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While a trip to Europe is very exciting, there is the small matter of having to travel to the other side of the globe to get there. Personal preference plays a big part in how you approach the journey, from selecting a window seat as opposed to an aisle, or deciding whether to enjoy a stopover to freshen up on the way, or just get to your final destination as quick as possible.
Have a stopover on your way to Europe
Some people swear by having a stopover on their way to Europe to have a mini break and experience a new destination. If you’re travelling with a young family, then a stopover is a good way to break up the trip, giving the kids a chance to rest. Here is a list of the top ten stopover destinations. If that doesn’t help decide which direction around the world you want to go, then perhaps flight time will. The shortest route to Europe is Air New Zealand via Los Angeles, then onto London. The longest is South African Airlines via Australia, then stopping in Johannesburg before reaching London.
How about an upgrade?
In terms of increasing comfort on the flight, there is no substitute for upgrading. There are a number of different upgrade options. Select airlines have Premium Economy, which, as the name suggests, is a class that sits between Economy and Business class. The features of this class vary depending on the airline, but at the very least will include more leg room and some extra amenities. The classes get more luxurious from there, whether it be Business class or the even more indulgent First class. Emirates and Singapore Airlines even have First class suites on their A380 aircraft. If you have a young family, then consider Air New Zealand’s Economy Skycouch. The armrests between three seats can be raised and footrests pulled up to create a flat 1.55m by 74cm area that the kids can play or sleep in.
Whether you are lucky enough to upgrade your travel class or not, there are a number of things you can do to help arrive at your destination as refreshed as possible. Staying hydrated is especially important, as the air in a plane is very dry. Walk the aisle and stretch often throughout your flight, as this will help blood flow and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
It’s also a good idea to preselect your seat before you check in. Where you choose to sit will depend on personal preference. An aisle seat means you are uninhibited to get up and stretch or use the bathrooms, while a window seat provides less interruptions so sleeping is easier. Many travellers opt to use sleep aids on the flight so they are as rested as possible when they land. If you do, be sure to test them before you leave, as a 12 hour flight is no place for a trial run. Finally, a magazine is a good way to pass the time once you’ve been asked to turn off electronic devices and before the inflight entertainment is available.
However you approach your journey to Europe, remember not to dwell too much on the flight itself and focus on the adventure that awaits once you land.
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