Our tips for long haul travel on budget airlines 

Everyone has there own little tips and tricks for travelling, we’ve created a list for Budget Airlines specifically. Most people will opt for a $700 return journey on a budget airline over a $2400 return journey on say Singapore Airlines because let’s face it money is precious and we just hate spending huge money on flights.We recently flew on Air Asia X from Bangkok to Auckland and whilst the airline itself is value for money you miss out on some pretty big luxuries, which prompted us to make this post.

Entertainment.

First and foremost the most important part of any travel journey where you will be seated in a chair often as hard as a rock and usually no bigger than 30x40cm for copious amounts of time, entertainment. Stock up your phone/iPad/iPod with new music, as many apps as humanly possible and if you’re in the position to splurge download some movies or TV series to watch. Air Asia X does not provide any in air entertainment unless watching other people sleep is your preferred choice, if that’s the case then you’ll be in heaven and please get yourself to a psychiatrist ASAP. We also love reading books, it’s not often that between work, farm stuff, puppies and normal life that we get the time to curl up with a good book, so we both take advantage of the opportunity on planes to read a good book (and not the downloaded iPad version good old fashioned paperbacks). On our recent journey we read The Unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Louth and highly recommend it and also Nineteen Eighty Four (can’t remember the author oops). A deck of cards may come in handy and be sure to travel with someone you can constantly annoy and/or use as a human pillow – just for your own satisfaction. 

Water. 

If you’re anything like us you would have definitely read multiple news articles about anonymous air hostesses warning people away from the water they serve on planes. Whether it be because it’s old, it’s tap water or whatever else. We always stock up on bottled water once we are through customs to take onto the flight with us. On our most recent journey from Auckland to Bangkok we grabbed a bottle each of 1Above (you can read more about it here ) basically it’s a drink designed to help eliminate jet lag and fatigue whilst pumping your body full of vitamins and minerals to held fend of that nasty plane flu and boost your circulation. Personally didn’t like the taste, but pushed through it and we think it actually helped. It makes you go to the bathroom about 101 times and it also made me thirstier (which might be why it works as it encourages you too drink even MORE water). We also didn’t get some feisty plane flu, which normally one of us always does. 

Hand Sanitiser and Anti-bacterial Wipes. 

This is where the inner germaphobe comes out in us. We will always take Dettol Antibacterial Wipes and Sanitiser on all travel journeys. Why you ask? Because planes don’t get cleaned, well not like you’d expect them too after being jam packed with hundreds of people in a day. Arm rests, entertainment remotes, Windows and tray tables are very rarely cleaned, this means that the lady who changed her babies nappy on the tray table and the man who sneezed all over the remote have left their tasty remnants all over your area. We will always wipe down the arm rest, window, remote and tray table. This is just a very small thing you can do to help prevent picking up any nasties that have made your tray table their base camp and are multiplying by the thousands. Sanitiser is used after going to the bathroom and before eating; religiously. 

Snacks.

We don’t care what anyone says or what airline you fly with, the food is horrendous, barely even edible, nay barely even food! We don’t know, maybe we just have high expectations when it comes to food seeing as we consider ourselves somewhat serious food connoisseurs. We’d rather gorge on some chips and lollies than risk getting a serious bout of food poisoning from some questionable looking ‘chicken’ or having our taste buds violated with a sad excuse of ‘fried rice’. Air Asia X also requires you to pre-book meals (if you want them) our ticket included meals which we just kindly refused when they came around with their little food cart. If you do pre-book meals and want to eat them make sure you have your boarding pass in your pocket as they ask for it and staggering over the cart whilst copping glances and eye rolls from the air hostesses as you rummage around the baggage compartment for your boarding pass isn’t recommended.

Comfy Clothes.

We still don’t understand what is going through people’s minds when we see them at the airport in their high heels, tight pants and a full face of make up. We’re not in the 60’s anymore people you don’t have to dress up. How is that even comfortable for 12-18 hours on a plane?!?! How? If anyone can shed some light on that please do. We always stick to a jeans and t-shirt combo, a nice loose breathable t shirt and we will take along our trusty hoodie (sweatshirt) for when that blistering cold aircon gets too much. 

Gum, Mints & Mouthwash.

Nothing worse than arriving at your destination with a furry mouth that smells worse than 10,000 rotting carcasses. chewing gum will help when you take off and land for those who have trouble with their ears popping and mouthwash will refresh your mouth whenever you need it. 

Moisturiser and Face Wipes. 

Not a huge fan of that dry, gross, dirty feeling your skin has when you arrive at your holiday destination? Can we get an amen?! Moisturiser and face wipes are small enough that they won’t take up too much room in your hand luggage and you’ll be ever so great full for them when you feel your skin start to dry up like a raisin. Aimee’s go to wipes are Garner Micellar wipes or you can grab the mini bottle and take some cotton pads and my holy grail moisturiser is Origins GinZeng™ Energy-boosting moisturiser. This moisturiser is about as refreshing as they come, with its cooling formula jam packed with goodness you can’t go without!

Credit Card or Cash.

Debit cards aren’t accepted on budget airlines. We had had a brief moment of excitement when we saw our favourite Whiskey ever happened to be on the menu, so we ordered Monkey Shoulder Whiskey X 2 (best EVER), 2 X Sprite, 2 X Pringles and handed over our debit card to pay. “Oh we don’t accept debit cards the way our system is set up”. What?! Do you have any idea how it feels to hand back all your goodies and then come to the sudden (gut wrenching) realisation that this could possibly be the worst flight ever? Air Asia X you really need to sort that out, not everybody in the world has a credit card, some of us don’t like being in debt. Plus do they realise they can just push ‘credit’ with a debit card and it’s pretty much the exact same thing? They do however accept all currencies so if your flying to your destination we’d assume you’d have cash on you, but if you’re flying home it’s normal to not have cash, but it is a good way to get rid of those notes you found while packing your bag to go home (coins aren’t accepted either, so take your shrapnel elsewhere peasants).

As you probably know, scoring a cheap flight usually comes with the added bonus of multiple short or long stop overs in random airports. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to have the flights broken up, gives you a chance to get some semi edible food at the airport and walk around for a bit and get used to using your legs again even if you do look like a baby giraffe learning to walk for the first 5-10 minutes (get a beer at 7am just to pass the time). There are some annoying things about stop overs other than adding another 8 hours onto the trip, you will have to go through security every time you get off the plane, doesn’t seem like a big deal but when you do it 5 times, you start death staring the security people and assume they know how close to a tantrum you are as you’re taking off your watch for the hundredth time.

All in all budget airlines are a great way to save money on short or long haul flights, even though they are considerably less comfortable for longer flights. We have found that our few simple must-haves and must-do’s make them easier to get through and we believe that you will survive just as we did.

We really hope you’ve picked up some new tips and that you enjoyed this post. If you have any other handy tips for surviving budget airlines leave them in the comments below.

Until next time,

Trent & Aimee x 

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