MELBOURNE > ABU DHABI> LONDON: Travel hacks and truths

Restless doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling right now. It is currently 10:27am Australian time and 4:27am Abu Dhabi time and I have been on this plane since 10pm. To say that I am absolutely DONE is an understatement.

On the bright side, in an hour and 39 minutes we should be landing at our first stop over before we reach London, and I am more than ready to get the hell off of this plane. Really, I shouldn’t complain, I got the window seat which is super roomy, I’ve got a killer playlist going, decent in-flight movies, and I conquered the entire Etihad Airlines Tetris leaderboard. It’s funny what you can get done in 14 hours.

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Oh, did I mention I slept for maybe a total of 20 minutes? Yeah, I’ve gone a little more than 24 hours without sleep, I am so agitated that I am grinding my teeth and my butt is so sore from staying in the one place for so long.

I think one major thing that people forget to mention when they talk about the glamour and splendour of travelling is the ridiculously tedious trip you have before arriving at your destination.

I haven’t travelled in over three years, and I completely forgot about this part. I mean, that’s probably a good thing, right? that the holiday itself stuck in my memory and the discomfort didn’t, but let’s be real, this is not a fun time.

However, I feel that, from my experience, I can pass on some tips to those of you who have yet to travel, or have and still haven’t figured out the best way to go about enjoying the flight.

Firstly, do activities that will keep your mind buzzing. For me, this was playing Tetris and beating the high scores of everyone who has flown with Etihad this week, though it’s good to keep in mind that too much screen time will really strain your eyes, which is what happened to me, so I needed to take an hour or two just to listen to music and shut my eyes.

Secondly. test our your meds before you leave. My friend and I have sleeping tablets with us, but we haven’t taken them yet because we weren’t sure how it would affect us, and we don’t want to risk being drowsy in an unknown international airport when we’ve only got an hour to board our next flight.

Thirdly, when in duty free, make sure that you either buy a bottle of water or bring a bottle with you for the hostess’ to fill on the plane. This has honestly been my saviour this whole time, especially because I’ve taken sinus tablets to make sure my ears don’t hurt and it leaves your throat and nose super dry.

Fourthly, If you know that you have trouble flying, make sure you prepare yourself as much as possible. For me, the only trouble I have on flights is the pressure in my ears, which hurts so much that I could faint. Knowing this, I had a chat with a pharmacist who recommended I take sinus tablets as well as a nasal spray. Thankfully, I have had no discomfort and am super happy that I was prepared.

Some people also get anxious or experience travel sickness, and if you know that there may be a chance that it would happen to you, I 100% recommend talking to your GP or a pharmacist and asking their opinion on what you might be able to take on the flight to ensure you have a comfortable and pain-free trip.

I think that in any trip, the best thing to do is to be prepared for anything, and to make sure that you’re organised well in advanced. That means bags packed, carry on luggage sorted with the essentials, and a game plan. I’m all for spontaneity, but not then it comes to travelling. Make sure you know your luggage restrictions and that all of your liquids and gels are 100ml or less, and can comfortably fit into a clear plastic zip lock type bag.

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For example, in my backpack I packed my laptop, my travel journal, travel wallet, meds, and my little zip lock bag. In the zip lock bag I put my favourite Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm (trust me, lip balm is a must on long flights), hand sanitiser, my LUSH Cosmetics bubblegum lip scrub, Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume, a Proactiv Solutions moisturiser (not my usual moisturiser, but it’s the only one I had under 100ml), as well as toothpaste and a toothbrush. Think about it, if you’re landing at your destination and are meeting up with family or friends, the last thing you want is to feel gross.

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Another super important travel hack that Maddison and I have been trying to do is to avoid jet lag.

We left Melbourne at 10pm, and instead of sleeping after take off, we decided to stay awake as long as possible so that we can sync our bodies to European time. I had a short nap at about 4am, and have been awake since. We are due to land in Abu Dhabi around midday (5am Abu Dhabi time), and then we have another eight or so hour flight to London, which is where we will be catching up on sleep, because we land in the UK at 12:30pm London time. Sounds confusing, but I think this will work.

So, it’s currently 11am Australian time and 5:10am in Abu Dhabi, and we will be landing in about 20 minutes. The view from our little window is gorgeous, and I can’t believe we’ve made it this far already. This trip still feels so surreal, it still hasn’t hit me that In a matter if hours I will be in the city that I’ve dreamed about since I was 6 years old, with one of my best friends, getting ready to explore Europe. Exciting things are ahead, and I’m glad I can share it will all of you.

Much love.

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