Whether you’re flying first class to Florida or you’ve bagged a bargain break to Bangkok, you can’t escape the 10-hour flight to get to your chosen location. Make sure you match your luxury break with comfort and style on board with these top tips:
Plan ahead. Many airlines allow you to choose your seat around 90 days before your flight. If you want to swot up on the best place to sit for complete comfort, try websites such as SeatGuru and SeatExpert, which both provide detailed plane maps and seating advice. My personal tip? Choose somewhere in the middle. I was caught out on the way back from Cuba recently when I sat at the rear; food was served from front to back, so I was left with a rather meagre choice of jacket potato or mac and cheese for dinner. I always try and nab a window seat as well. That way, only I dictate when I have to get up.
Long- or short-haul, everyone appreciates the need for in-flight entertainment. In any circumstance, an e-book reader or a tablet really are your best friends. Lighter and thinner than their counterparts, they’re a great way to cram hours of entertainment into your modestly sized hand luggage. However, don’t rest on your laurels just because you’ve booked a Virgin flight with their comprehensive system, Vera. It’s all very well lining up seven blockbusters to watch, but if all you have at your disposal are the headphones handed out by the airline, you’re going to have a frustrating few hours. Instead, fork out for something that fits comfortably and cancels out the sound of the engine (or crying children).
Clothing is also an important one. Layers, of course, are a must for ultimate comfort and to deal with changes in temperature. It’s also a good idea to keep jewellery and buckles to a minimum, saving time at security. Once on the flight, ditch the airline’s complimentary but flimsy amenity kits in favour of your own thick socks, Mack’s earplugs and a moulded eye mask -- M&S do a good quality one for £4, or step it up a notch with a little lavender-filled executive number by Otis Batterbee for £45. Bear in mind that some airlines only give out goodies on overnight flights, so if you fancy some downtime during the day, it’s definitely worth making an investment.
Finally, beat the stress of the baggage carousel at the other end with a brightly coloured luggage tag or strap. Once the endless waves of black suitcases start to appear, something that immediately identifies your property will save a lot of rummaging and dashed hopes, while leaving plenty of time for the beach.