15 Tips for Short Haul Flights

Spending most of my childhood regularly bouncing between hemispheres has had two primary lasting effects:
1. I'm really great at travelling
2. I consider anything under 6 hours a short haul flight.

I used to fly from Melbourne to Perth after school on a Friday, Bali was but a blink away and although it does err on the wrong side of 6, I'd still consider London to New York a slightly dramatic hop over the Atlantic. Yes, I understand that this is probably just a Me thing, but the first point is what's important here, and maladjustment aside I am ready to share my wisdom.


1. Obviously dress comfortably.
This is less important for short flights than long ones, but you don't realise the extent to which your comfort revolves around the ability to sit in weird positions until you've worn a skirt or restrictive jeans on a plane. I would also recommend wearing a scarf that can double as a blanket, because the shorter the flight the less likely they are to provide you with one, and shit gets chilly.

2. Eat before you get on board, and bring snacks.
Try and fill up before your flight so you don't end up hangry and restless. Being stuck somewhere without access to appropriate food is my nightmare, I have been known to take instant noodles to people's houses just in case, and there is nowhere that you are more stuck than on a plane. I would suggest eating something substantial like a baguette or a burger or summin of the filling persuasion right before you get on the plane, and having at least one sweet and one savoury snack option on hand. That being said...

3. Don't knock the plane food.
The main part of the meal is usually pretty rankdog millionaire, yes. But there's often some part that's salvageable, and at the very least it comes with bread/cheese and crackers or something on the side. Just pick the least offensive-sounding option and do the best you can.

4. Keep hand luggage to a minimum.
If it doesn't need to go in your hand luggage, chuck it in the suitcase. Less hassle, less to drag around the airport.
If you're travelling with ONLY hand luggage, at least make sure it can shove under the seat if you need it to.

5. Window seat.
This is a tip for all flights, but particularly the shorties. As an absolute connoisseur of the skies, I can tell you with complete assurance that the window seat is by far the best option. Sure, you will need to shuffle past a couple randos when you need to pee, but if it's a short flight that may not even eventuate, and the benefits far outweigh the momentary inconvenience. Window seats give you the most personal space by far. Middle is so shit I'm not even gonna go into it, and aisle is ok but you realistically still have people on either side of you with the added irration of people walking up and down AND having to move any time someone else in your row wants to pee. With a window seat you have 1. No one at all on one side 2. The extra space betweet seat and curved plane wall 3. The plane wall itself to lean/nest against and 4. A frickin window. For the gram. Do what it takes to get a window seat and barricade yourself the heck in.

6. Bring a bottle of water.
Obviously if it's an international flight you'll have to buy one after security, but it's a well substantiated fact that planes are dehydration central, and the bottles they give you on board are tiny. If you feel shitty when you get off flights, chances are it's partially due to the cabin pressure, but largely due to dehydration. So plan ahead, muchachos. 750ml minimum. You are not a hamster.


7. Use your time productively.
Whether you need an excuse to put a few hours of solid work into a project or to be forced into genuinely switching off and relaxing, take advantage of the fact that you have nowhere else to be and get it done.

8. Put your headphones on ASAP to avoid chatty neighbours.
I am not here to make friends. I am here to watch Spongebob Squarepants and try to ignore the fact that I am in a giant canister in the sky.

9. Try and make it homely so you don't feel trapped.
Obvz you can't be bringing your 1D posters and a zesty citrus candle to really seal the ambiance, but there are ways you can make yourself feel a bit more normal. If they've given you a blanket and pillow, use them. Watch a classic fav movie or TV show (I tend to go for Grand Designs but Qantas really needs to update their episode selection) and when they offer you tea or coffee, go nuts. Nothing like chillin' with some peppermint tea and a cosy blanket while you watch some british people try and build houses to make the time fly by.

10. Don't wear makeup if you don't have to.
If it's a really short flight and I'm going somewhere right before or straight afterwards then I'll just go as normal, but generally post-flight your makeup tends to look and feel super jacked anyway, and the plane air is surprisingly not incredible for your skin.

11. Don't feel obligated to bother with in-flight skin care.
Every single beauty guru I've watched has some kind of elaborate onboard cleanse/mask/hydration routine, and while I can somewhat see the merits of that for a 15 hour overnighter (especially if you're in business and can sheet mask in peace), it just seems a bit over the top for a short flight. Do what you want, but don't feel like you have to spa yourself on a flight that can't even facilitate two whole movies. Try not to cake yourself & drink some freakin water.

12. Have non-electronic entertainment options.
Most non-medieval planes have individual TVs, but I've still been on flights where there weren't any or they didn't work (United am lookin @ u) (did not fly United by choice) (would never fly any American airline by choice), and sometimes you just want to rest your eyeballs/earballs for a bit and partake in something a little more calming.

13. Take plenty of insties so people know you're worldly and well-traveled.
Speaks for itself.

14. Make sure yo shit is charged.
Before I fly I always make sure my phone/laptop/iPad/portable charger are all on 100% battery. Don't risk it. Don't be a damn fool.

15. If you need to pee, just frickin do it.
Even if you're a genius like me and have barricaded yourself into a window seat corner of safety and personal space. Doesn't matter if you have to wake up the guy next to you, just do it. I have a bladder of steel but there's something about the cabin pressure or the altitude or the knowledge that you're a bit stuck that makes holdin' it on a plane straight up painful. And in the name of all that is holy do not restrict your water intake so you don't need to pee. Severe dehydration will have you in a whole new world of discomfort, sister frand.

Bonus Tip: Self Check-In Kiosks
If you're using one of the snazzy little self-serve check in screens, ALWAYS go to the "select seat" option and see if there are any seats free with no one sitting next to them yet, or ideally an entire row free. Doesn't matter if you checked online beforehand, I've found the chart is almost always completely different by the time I actually get to the airport. Sometimes they'll fill up by the time you're on the plane, but I've had many, many experiences where taking a cheeky sec to do this has left me with ample room for activities and sleeping.

Happy travels honeybooboo children, make me proud x0


1 comment

  1. I'm going on my first short haul flight on my own soon and these tips are wonderful, thank you for your worldly advice, I am scared shitless.

    Marbl☾☽Moon

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