Top 5 dishes you must eat in Hanoi (Vietnam) and where to find them! 

First of all, Hello welcome to Vietnam, or xin chao as we say over here.

Now, I must tell you Vietnam has some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted and that’s probably the biggest understatement. With its complete freshness and wonderful diversity the food is not only incredibly cheap but incredibly yummy!
First up;

BUN CHA.

Now for those of you who may be unfamiliar with Bun Cha let me explain what this dish consists of. Bun Cha is essentially Grilled Pork and noodles, but it’s the extra components that really makes this dish so delicious. The fatty pork also known as (Cha) is served with white noodles (Bun) a basket of fresh mixed greens and herbs usually but not limited to coriander, lettuce, mint and a dipping sauce of fish sauce, carrot and papaya.

Now don’t be confused there is only ONE real way to eat bun Cha, you take a small amount of each mix it together in the dipping sauce like a soup and tuck in.


COST?: Bun Cha typically costs around 30,000-45,000VND £1.61
WHERE?: This one is from Quan an Ngon

Next;

BUN BO NAM BO

Bun BO nam BO not only looks but tastes delicious. (Or so I’m told) Now I must say I don’t even eat beef but it’s hard not to feel good envy just looking at this dish. White noodles (Bun) make the base of this dish, mixed with green leaves, beef (BO) crispy shallots and crushed peanuts. This is more than the ordinary beef salad just look at it.


COST? 40,000-50,000VND £1.70
WHERE? 67 Hang Dieu

NEXT;

BAHN MI

Banh Mi is where you really get to see how the French have influenced food here in Hanoi. This baguette though, is more than just another sandwich. Usually given the choice of pork, pate, chicken or egg, you add cucumber coriander carrot and ‘spicy’ sauce to make the ultimate lunch snack. It’s the perfect fusion of Vietnamese and French food in one carbohydrate canoe. My personal favourite is honey chicken!


COST? 20,000VND -25,000VND £0.91

WHERE? 25 Hang Ca Street
Next;

FRESH SPRING ROLLS.

Now, i’d had the usual fried spring rolls way before i arrived in Vietnam, however i’d never had fresh spring rolls. I must admit that i now prefer the un fried version. I first learnt how to make these at my Hidden Hanoi cooking class . It’s a process where you take Rice paper rolls, and fill them with Vermicelli noodles, fresh green leaves, herbs, pineapple, carrot, chilli and crushed peanuts. You can also add in whatever meat/seafood base you prefer. I love this dish as it tastes super fresh and you can make it as adventurous or safe as you feel that day.


COST? 35,000-50,000VND £1.81
WHERE? 147 Nghi Tam Road (Hidden Hanoi)
PHO

Now I don’t think it would be possible to write a post on what to eat in Hanoi and not eat pho, its a must try. The amount of time that goes into this dish is what makes it so perfect. The broth is always left for the right amount of time to make the perfect base. Throw in the noodles, the chilli, the herbs and a squeeze of lime, wait hold that thought i gotta go, time for Pho.


COST? Around 35,000VND £2.00
WHERE? LITERALLY EVERY CORNER IN HANOI

Ok, now there are my top 5 dishes to eat in Vietnam! (Hanoi)

There are so many more I want to share with you so please comment below if that’s something you’d be interested in!

Thanks for reading,  Danielle Jade x

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10 life lessons everyone deserves to know 🎉 

Hi everyone! In case you didn’t know already know, ITS MY BIRTHDAY and naturally me being me, thought well, then there’s no better time than now to reflect on what I’ve learnt so far in life. So here I am, sharing it all with you! Enjoy. 

Let’s kick it off; 

1. Celebrate yourself. It’s good to feel proud of the amazing things that you do. Self love is something I didn’t learn until far too late in my life. You need to notice when you have done something incredible and give yourself a pat on the back. 

2. Travel as much as possible. Things are nice but memories are so much more! You need to see that famous landmark more than you need that new iPhone. Embrace new experiences. 

3. It’s ok to feel sad, it is ok to feel down, it’s ok to feel lost. Believe it or not, everyone has these days. Sometimes it can be feel impossible to move on, how you deal with this is up to you. If you want to talk then do, if you don’t want to talk then you don’t have to. Take some time, put yourself in a safe and nurturing environment. Keep yourself loved.

