January, long nights and short grey days we’re finding ourselves spending more and more time on Expedia dreaming up the perfect winter sun holiday. Let’s be honest we’re done with the cold and shorter days. We’re longing for some well-needed vitamin D and cocktails by the pool, with a good book.

The world’s longest flight is Cathay Pacific’s 16 hour and 50-minute time sucker, from Hong Kong to New York. The longest direct flight from the UK is London to Buenos Aires that takes 13 hours and 45 minutes.

There are some great long haul destinations but you have to be careful where you’re planning to stay as an open LGBT person. The middle east is a no go area if you’re gay and much of the far east also offers little protection for LGBTs. Towards the Americas, many of the Caribbean islands frown upon homosexuality and is illegal on some.

Take a look at our long-haul anti-gay holiday destinations which might surprise you.

FLYING LONG HAUL

Flying long haul can be an incredible experience, especially if you can afford to turn left on entry and be seated amongst the rich and well healed, but even if you’re slumming it in coach, entertainment systems on the world’s renowned airlines are becoming second to none. Long gone are the days of the one bulkhead screen for an entire cabin and an entertainment system that had 1 hour of music on repeat.

THE EYES HAVE IT

The long hours in the recirculated air at 41,000 feet will definitely take their toll on your eyes, whether you wear contacts or not. You’ll find that your eyes will dry out quickly, so using drops might be a quick fix for you. Optrex optician Nick Atkins advises, “It is always advisable for contact lens wearers to remove their lenses when travelling on a long haul flight to avoid unnecessary discomfort from lens dehydration due to the very dry air conditioned environment of the cabin. There is also the possibility of falling asleep with the lenses in which might be an issue with some lens types. If lenses must be worn then the regular use of a good moisture retaining eye drop will help. In fact such a drop will also provide comfort and relief to non-contact lens wearers alike. One tip for CL wearers is to put a drop into the ‘bowl’ of the back surface of the lens for prolonged relief.”

HYDRATION

Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated whilst your up in the clouds, also if you suffer a bit of traveller’s belly once you get to your destination, don’t forget to drink plenty of bottled water from a reputable source to keep your system hydrated. O.R.S Hydration tablets could also help you keep your fluids up.

EAR, EAR

Are you one of those people whose ears are affected by cabin pressure? When on a long haul flight, there are two factors to be taken into account. Firstly, there will be changes in cabin pressure that can affect our ears and hearing. Secondly, there will be noise from the aircraft’s engines that may encourage higher volume settings when listening to music or on-board entertainment using headphones or ear buds. Although cabin pressure is well controlled in modern aircraft, the changes in atmospheric pressure outside an aeroplane during the ascent after take-off and the descent for landing will cause cabin pressure to change. There can also be quite rapid variations in cabin pressure if air turbulence causes significant fluctuations in an aircraft’s altitude.  Normally, there are no adverse effects during the ascent after take-off as our middle ears adjust more easily when cabin pressure reduces a little. However, when descending for landing, cabin pressure increases and middle ear pressure does not self-adjust so easily. Passengers will usually feel pressure in their ears and experience reduced hearing but, in healthy ears, this can be quickly cleared by swallowing a few times or even yawning to open the Eustachian tubes thus allowing air into the middle ears to normalise the pressure and for hearing to return to normal. The same applies if air turbulence causes quite rapid changes in an aircraft’s altitude.middle ears adjust more easily when cabin pressure reduces a little. However, when descending for landing, cabin pressure increases and middle ear pressure does not self-adjust so easily. Passengers will usually feel pressure in their ears and experience reduced hearing but, in healthy ears, this can be quickly cleared by swallowing a few times or even yawning to open the Eustachian tubes thus allowing air into the middle ears to normalise the pressure and for hearing to return to normal. The same applies if air turbulence causes quite rapid changes in an aircraft’s altitude. How to protect your ears and your hearing from cabin pressure changes

HIDDEN COSTS

Obviously cost is a big factor in the long haul market, a search for prices of tickets to say San Francisco in the second week of November showed prices for £604 direct return, however prices from the 22nd of December, during Christmas week and the school holidays showed prices starting from £922 each way.

Apparently, Tuesday is the cheapest day to book a flight, Friday is the most expensive. Afternoon flights are also pricier whilst red-eyes – those flights that travel at night are the cheapest. So plumping for a Tuesday night flight could save the pounds rather than a Friday afternoon flight.

LEGROOM

Legroom is like the gold of long-haul, cramped up for hours on end can make even the sanest of us looking at that emergency exit and thinking “go on… pull it…”

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Momondo’s have come up with 4 hot tips to get a little bit more leg room.

Also tired and heavy legs might become a problem stuck back in the economy. Padma Circosan is a licensed herbal medicinal product, produced in Switzerland according to a proven recipe of Tibetan medicine, used for circulatory disorders including Raynaud’s, tired heavy legs, pain, swelling caused by minor venous circulatory ‘disturbances’ and calf cramp, it has circulation-stimulating and anti-inflammatory effects with many showing it to be effective in improving peripheral circulation after just a few weeks.

It is available from UK pharmacies and health stores nationwide priced at £28.95 for 120 capsules or online at www.healthy2u.co.uk.

GETTING OVER JET LAG

Jet lag happens on journeys where the time difference is over 3 hours, so it is possible to get jet lag on intercontinental journeys from east to west, west or east across vast countries like, Canada, USA and Australia. However, you won’t get jet lag from north to south flights – say London to Cape Town in South Africa. Of course, you may still get general aircraft fatigue. Read our five tips on beating jet lag.

AIR SICK?

Still feeling nauseous from the motion of travelling? Try The Ginger People’s new Gin Gins CARAMEL – Tasty ginger and caramel sweets. They contain a massive 30% ginger per sweet. Working mainly in the digestive tract, ginger helps to boost digestive fluids and neutralise acids, making it an effective alternative to anti-nausea medication, without the possible unpleasant side effects. Call it a little traveller’s insurance! Gin Gins CARAMEL costs £1.55 for a 31g box and is available from Holland & Barrett stores nationwide.

ALTERNATIVE ENTERTAINMENT

Even though most airlines offer a substantial entertainment system the likelihood of finding LGBT programming on board is highly unlikely. In the airline’s quest to cater for every passenger in their entertainment choices, you might still be left unsatisfied with the offering, but you can always bring your smartphone or tablet on board packed with your favourite programming. If you’re into podcasts, acast is like Spotify but for Podcasts where there are many amazing series to listen to. From comedy, real life stories, factual entertainment to true crime, all of which will keep you entertained on long haul flights.

COMPS TO COMPENSATION

If your flight doesn’t go to plan you’re gonna need some help… Professional help. Here are our top tips.

UPGRADE BABY

Want to upgrade that cattle class to First? You’re going to need to take in these tips!

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