A short-haul flight is a flight that is under three hours. In the UK, most destinations across Europe are easily accessible from a short-haul flight, allowing us to explore new countries in a shorter time frame.
Below, the travel experts at Wizz Air reveal the top dos and don’ts of flying short-haul and how to make your flight as comfortable and seamless as possible.
The dos of short-haul
Keep a moisturiser or face mist in your liquids bag
The air inside a plane is extremely drying, so even though the flight is short and you can hop off and go straight into your holiday, you’ll notice your face feels tight and uncomfortable. By keeping a moisturiser or a face mist in your hand luggage, you can help lock in moisture before take-off and then perk your skin up when you land. Ideally, you should opt for a moisturiser with an SPF, especially if you are sitting in a window seat. While plane windows can block UVB rays, there is still a chance that UVA rays can penetrate glass and hit your skin at a deeper level, resulting in a higher risk of sun-induced damage.
Fly early in the morning
There are many appealing factors to short-haul flights, from a shorter amount of time spent travelling to less of a time difference, meaning you don’t need to worry about dealing with jet lag. With this in mind, it’s a great idea to choose early morning flights to maximise your time at your destination, especially if you are going away for a short period. Lots of short-haul flights start taking off in the early hours of the morning and are usually cheaper than flying later in the day.
Morning flights are also advisable as there is less chance of delays than later on in the day, when air traffic becomes busier. As a morning flight is naturally one of the first flights of the day, there’s also less chance of a domino effect from delayed previous flights.
Wear breathable clothes and layers
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than feeling hot and sweaty, especially when you’re sitting on a busy plane for a couple of hours.
With this in mind, make sure you wear breathable fabrics, such as cotton or linen, that allow air to circulate and help sweat to evaporate.
Restrictive and non-breathable fabrics will hold in sweat, resulting in you feeling dirtier and more uncomfortable.
If you tend to get cold easily then you shouldn’t expect the luxury of an in-flight blanket to keep you warm on a short-haul flight, as such a luxury is reserved for long-haul flights only. Planes do tend to get cold and the air gets dry, so bring on an extra layer or two to keep warm and comfortable, even if your destination is in the sunshine.
Pack too much in your carry on
Most travellers who use a short-haul flight tend to pack their holiday goods in a carry-on. Not only does this save having to pay for a larger suitcase for a shorter trip but it saves waiting around at baggage claim once you reach your destination when you want to be out exploring. A simple carry-on, especially if packed properly, can hold enough to see you through your mini-break, however, you should be wary not to overpack. As carry-on suitcases go in the overhead locker you need to be sure you can lift it into the locker. In addition, different airlines have different carry-on restrictions, so while your trusty mini suitcase may be perfectly fine for one airline, it may not be for another so be sure to check with your airline.
Wear contact lenses
As the air on planes is extremely dry, try to avoid wearing contact lenses and opt for your glasses instead. Wearing lenses will dry your eyes out, making you feel more tired and uncomfortable and can even end up being more difficult to remove, causing tears.
If you do have to wear contact lenses then it is advisable to bring a spare pair just in case your eyes feel particularly dry and uncomfortable. Finally, even if you don’t need to wear glasses or contact lenses, you should bring eye drops to help refresh your eyes once you land, as this way you will feel ready to get on with your holiday.
Alcohol is dehydrating at the best of times, however, combining this with the dry air and pressure of a plane makes its dehydrating properties even worse. The myth goes “one drink in the air is like two on the ground” and although there is no scientific evidence to support this, it is known that drinking alcohol in the air can dehydrate you much faster than otherwise. If you do want an in-flight tipple then make sure you limit yourself to just a few, at least until you land, and keep drinking water throughout.