4. Friends may not be around forever, so make as many memories as you can with all of them when you’re there. It’s normal to make new friends and drift apart from others, everyone is growing up and changing, embrace this and don’t be afraid to let them go. New friendships are on the horizon. 

5. Help others, be kind, be considerate and generous. It will only create good karma, it’s something that builds character and will make you a much better person.

6. You are going to lose very important people in your life so hold onto them as tightly as possible whilst they are around. Be sure to tell the people you love, that you love them constantly. Shower them in appreciation. Take no one for granted.

7. Don’t shoot other people’s ideas and opinions down instantly. Debate them, trial them. You may just discover another way of looking at the same old. 

8. Nothing is lame or uncool. Don’t quit or change because of others words. NOTHING makes you a loser. All those clubs you are joining, your music choice, your fashion sense, your sexuality. It’s not lame it’s who you are and you shouldn’t feel like you have to be put down because of it. 

9. Break ups and make ups. It’s just the way of the world. Don’t base your relationships on the ideals of others. Find someone who loves you for being you and live each day one step at a time. Don’t plan ahead too much, the person who expects the most from you should only be you. Side note: if a friends going through a break up…YOU TOO ARE GOING THROUGH A BREAK UP. Friends stick together. 

10. Don’t let your dreams die. As children we can create dreams, hopes and ambitions bigger than space. As adults we can lose sight of this and shrink ourselves with notions of ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I don’t have time for this’. It’s important to keep your mind open. Keep those dreams at the front and centre of your mind. It’s gonna take more work than you imagined as a child but now it’s up to you, a grown up…go make it happen!! 

Have a happy my birthday everyone ✌🏻️😘

How to survive working a job you hate. 

Lets throw it back to three months ago. I’m here Danielle, complaining to my housemates about how much i dislike working as a waitress in central London. I’ve lost sight of why i even wanted live in London anymore, I’d become one of those people who works purely to pay the rent. Then one day. I woke up. Not physically, i mean, i obviously did wake up that morning but i kind of emotionally woke up, if you get me? Let me explain, when i woke up, I said no more. No longer can i stay in this repetitive job, no longer can i stand being on the tube to work and already counting down how long it will be until I’m back home with my cat. I’d lost all of my creativity, all of my confidence and all of my want to give myself the future i deserve. Sounds very big-headed right? The future i deserve. Well, id now argue that no. No, that does not sound big headed. It sounds motivating and my goodness did i need motivation right now.

I think that sometimes it is very easy to get caught up in what is easy. I’d found a job quickly when i moved to London, i was in a new surrounding, living with my two best friends and i was making enough money to live happily. I was happy. I didn’t know however that i was in the honeymoon phase of living in London. See, skip forward about 6 months and i was becoming bored of my job already. I was stressed with working in such a huge shopping centre. I was missing out on social events because of my work hours. Ask anyone that’s ever worked as a waitress or bar tender the hours are definitely not why you choose to work there. I started looking for other work, more theatre based. Going back to what i had just trained in. I had interviews at theatres, casting agencies, local performing arts groups but nothing ever worked out. I did often hear that i wasn’t experienced enough for the job and to come back in a few years and try again with more material/experience. Ok i thought, i guess I’m a waitress then.
Feeling low whilst working in a job you don’t enjoy going to is hard. If you haven’t experienced that then, i would say you’re very lucky indeed. It’s not fun. It’s not fun at all. It’s hard enough going to work when you feel like you could be doing more. It’s even harder when you just got turned down from an interview you really wanted and you’re back to serving stubborn teenagers. Rejection really does suck. This took me a while to get over. Luckily i had started to make some pretty incredible friends whilst working as a waitress. I had met people who were in the same position as i was, others who were local students trying to pay for their degrees, many who had come to England to learn English and head back home with more languages in their vocabulary and others who too were just a little bit lost right now. I noticed, very few people here want to actually be in the catering industry. Yet we all leant on each other for support and above all FUN.
Work was made bearable by my colleagues. As time went on and people came and went at work i stayed for nearly two (long) years. I lasted that long because of the people. I had made a solid friendship group and above all that i had met some of my best friends even to this day.For example, Scott and I went over to visit our friend we made at work Flor in Ibiza. You know what, In all honestly without my bestie Scott by my side I don’t think I’d have stayed half as long, or at least stayed sane this long.

