Long-haul travel tips from CAs
Travelling home for the festive season? We spoke with ICAS members Down Under to find out how long-haul business and home travel is best survived.
Australia has long been a destination of choice for work as well as play, but the flights there and back are something ex-pats prefer to forget.
With airlines introducing more options (Virgin Australia announced new flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong, and even Canberra now offers direct Singapore Airlines flights to Singapore and, from next year, to Doha with Qatar Airways) there is an endless selection of ways to approach one of the world’s longest routes.
A recent report in Fairfax Media publications said there were almost 10 million overseas trips taken in the last financial year from Australia - a 100% rise on figures from a decade ago.
Most ICAS members based in Australia make the journey several times a year for work, or to visit family during the holidays. We asked them for practical advice on surviving the trials and tribulations of terribly long flights.
Pack for practicality
Sam Apps CA - General Manager Group Procurement, The Star Entertainment Group
“Some airlines give you pyjamas in business class but even if they don’t, or you’re further down the cabin, change into pyjamas for your designated night leg. You will relax and sleep better, then enjoy getting into fresh day clothes on arrival.
I pack a universal charger, pyjamas and a change of clothes, plus my running gear and a swimsuit and goggles.
“Similarly, taking advantage of a shower option whilst in transit works for either freshening you up or helping you relax prior to the sleep leg. I pack a universal charger that allows me to charge in transit anywhere, pyjamas and a change of clothes in case of lost luggage woes, plus my running gear and a swimsuit and goggles.
“The ability to put on your runners to walk or run at your destination is a great way to clear the jet lag and settle you into your new surroundings.”
Fly as direct as possible
Victor Cuthell CA - CFO, Craveable Brands
“The flights with Emirates that involve one stop to Scotland are excellent. Avoiding Heathrow by flying Sydney to Dubai to Glasgow can cut five hours off the journey. I watch with interest the non-stop flights that are commencing next year from Perth to London with Qantas.
“If/when those commence from Sydney [reports say the Boeing 777-8X will allow flights from Sydney or Melbourne to London non-stop, upon its release in 2020] I would imagine they will be very popular with business travellers. And collect frequent flyer points - they are a great perk of work travel.”
Avoiding Heathrow by flying Sydney to Dubai to Glasgow can cut five hours off the journey.
Lorna Stewart CA - Chief Risk Officer Australia & New Zealand, BUPA
“There is a cost vs convenience decision, but buy the most direct route. I always try to go with Emirates, Qatar or Etihad as it’s only one stop to Scotland and that last short-haul connection and flight from London can be the part that tips you over the edge.”
Book timed flights to avoid jetlag
Sam Apps CA
“Booking a flight that arrives in the morning works better for me. Then it’s about the discipline of staying awake as long as you can for the first leg, then sleeping prior to arrival.”
It’s about the discipline of staying awake as long as you can for the first leg, then sleeping prior to arrival.
Victor Cuthell CA
“There is a flight from Sydney to Glasgow and the sun never sets during the flight! This is a result of flying westwards. It sets off at 6am and goes via Dubai. It arrives in Glasgow at 7pm. This connection only operates during the Australian summer when the time difference is nine hours.
“For avoiding jetlag, I also recommend taking flights that leave London at lunchtime (QF10 leaves around 1.30pm). This flight gets you into Sydney at 10pm and you can go straight to bed.”
Avoid temptation and bin the duty-free
Jonathan Leiper CA - Partner, Corporate Advisory, Deloitte
“As tempting as it might be, don’t indulge in free alcohol. It might help the sleep but you pay for it at the back end of the flight. Take a couple of sleeping tablets instead. Travelling in economy on 14-hour flights, I have found a sleeping tablet or two has made a big difference in arriving feeling rested.
“Try to eat well before the journey and take some decent snacks to avoid the need to suffer the airplane food.”
Sam Apps CA
“Whilst flying long-haul business class for the first time (in the novelty and excitement of it all) don’t drink your way through the entire wine list. Not. A. Good. Idea. I’m told.”
Lorna Stewart CA
“Drink plenty of water. I drink at least one glass of water for every hour I’m on the flight. This helps with hydration and prevents exhaustion.”
About the author
Chris Sheedy is one of Australia’s busiest and most successful freelance writers. He has been published regularly in the Sydney Morning Herald, Virgin Australia Voyeur, The Australian Magazine, GQ, In The Black, Cadillac, Management Today, Men’s Fitness and countless other big-brand publications. He is frequently commissioned to carry out copywriting and corporate writing projects for organisations, including banks, universities, television networks, restaurant chains and major charities, through his business The Hard Word.