Staying healthy on a long haul flight

How to stay healthy on a long haul flight

How not to feel bleugh after getting off an overnight flight

I love flying and airports, usually opting to get there with at least 2 and a half hours to spare. Tom (who is a pilot) is making me into even more of an aviation geek. I was so excited when I heard that I would be flying on the upper deck of the A380 out to Malaysia- and for once I would be allowed the window seat!

Tom also completely geeked out over it and made me call him as soon as I had boarded the plane to tell him all about it. There are a few economy seats upstairs plus a huge business class section although you board from a different entrance meaning you sadly don’t get to walk up the stairs on the plane (am I the only one who was sad about this?) For those of you without aviation geek boyfriends you can find out more about the A380 here.

Malaysia Airlines were kind enough to put me up in Business class for my overnight flights so that I could maximise my sleep and make the most of my short time in Kuala Lumpur. I actually always sleep really well on flights, and have mastered the art of enjoying my flights to the max, so I thought I’d share a few tips.

malaysia airlines

Choose your seat wisely. There’s a great website called Seat Guru with reviews of each seat in each type of plane, look at this before you check in online. If you aren’t paying for extra legroom (or flying business) then it’s worth going online right as check in opens to get the best selection. I want to be near to a loo, but not next to it, and if I can get the extra legroom for free then I’ll definitely opt for that.

Malaysia Airlines

What to pack

· Comfy clothes (I usually wear leggings, a yoga bra, t-shirt and long jumper, plus scarf)

· Slip on shoes (so that you can easily put them on for bathroom trips)

· Socks

· Eye mask

· Ear plugs

· Snacks

· Headphones

· Something to read

· Facewipes

· Toothbrush & toothpaste

Stay hydrated- I always pick up the biggest bottle of water before getting onto the plane, and then ask for it to be refilled throughout the flight or for more bottles. Even the budget airlines should be able to refill for free! Avoid too many caffeinated drinks and alcohol.

Sleeping pills can be a lifesaver. I used them to knock myself out for pretty much the entire flight to New Zealand a few years ago. I use Nightol or herbal Nightol and they work like a charm.

flying with malaysia airlines

Wear compression socks and walk around when you can to keep the blood flowing around the body. If you can, raise your legs onto the side of the plane or wall infront!

Bring healthy snacks with you, plane food can be pretty dodgy plus it’s often not served at the right time for your body clock. Having snacks like fruit, cereal bars, nut butter (careful there isn’t anyone allergic onboard) will ensure you don’t go hungry. I know a lot of people suffer with bloating or feeling gassy on planes- if that’s you then avoid dried fruit or anything fermented.

I’d also really recommend joining a Frequent flyers membership with your favourite airline or group. You’ll earn points each time you fly which you can use to get a discount on future flights or get points through your Avios. You can even earn extra Avios when using certain credit cards and booking hotels. Malaysia Airlines is part of One World which meant I earned points from this trip- they’ve got a great Enrich programme that’s worth checking out. You never know when your membership could get you an upgrade (this has happened to me on a flight before!!)

I slept for a solid 7 hours on each of my flights with Malaysia Airlines and although I suffered with some pretty bad jetlag that first night, being thoroughly rested from a decent night’s sleep ensured that I fully enjoyed my action packed day in KL.

What are your thoughts on flying? Any tips to share?

 Malaysia Airlines is the only carrier to offer a twice daily non-stop A380 full service link between the UK and Malaysia. UK passengers can also take advantage of frequent onward connections to destinations across Malaysia, Asia and Australasia. To book visit www.malaysiaairlines.com or call +44 (0) 871 4239 090

27 Comments

    • charlotte
      22nd July 2015 / 5:44 pm

      I know, it was ridiculously comfy, plus we got a duvet!

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:37 am

      I know, right!!

