's always a good thing.

I know long haul flights is not the best but as with all things, it has a beauty in it. I remember one of my heart felt journal entries was when I flew from Manila to Amsterdam going to Prague. It was my first flight to Europe and I can read my soul on that entry from start to finish. I usually list down the stuff I want to do in my destination, food to eat, my gratitude list and so on. This time, I'll be writing my speech for Maya's wedding so that's going to be the first order of the flight day.

I hope you've learned a thing or two from this post. See you on the other side! -CMK

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