Ever wondered how cabin crew or Hollywood celebs walk off the aircraft looking immaculately groomed? Us too.
While having a boarding pass that reads Business Class or First Class can help, you can still tackle long-haul travel like a pro in economy and touchdown feeling paparazzi ready.
Although we have a few tricks of our own, we asked our Facebook community to share their long-haul flight routine.
Now armed with your passport, ticket and these tips, you’ll be ready to walk through the Arrivals Hall of your destination fresher than a cool mint.
Get up your step count before you board
Life is about balance, so keep active prior to your anticipated time spent stationary.
While the aircraft aisles are perfect for stretching the legs at 40,000 feet, there will be times when you’ll be confined to the 45cm by 76cm dimensions of your economy seat.
Before you board, stroll through Lotte Duty Free and grab any last-minute hydrating products or noise-cancelling headphones (you might find this post helpful) or step it out along the terminal concourse past all the gates.
Have kids in tow? Why not test their geography and airport code knowledge with the departures board as they run around the village green. For other pre-flight tantrum busting tips, we've got you covered over on this post.
Stock up on snacks
“I don’t get hungry on a long-haul flight,” said no BNE traveller ever.
Travel like a pro and take control of your snacks, because there’s nothing worse than a bout of hangry in the air to leave you feeling frazzled on landing.
Why not follow the same snack routine you would at home, like BNE traveller Kameron Kong, who prefers to
“Take some nice food or snacks from home to enjoy with the movie.”
If you believe less is more when it comes to navigating security, stop by the Australian Produce Store in the Departures Lounge and purchase snacks for your flight, following this guide.
While a hot meal is (usually) included in your airline ticket, that doesn’t mean you have to consume it.
Prefer a meal cooked on stovetop rather than reheated in a microwave? Grab a pre-flight meal at one of our restaurants.
Pack a refillable water bottle
There’s no denying long hours spent in an aircraft (aka aluminium tube) will leave you feeling parched.
While cabin crew do their best to bring around cups of water throughout the flight, take the lead of BNE traveller Jan Elizabeth who suggests
"Taking your own water bottle.”
The BNE terminal has a number of filtered water fountains, so you can refill your bottle after passing through security and prior to boarding.
A word of advice, if you board with your water bottle empty, wait until after take-off to ask the crew to refill it.
Check your caffeine requirements
If you’re the type of traveller whose eyelids start to close the moment you sit in an aircraft seat, you might need to add a caffeine hit to your travel routine. If you do, we suggest matching your caffeine requirements with your departure time.
Travelling in the morning, stop by one of these cafes to keep you going throughout the flight.
Have an evening departure? Perhaps swap a coffee for a camomile tea – if you plan on catching some zzz’s after you board.
Which leads us onto our next point.
Choose an evening departure time
Your travel time can greatly affect your travel routine, especially if you’re travelling with young ones.
This is what BNE traveller Maxene Zaichenko suggests
“Night flights are good as they are used to sleeping then.”
If you’re travelling to Europe with Emirates, you’ll have the luxury of multiple flight times each day via Dubai, which will make a later flight time a possibility.
Why not choose an airline that offers a free overnight stay for a guaranteed flat bed and shower along the way.
Wear comfortable clothing
Unless you’re a Kardashian, leave the stilettoes at home.
Follow the lead of BNE traveller Maryann Bryant, who chooses to
“Wear comfortable clothes – a light sweater or jumper, not only to be comfortable, but you can also roll this up as a pillow or behind your back.”
BNE traveller Valerie Ann Tester, chooses to wear
“Loose pants, a thin top and light jacket.”
While BNE traveller Bob Dunn suggests
“Wear slippers for comfort.”
Change into compression stockings
We’ve all been there – the dreaded cankles on landing.
Take advice from BNE traveller David J. Logan, who admits to
“Wearing pressure stockings [to] prevent feet swelling.”
While you can buy hospital-grade stockings, there’s several sporting brands that sell compression leggings that don’t make you look like a hospital outpatient – think 2XU and Lorna Jane.
Take spare clothing to change into
Two flights = two sets of clothes.
BNE traveller Stephanie Anne chooses a “pay-as-you-go lounge pass” when travelling economy with a
“Change of clothes for on the plane and slippers.”
Otherwise, save your change of clothes for transit to board your next flight like a new person.
Get in the right time zone
There’s nothing worse than clock watching from the moment you’ve departed BNE.
We think BNE traveller Michael Kolmet is onto something, who
“After take-off and settled in sets watch to destination time. No point lingering in BNE daily cycle.”
Would you leave the house without brushing your hair, putting on deodorant or brushing your teeth? Follow the same routine prior to stepping off the aircraft.
That’s how BNE traveller Michelle Ward Marsden thinks, recommending passengers
“Take a hairbrush and toothbrush to freshen up in the morning.”
Unless you’re flying at the pointy end of the plane, make sure you pack your own inflight amenities – toothbrush, eye mask, ear plugs, and deodorant.
Take a travel pillow
Would you have a good rest if you slept without a pillow at home? The same applies when you’re enjoying aeroplane travel.
BNE travellers Narelle Guy Cordiner and Stephanie Anne both have a “neck pillow” on their list of travel essentials, while BNE traveller Kelly Gray Thompson always ensures she has a “pillow and blanket.”
We don’t suggest bringing your feather-down doona from home, but a light, packable blanket will do the trick in case the one provided isn’t warm enough.
Carry a pen
Nothing says “pro” more than a traveller with a pen in their carry-on luggage to complete customs forms in-flight.
Ask any flight attendant and they’ll tell it’s one of their biggest bug bears when travellers ask for a pen to complete arrival forms.
BNE traveller Maryann Bryant agrees
“A working pen to fill out the country entry cards” is a must.
Make your luggage standout
If you’ve managed to navigate the long hours in the air like a pro, you’ll want to finish like a pro too – that means collecting your luggage at your destination.
The last thing you need is to be standing at the baggage carousel for longer than you need to be, trying to find your luggage in a sea of black suitcases.
If you already own a black suitcase, there’s no need to hit the shops for something wildly coloured. Just follow the lead of BNE traveller Sussan M M Thomasobrien,
“It’s a great idea to attach some bright coloured padlocks.”
Perhaps DIY-decorate your luggage like BNE traveller Robyn Dennent,
“I put a gold stencil on my bag. Never anything like it.”
While BNE traveller Toni O’Grady prefers to take inspiration for their luggage,
“We are Disney and Marvel people, and so is our luggage.”
Do you have any long-haul travel tips to share? Leave a comment on Facebook.