  1. 22nd July 2015 / 8:46 am

    Some great tips here (and wow, those seats!!!). I recently took someone’s advice and packed my pyjamas for an overnight longhaul flight (even in economy). I changed after takeoff so I was super comfy for the flight, and changed back when the lights went up for breakfast. I might not have got much sleep (will try sleeping pills next time I think) but I felt relaxed and comfortable and at least like I’d had a night time.

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:37 am

      I haven’t tried all out PJs before but definitely leggings and a top, plus yoga bra!

  2. 22nd July 2015 / 11:07 am

    Id never stop traveling if I had those seats!!
    And compression socks. Always compression socks 🙂

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:36 am

      Haha I wish it was a luxury I could have all the time, it definitely made a difference to arrive feeling rested and relaxed in KL!

  3. 22nd July 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Great tips. I bring a big scarf/shawl that can be unfolded into a blanket or rolled into a pillow. And I try to jump up as soon as I hear the crew starting breakfast service so I can hit the bathroom before everyone else does. Oh, and I bring Starbucks Via packets to add to the airplane coffee. 😉

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:36 am

      Haha that is a great plan re-the bathrooms. Hadn’t thought to bring extra coffee, but great plan! Malaysia Airlines actually had great coffee and fruit platters!

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:34 am

      Great idea!

  4. 22nd July 2015 / 3:37 pm

    I use melatonin just like Cassie above me. Also that Seat Guru is a great tip-I’ve never heard of it. I use slip on shoes, compression socks, and snacks too. I also usually end up wearing leggings and a big scarf & hoody so I’m warm and cozy.

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:34 am

      Oh I haven’t tried Melatonin before, will have to give it a try. Seat Guru is amazing!

  5. 22nd July 2015 / 4:26 pm

    These are great recommendations! I’m so jealous you can sleep on planes! Is that a learned skill or just natural for you?

    • charlotte
      22nd July 2015 / 5:44 pm

      I’ve always been able to sleep pretty much anywhere, especially cars/coaches etc. Plus sleeping pills knock me out! 🙂

  6. 22nd July 2015 / 4:31 pm

    These are really great tips.. We are going to Italy in a few months and I’ve never been on a plane for that long. I’m going to look into compression socks, and definitely loading up on Melatonin!

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:33 am

      Just take plenty of snacks! It’s the worst feeling hungry and have no options other than the plane food. Compression socks are great for long flights, but make sure to walk around too. I’ve even seen someone do yoga on a plane!

  7. Dapinder
    22nd July 2015 / 7:04 pm

    You’ve got great tips!! Thanks for sharing – I really need to keep this in mind as I fly over to England in the fall. 🙂

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:32 am

      NO worries, let me know if you need any advice for your trip! Is it business or pleasure?

  8. 22nd July 2015 / 9:47 pm

    I love all of these tips!! Especially seat guru… I had never heard of that before, but with my husband being 6’3″ I will definitely be using this more often. Thanks, girl!

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:31 am

      No worries, I use it all the time. It’s particularly helpful for picking the best seat in economy/coach!

  9. 22nd July 2015 / 11:33 pm

    I’ve never thought of asking them to refill my water bottle!

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2015 / 10:32 am

      I always do, they probably hate me!

  10. 28th July 2015 / 3:50 pm

    very envious of your top level seats! great tips.

    i’ve asked them to refill my water bottle, sometimes they are charmed by it b/c they think it means i won’t be asking for more water via little cups throughout the flight.

  11. 30th July 2015 / 9:24 pm

    Brilliant tips – I tend to do a lot of the same things. And lucky you with those fab seats!
    I like to wear loose trousers with compression socks or sleeves underneath and take noise reducing earphones on board too. Snacks are important as I get hungry on flights and you never know what the food will be like/when it will be served. I also make sure I have something to stop my skin drying out – Nivea, Vaseline, 8 Hour cream, etc and some hand sanitizer just in case.

    • charlotte
      2nd August 2015 / 8:53 pm

      Definitely hand sanitiser! They had them a bottle in the little wash bag on Malaysia Airlines!