Monthly Archives: July 2019

flying comfortably

Ten ways to Make That Flight More Comfortable

With a little planning it’s possible to make any flight much more bearable. Here are afew tips to help you make the most of your next flight.

  1. Choose your seat carefully.

On many flights it is possible to reserve your seat, on others you may have to quietly ‘assert yourself’ to get the spot you need. It is important however, to know what seat you are aiming for.

If you are particularly tall, seats by the emergency exits or bulkheads usually have quite a bit more legroom. It is always best to check they are not reserved first.

If you can’t get one of those, an aisle seat with allow you more opportunity to stretch your legs or to easily get out of your seat.

If you are content to stay put and want to make sure you are simply not disturbed, a window seat is the ideal choice.

If you want to ensure you get the best service, go for a seat right at the back where it should be easier to catch the attention of the cabin staff as they go about their duties.

If you are unhappy with your seat, wait for take-off then scan the plane for empty seats and empty rows. A polite word with the cabin crew, and you may find yourself stretched out across a row of unused seats.

choos eyour plane seat carefully

  1. Be kind to yourself

Take along a few essentials to keep you feeling at your best on the flight.

Simple luxuries can make a big difference on a plane journey. Miniature versions of the following easily can be packed into your hand luggage and can be incredibly revitalising on a long flight (or during an airport delay). Lip balm, moisturiser, face wipes, eye drops (particularly soothing for dry and tired eyes), and of course a mini toothbrush and toothpaste.

  1. Travel Pillow

When it comes to travel pillows, there are plenty of options these days. Buy one in advance and test it out at home to make sure it works for you. Look for something that folds or deflates so it is easy to pack and carry and one that supports your neck while you sleep. But Avoid plastic or any material that will leave you sweaty and sticky. It’s worth investing in something durable that will stand the rigour of multiple trips.

When you find one that works, treasure it and take it everywhere. It will become your favourite travel companion.

  1. Prepare To be Entertained

Think carefully about your personal in-flight entertainment. Prepare things in advance. Download movies, tv-shows or box-sets to watch, podcasts, music or books to listen to (or even books to read).

If you’ve thought it through carefully, you’ll be looking forward to the moment you can sit back and get stuck in to the first page or episode and you will drift away in your own world for the entire flight.

But make sure those batteries are fully charged and that you packed your headphones, or you may be in for a disappointment.

in flight entertainment

  1. Bring your own

Airline food is rarely exciting or inspiring, so think about packing yourself a few healthy snacks or treats to keep you going.

  1. Kick your shoes off

Don’t let your feet get hot and swollen in tight shoes. Take your shoes off and get comfy. You can always pack a spare pair or warm socks to slip on to keep your feet warm on a long fight.

  1. Never Dress To Impress

Don’t worry about looking stylish or smart. Just go for the content-and-comfortable look.

Make sure you always dress for comfort. Loose clothing will always be much more comfortable, so select loose and stretchy clothes. And always make sure you have an extra wooly jumper to pull on in case it gets cold.

  1. Lay Off The Booze

Whilst it is tempting to knock back a glass of wine to relax you or help you nod off, the brutal truth is that it will only result in you becoming dehydrated, tired and more irritable. And on a long-haul flight you will have to endure the ensuing hangover at some point.


  1. Hydrate

The air inside and aircraft is lower in humidity than normal. Normal humidity is between 30% and 60% percent, while inside an airplane, it can drop to less than 20%. During longer flights, cabin humidity can dip even lower. This can lead to dry eyes, ears nose and throat and often to  headaches. Drinking coffee, tea, sugary drinks or alcohol (see above) can mike you more dehydrated and amplify this effect. There is also evidence that suggests de-hydration increases the effects of jet lag.

So stick to water and make sure you drink plenty of it.

