|Glamour at all times, people|
Before I got there, there was just the matter of the 14 hour plane journey to get out of the way. Even the taxi driver winced sympathetically as I merrily chirped out the flight time to him. “Very far madam,” he proclaimed. “Too much far,” I agreed.
But here’s the thing: when you love to travel as much as I do, I am so giddy to get to my destination that even 14 hours does not faze me. In fact I’m annoyingly happy boarding, during, and when disembarking. And living in Dubai means that I am always the giddiest of the giddy to get back home. I fair skipped down the stairs as we skidded to a halt on Dubai tarmac. And in shock news: this time, I slept! On the plane! Me, who struggles to sleep in a bed!
It's only fair that I spread my joy to you lovely readers, so here are my top tips for surviving long-haul flights around the world:
Fly Emirates Whenever Possible
I’ve travelled on cheap airlines and premium – including Singapore Airlines, which has been awarded best airline. It’s categorically not in my opinion. Once you’ve flown Emirates you’re completely spoiled by the staff, the food, the comfort, the generous wine pouring, the entertainment. And no, I don’t work for them!
Order a ‘Special’ Meal
Any meal will do – veggie, low sodium – my personal favourite is low calorie as it’s usually a piece of chicken and ruit for desert. Why do I do this? Simple: your meal emerges first. No waiting for the trolley to come round, no rubbish meal options. You get to trough your food AT LEAST twenty mins before everyone else. Which means that when the hoi polloi are stuck in their seats with their trays, you can nip to the bathroom, brush your teeth, and get settled down for a snooze. Which brings me onto….
Invest in a Fleecy Snoozer
What is this, I hear you cry?! Basically, get involved in an inflatable pillow. I discovered this joy last year, and cannot believe I’ve waited 21 years (ahem) without using one when I travel. Yes, you look like a complete idiot whilst wearing it, but who cares when you’ve drifted gently off into the land of nod?! Which brings me onto….
Invest in a Sleep Mask AND Ear Plugs
This is a usual situation for me even when in a bed, and I cannot stress enough the effect that ear plugs have on helping me to sleep. Newsflash: planes are LOUD! Until you’ve popped an ear plug in, you don’t realize just how loud.
Always Ask for Two
This is where wine is concerned. Ignore the judgmental stares of the people sat near to you and gently and kindly whisper to the stewardess “Could I possibly have two white wines? Saves you time coming back to me later.” They always oblige, without question and with a smile. Everyone wins.
Visit the Pharmacy Prior to Travel (For Dubai dwellers only)
Dubai never ceases to amaze me when it comes to pharmacies. Most drugs that are prescription only in the UK are OTC here. And when you ask for travel sickness tablets, they give you these. Not only do they stop you feeling sick, they also send you STRAIGHT off to sleep when combined with a vino. It is a tricky balancing act – if you have them too early before getting on the plane you may not make it to your seat. Take them too late after you board and you have to wait to drop off. But drop off you do.
So there you have it. Follow these tips and you are guaranteed a joyful flight. Obviously this applies to economy. If you’re in business then all of the above applies bar ordering the special meal – Emirates Business food is DELISH and a la carte. These tips also assume you are not travelling with children. If you are then you may wish to go heavier on the wine (you) and heavier on the sleeping tablets (them).