Chapter 2: The flights [New Zealand Series 17/18]

There’s a reason why I’m specifically writing about the looong flights from London to New Zealand and back….

It was tough, it was funny and it hurt!

Let me start by saying it took me a good 5 months to book my flights and realise I was not going to get any reasonable flights for less than £1100 return (New Zealand is the furthest away country you can possibly go to from London, so that might be why…).

I was working all day before the evening of my flight to NZ and was going back to work on the same day that I arrived back in the UK (we do not speak about what a bad life decision this was…), so I needed my flights not to be 40hours long.

In the end, I booked my flights with Qantas (who were absolutely amazing btw), and both journeys were around 29hours. That’s still a long time.

On the way there, I did London > Dubai (1hr / 2hours) > Sydney (4hours) > Auckland, and on the way back I did Christchurch > Melbourne (2hours) > Dubai (2hours) > London

On the way to Auckland I took picture every time I got into a new plane. I think we can all see the difference. Long flights really do take a massive toll on your body.


I also realised that everything I’ve read about long flights was true and I’m super happy I followed people’s advice about it.

I could’t really sleep from London to Dubai, which in a way was not totally bad since it meant I slept 80% of the time on the flight from Dubai to Sydney. Although, as soon as I got to Sydney I was an absolute mess… I felt like I hadn’t eaten anything nutricional in years, I was already jet lagged and felt disgusting. I ended up using those 4 hours to shower (in baby wipes) at the airport, get myself the most nutricional and hydrating smoothie I could get and….relax (only Aussies to actually type in ‘relax’ on the screen =p)

On the way back to London it was still tough but for different reasons.

I flew from Christchurch at around 8pm on a Monday and arrived back in London on Tuesday around 1pm. The jet lag was not nearly as bad as it was on the way there, so that was good news.

However…. I did cry my eyes out (not pretty crying…ugly crying! including snot and everything) during the entire flight from Christchurch to Melbourne (yep…the whole 4hours). In part because I’d just had my tattoo done at 12pm that same day (we also do not speak about what a bad idea this was), but also in part because I couldn’t actually stop myself from being devastated because I was leaving. New Zealand does that to you. You just don’t want to leave.


So…here goes some practical advice for when you take a long flight…

  • Pillow…. I chose my seats near the window and as soon as I got into the plane I noticed that every single passenger was given a pillow anyway, so I’m glad I didn’t take one (but it may be useful if you’re in the middle seat or in the aisle seat).
  • Compression socks: take them! Use them! I forgot to put them on in one of the flights and my feet looked like hobbit-potato feet….with no hair =D.
  • Clothes: the most comfortable gym pants you’ve got, baggy tshirt and a warm hoodie. They give you a blanket but it still gets pretty chilly on the plane.
  • Take toothbrush, toothpaste and baby wipes with you. Trust me.
  • Also…take a change of underwear. You’ll be flying for over 24hours. Trust me, it feels good to feel clean(ish).
  • Do not feel guilty for using the toilets for an extended amount of time. I basically had a shower using baby wipes, brushed my teeth, washed my face etc. That doesn’t just take 10min.
  • Drink water. Drink all the water. Keep getting up to go for a wee if you need to and do not feel guilty for asking other people to move. My body was an absolute wreck when I got to Auckland and I know that one of the reasons was because I was super dehydrated.
  • Take some fruit with you. You can’t take liquids but no one prevents you from taking food. I regret not taking a few apples or something to make me feel a little bit less unhealthy after only eating plane food (which was not bad at all!)


Published by Mariana Vieira da Rocha

"I think it's perfectly acceptable and rather admirable to be moderately delusional"

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