Flying to New Zealand from Europe is basically trying to get as far away from your home country as possible. When you ask people in Austria what they think of when hearing New Zealand the first thing they say is not "sheep" or "the lord of the rings" - although that ranks high among these answers, but most often they will say something along "Oh that's the place where you'd be if you went straight through the earth with a needle". And that's precicly it. It is on the exact opposite of the world. Maybe that's why we are all so crazy about coming here.
Steffi, my longest friend, and I went to visit New Zealand in February 2011 for 5 weeks. I lived in New Zealand for a year when I was 15, when I did my high school exchange year in Wanganui, New Zealand and I talked about it ever since, so Steffi decided to come with me to see what all the fuss was about.
We flew from Vienna, Austria with an over night stop in Dubai via Brisbane to Auckland, a journey that took us more than 30 hours in total. Since I've done that trip 4 times by now, I do have some tipps on how to survive this painfully long journey:
1) Bring an empty water bottle: Yes that's correct, it needs to be empty, as otherwise (at least in Europe) you will have to throw it away at the airport security checks (liquids...). You can however bring an empty one and fill it up in the restrooms after the security check - trust me there are always restrooms. No matter how disgusting this water tastes, as long as it is drinking water, fill it up - after 20hours in a plane you don't care how it tastes anymore but you will get thirsty during your flight and you will not want to wake up the person next to you everytime you ask the stewardess for another tiny weeny cup of water . DO NOT attempt to drink the water in the restrooms at the plane! It is not safe and it is really disgusting. (if you want to know why I know this - just keep reading...)
2) Bring your own toothbrush and toothpaste: On my first flight to NZ, quantas was so lovely and provided every passenger with a mini toothbrush and toothpaste. Shortly before we arrived in Sydney, I decided to try these out at the restroom on the plane . I put the toothpaste on the toothbrush, put a little water from the wahsbasin on the toothbrush and brushed away - boy oh boy that was a mistake! I nearly emptied my stomached when I tasted the water that came out of the wahbasin and the toothpaste was just -uh no- ALWAYS use your own toothpaste and NEVER let the water in the airplane restrooms touch your mouth... Just don't try it...
3)Bring you own headphones and a good book: Usually you get free headphones on such a long journey, but you never know and the flight is too long to watch a silent movie for the whole time. Bring a book! Travelling means waiting and waiting is done best when reading a good book! When the movies don't work, at least you have a book on the plane and at the airport you will have something to do other than hoping you might be the luckiest person on the plane -namely to have a free seat next to you...
4)Bring warm socks and a jacket: No matter where you go, in the airplane it is going to get cold and when your body is tired it will require additional warmth.
5) Be nice to the staff: I have a friend who is a (new) stewardess and from what she tells me - believe me, being a flight attendant is hard work, so be nice to the staff on the plane, it is there workplace and - of course - your flight attendants can make your journey a whole lot nicer if they like you!
So that was it, my guide on how to make long distance flying a little bit more comfortable.
If you have any must-knows/must-have-with-yous, let me know in the comments!