Australia is a beautiful country. With perfect weather, great beaches, beautiful cities, delicious food from all over the world and friendly people. The problem?…it is far away from every country in the world!
Flying from North America to Australia (Sydney) will take around 14 hours in a direct flight. Flying From Chile/Argentina to Australia will take around 15 hours (with a stopover in New Zealand). Flying from Europe (ie. London or paris) will take around 22 hours. YES 22 hours! 11-12 hours from anywhere in Europe to Singapore or Thailand (Bangkok) and then a further 8-9 hours to Australia.
When taking a long flight to Australia, some options are considered: “should I pay $100 extra to change an exit row?”, “Should I upgrade to premium economy?”, “Should I go to the pharmacy and get the strongest sleeping pill on the market?” First of all you should avoid as much as possible all sleeping medication because you are supposed to move every couple of hours to keep your circulation flowing.
I consider myself a frequent flyer therefore I have some tricks under my sleeve on how to survive a long flight:
- Try to book an aisle seat. If you can’t book it, arrive early so that you make sure you get one. By being in the aisle are free to stand up whenever you want without bothering anybody. Some people prefer to take the window so that they can sleep without being bothered but, to be honest the majority of the people get up 2-3 times during long flights and only when they notice you stood up as well. If on the plane you discover a better seat, don’t wait until the plane takes off. When they are closing the doors (meaning no one else will be boarding) go to the empty seat of your choice. Don’t wait until the seat-belt sign goes on.
- Take ear plugs. 90% of the time you will have to fly with kids. It’s better to block all the noise out so that you can focus on your reading or your sleep.
- Take a warm jumper or hoodie (even if you are flying to Australia to enjoy a nice warm summer vacation). Airplanes pump up their air conditioning and it tends to be quite chilly during flights.
- Buy gum before boarding the plane. Chewing gum helps pop your ears from the changes in altitudes.
- Take a book. Yes, most international flights have good movie selections, but how many movies can you watch in a row? I personally watch two or three in a row and then need to do something else. Take the book just in case. You will be glad to have the option at hand.
- Take good headphones. Many headphones bring the extra adaptor that you can plug-in into the plane seat. If they are noise cancelling EVEN BETTER!
- Drink water, and more water and MORE WATER….the more hydrated you are the better. Try to avoid as much as possible alcoholic or drinks with caffeine.
- If you are flying from Europe to Australia, It is very likely you will have to stop-over somewhere in Asia for 1.5-2 hours. Many airline lounges give you access for around $20 dollars. This will be the best money you spend. You will be able to have something to eat, have a shower, check your email or/and seat on a comfortable sofa.
- If you are travelling from America to Australia you will lose an entire day due to the time change. If you are travelling from Europe to Australia you will most likely arrive before your departed (again, due to the time change). So, try to sleep the least you can two days prior to your trip. When the flight day arrives you will be so tired that it is very likely you will fall asleep during the long journey. This will help you pass the time MUCH faster. Also, calculate the time at your destination city and try to fall asleep when it’s night time there. This is normally 4-5 hours after your flight departed.
- Try to chat to your neighbours. It is very likely they are pleasant, interesting people. If you think the conversation is not going well just put your headphones on….but at least you tried.
Finally: TRY NOT TO CHECK YOUR WATCH!
Most international flights (like Qantas) offer a goodie bag with a pillow, blanket, socks, toothbrush and eye mask. Most airlines will provide similar things during the flight thus it is not necessary to purchase any of these items.
So…. relax, enjoy the flight as much as possible and think of all the fantastic experiences and fun you will have when you arrive to Australia!….believe me, it’s not as bad as it sounds and time will pass surprisingly fast.