  1. Lounge around

Consider relaxing in an airport lounge before or between flights so that you are at your best before you climb aboard the plane. There are quite a few apps available now which allow you to buy lounge-time straight form your phone. We particularly like ‘Lounge Buddy’ which is listed in our Top Six Travel Apps article.

mosquitos in the medditeranean

How To Reduce The Risk Of Mosquito-Born Disease On Holiday

Diseases previously found only in the tropics have been discovered in European countries like Greece, France, Italy and Spain. A move that may concern those visiting Mediterranean beaches this summer.

The mosquito-borne disease include ‘Chikunguya’, a fever which causes fever and painful joints and ‘Dengue Fever’, a powerful flu-like virus. Whilst the risk of infection is still relatively low, travellers are being advised of the potential risk of mosquito bites and that they should take precautions to avoid them.

Here are a few simple tips to help you reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites whilst on your next holiday.

Avoidance of mosquito bites should always be considered the first line of defence against mosquito-borne infections.

There isn’t really a safe time

Different mosquitos bite at different times of the day. The mosquitos which spread malaria bite between dusk but the mostquitos which carry other diseases like Chikunguya and Dengue, tend to bite during the day.

Which means that bite-preventive measures are advisable at all times.

Insect Repellents

Although there are various insect repellents available , The NHS strongly recommend DEET N, N-Diethyl-m-tolumide above all others.

There are a few things to note about DEET.

  • A concentration of 20% DEET offers between 1 to 3 hours protection.
  • 30% DEET can offer up to 6 hours protection.
  • 50% DEET can offer up to 12 hours protection
  • Duration of protection DOES NOT increase with concentrations above 50%.
  • Concentrations above 50% should NOT be used on the skin
  • DEET is water soluble, so it must be reapplied after swimming
  • DEET induces a reduction in SPF, so a higher protection sunscreen should be used.
  • DEET should always be applied AFTER
  • DEET may damage man-made fibres, and plastics (watches, sunglasses, clothing).


Although they are not recommended above DEET by the NHS, Icaridin (Picaridin) and Lemon Eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8 diol, or PMD) may be used but their protection is not considered as effective or long-lasting.


Mosquitos cannot bite through loose fitting clothing so clothing which covers the skin is highly recommended where appropriate. Longs sleeves, high necklines and long skirts or trousers where possible. Exposed areas of skin should be covered with DEET (20% or above).

It is possible to buy clothing which is pre-treated with an insecticide which may further increase the level of protection. UK Travel Clothing brands Rohan and Craghoppers both have dedicated ranges of anti-insect clothing.

Mosquito Nets

Mostquito nets can offer enhanced protection from bites, particularly whilst sleeping. These can be even more effective if treated with an insecticide. Design and manufacture of nets varies, so it is important to check suitability, practicality and portability before you invest. Most nets are available as single or double bed options.

Remember that whilst mosquitos cannot pass through a net, they can bite through it. So don’t sleep with any part of your skin touching the net.

Room Protection

Check any door and window screens for holes and gaps. Try to keep the doors and screens closed at all times, not just at night.
Air conditioning can be an effective deterrent. Mosquitos are less likely to be attracted to a the room if it is.
Make sure any standing water is removed as it provides that perfect breeding ground for mosquitos.
Citronella Candles and plugin insecticide-emitting devices may have a small effect as an insect deterrent but they should never be relied upon on their own. Great care should be taken using candles indoors and they should never be used anywhere near loose clothing, soft furnishings or a mosquito net.
It should also be noted that candles, coils and plugins maybe trigger the symptoms of Asthma or other breathing conditions.

A Few Myths Busted

Finally, here are a few common fallacies that you should know the truth about:

  • Vitamins B1 and B12: There is no evidence that these vitamins do anything to repel mosquitoes.
  • Tea Tree Oil: There is no evidence that Tea Tree Oil is effective as a mosquito repellent.
  • Garlic and yeast extract: Whether taken orally or rubbed on the skin, there is no scientific evidence to suggest these do anything to repel mosquitos.

High Frequency Buzzers: Devices that emit high frequency sound waves, are completely ineffective against mosquitos. In fact, numerous companies selling these devices have been prosecuted and fined under the trade descriptions act.