Getting through long haul flights

Long haul flights can be an absolute nightmare for even the most experienced of travellers. Over eight hours trapped in a circular tube, sat near some people who you don’t even know and you are not sure have even bothered to wash their underarms this week.

Here at HopAround we want to help, and while we can’t wash or bathe your co flyer, we can try to give you a few tips on how to get through those long and never ending flights, and the solution is easier and closer to you than you think.

So say you want to head to Peru, from Europe – It’s only a matter of 9487 Kilometers of flying, in other words over 12 hours. What to do, what to do….


Its all about your hand luggage

At this stage your hand luggage is your secret tool, and it can be a multi tool, especially if used correctly. But what do you pack in such a small bag? Well, almost everything, so listen up…

Earplugs– do not fly without these tiny magical devices. There is a good chance the smelly person next to you snores selfishly and sounds like he is absorbing the world through his nostrils. Pop one of those bad boys in your ears and happy days. These are cheap and lightweight, so don’t be afraid to stock up, you can never have enough and will also use them in your noisy hostel or camp site.

Books – If like me you have the attention span of a 2 year old, you need to keep entertained. Take a book, but not one you are not sure of. Take a book which you know you will love because there is nothing worse than having to lug a book you will not even read around during all your trip. I love to take comedies, and Bill Bryson is my man for this. Magazines also make the cut here, but you will run out of entertainment soon as many are crammed with adverts and images. Ensure your book is a soft paperback cover, yes it might get squashed and folded, but who cares – it is just a book. Hardbound covers take up more room and are also heavier to carry on your back.

I love the idea of less is more, so if you can download an ebook and chuck it on your tablet, iPad or kindle – even better because you can then have as much reading material as you like, taking zero space in the bag. This device might also help you get your music sorted for the trip and if you use Spotify Premium you do not even have to worry about creating your own playlists!

If mobile games are your thing – pre download games you can play in offline mode and watch the minutes roll by while you break your own high score over and over again!


Foldable pillow – a life saver! I use my long haul flights to catch up on some rather uncomfortable but effective sleep, so be sure to pack one of these for added comfort. At times I have even squeezed in a little towel which can act as a blanket – as embarrassingly my mouth gapes wide open and to prevent me looking like a whale about to have his dinner, I literally cover my face with my towel. Embarrassment saved and comfort reached so Snooze away!


Flip Flops – these little handy tools are not only super lightweight and comfy, but they help you breeze through those long and annoying security checks without having to take off your shoes! Another advantage is that your feet will not swell up during the flight and won’t smell. So swap your boots and socks for flip flops and you will really begin to feel relaxed, nothing is worse than sleeping with shoes, so this tip will even help you sleep!



These 4 items, will not take up much room, but also do not forget to pack some food. The less sugar in you the better for the long haul, so try some healthy snacks which pack a punch. You might not like the on flight meal, or it might not be enough, so cram in some crisps and bread – you cannot go wrong here!

All of these tips sound simple enough, but can often be ignored. So just remember EBPFF

Your Books, Flip Flips and Food can be your BFF but do not forget your PE, Pillow & Earplugs!


Next week, to help you with more long haul flying I’ll be giving you some pro tips for getting over that annoying jet lag, so until then here is a teaser of what’s to come:


Now another enemy of the long haul, besides boredom and smelly passengers is the infamous jet lag. Some get it, some don’t but let’s try avoid it all the same.

How many of us head straight for the coffee first thing at the airport? Well, swap that brown cup of deliciousness for one simple thing: water. Hydrate as much as possible, even if it means using the restrooms every 10 minutes (that’s a great way to keep your legs stretching too) Also avoid those sugary coke’s and drinks in general, because these just do not help jet lag.

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