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Counting down to your holiday


Flying long haul - really, it should be all about the destination, travelling to a distant country and enjoying new experiences. But in the lead up, it’s easy to focus on the interminable flight that will see you sat in a metal tube, 30,000 ft in the air with a load of strangers.

The best advice we can give you is to view your long haul flight as a chance to relax, catch up on the book you’ve been meaning to read, indulge in a gripping box set and enjoy the fact that every few hours, a fresh meal is put in front of you to enjoy. Treat it like a duvet day.

And bear in mind, that at the end, you’ll be at your destination and have the whole of your holiday to enjoy.

To get into the right frame of mind, of course, requires preparation. You need to get to the airport knowing that every base has been covered. So in order for you to actually enjoy the lead up to a long haul flight, take a look at our step-by-step guide to counting down the days to your holiday, the right way.


Seven Days Before

  • Visit your hairstylist – a new hairdo can get you into the mood for a holiday.
  • Pop into the salon for a mani pedi – a little mini makeover is a perfect pre-trip treat.
  • Ask friends or family to look after the house in your absence. This might mean watering the plants, feeding the fish, checking up on doors and windows etc.
  • Any pets should either be left in the care of someone you know, or booked into kennels.
  • Laundry – no-one wants to come home to a pile of laundry from before you went away. So at this point, you should be washing and drying every piece of clothing you have and especially the ones you want to take with you.
  • Write a checklist of everything you’ll need day-by-day.
  • Book your travel insurance.
  • Sort out your currency exchange and any travel cards you’re bringing with you.
  • Let your bank know you’ll be going away so they are not alerted to any unusual activity on your card.
  • See what deals you can get with your mobile phone network if you need to use your phone abroad.

Three Days Before

  • ‘Trick out’ your iPad. In the rare occurrence of the inflight entertainment failing, you need to be able to rely on your tablet, phone and/or computer. Bear in mind, there’s a fine line in being OK on a long haul flight and descending into a mind-numbing type of madness. When you’re on a 13-hour flight you need distraction. Get two or three bucket-list films downloaded, at least one box set, two books (fiction and non-fiction) and some tunes to keep your mind occupied.
  • Draw up a timetable of your day of travel, from waking up times to the time you should leave to get to the airport.
  • Pack your hand luggage – and remember all the essentials, a little first aid kit, tissues, wet wipes, snacks, neck cushion, ear plugs, eye mask, elastic socks, a cashmere or wool shawl for a blanket, earphones and chargers.
  • Take an afternoon off to iron your laundry and set aside everything you need on holiday.
  • Book your place in the airport’s executive lounge. Long haul flights can require a lot of waiting around before your flight, and booking yourself into the airport lounge is a wonderful way to kick off your holiday. Complimentary food and drink, WiFi, television, newspapers, magazines and lovely, comfortable armchairs are waiting for you!
  • Pack!

Day of Holiday

  • You will have gone to bed with your travelling outfit laid out and your bags by the door. The only thing that should be left out is your toiletries bag which gets packed away when you’ve finished with it.
  • Water the plants, have breakfast and call a cab. You should be safe in the knowledge that everything has been organised for you to go away for a few weeks.
  • Arrive at the airport in good time.
  • Get through security, head to your airport executive lounge – and relax!
  • Security

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