I think as a person i like to learn about people. I’ve always had a constant curiosity bubbling inside me. Always full of questions, buts and what if’s. I like to listen to people, i like to learn about people and i like to help people. I admired like-minded people and i adored people with different opinions to mine. I lived to hear stories of people’s upbringing, their relationships, their culture and their passions. For example; I adored how Grace spoke so passionately about things she stood for. I loved watching Maria and Yoli chat to each other in Spanish. I loved knowing that Flor was probably thinking the exact same thing I was at any given moment.I found nothing funnier than when Scott would roll his eyes at some dumb question a customer asked, Joni would know all the gossip and Laura would have a hilarious story ready to lighten the mood at work!.  I think when you’re working in an environment you’re not completely happy with, keeping the mind simulated and intrigued works wonders. This helped within our work environment, especially when english isn’t everyone’s first language. I’d often find myself playing google translate to everyone in the workplace. Though my outcome of spanish is pretty poor to say how many spanish people i worked with ‘estoy borracha’ was the best phrase i learnt so thanks for that Yoli. I’m drunk did actually come in very handy when i went to Ibiza. Without the love of some wonderful people, i wouldn’t have lasted that long.


Now this isn’t an all sunshine and rainbows post. Don’t get me wrong. This job was the first place i had someone tell me to my face that they hated me. It felt horrible. Why did they hate me? My opinion, because they are an asshole. Their opinion, i think im better than them. Truth be told, he was right. I mean i never said it out loud, but i absolutely thought it. He was horrible so i at least hoped i was better than that. In most workplaces there’s probably someone who doesn’t like you, or you don’t like them. Learning how to overcome that (even if you’re like me and the only way you can do this is by completely avoiding the fact you see them as a human) you have got to just suck it up and get on with them whilst you’re there.
I battled with how people in higher authority than myself organised shifts, spoke to staff, reacted to customers and the all round lack of respect from one or two that popped up often. Now, how did i survive this? I used my voice. Sometimes i should have kept it shut, but i can’t. I feel like I’m always the voice of reason in a group. I always take every opportunity to voice the people. This time, a bunch of overworked and underpaid sleepy waiters who just want some praise. Alongside this i often found myself taking the blame for more errors than were my own. Why you ask? My heart wasn’t in this job, i don’t think saying sorry is a way of losing rank or being made to feel small. In fact i always think it’s the opposite, i couldn’t stand to see my peers feel so nervous about errors so I’d simply say it was me first. This soon began to spread around the workplace and everyone became more constant on having the other persons back. Survival of the fittest was no longer a thing and the team was closer than ever.Always keep in mind however, that this person is still your manager they can literally fire you at any point. So don’t push it too far. It’s not worth it.

I had my fair few moments at work where I cried and this really was the final straw. I don’t think anyone should be put in a position where they feel so low in their workplace and that is when I said enough is enough and we made the choice to pack up and leave.

Now, another way to survive working a job you hate?
Go out with the people you do like! Some of my most fond memories of living in london are going on nights out with my work friends. Taking us all out of the work environment and having fun was the best! It also made work more bearable when you’re all hungover together. Or if you’re Hannah and I, there’s nothing a good brunch can’t sort out!


You have to remember that this job is just temporary, keep hitting refresh on those google searches, keep reaching out to employers who you truly want to work for, keep the faith and know that an opportunity is out there for you!

Anyway, here’s how I survived a job I wasn’t completely happy in. I hope you find this useful.

Thanks for reading Danielle Jade x


Hanoi (Vietnam) First Impressions. Get to know all about it!

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Hello everyone!
Im back today with another Travel/Lifestyle post, this one’s all about my first impressions of Hanoi Vietnam.

Travel:

Think of the busiest place you know, Westfield shopping centre, being at the front of your favourite festival, leaving the stadium after the match finishes. There, Hanoi. Put all those people on bikes and take away most of the rules when it comes to driving and you can fully understand how it feels to be on a scooter in the middle of the Old Quarter. It is mayhem to a new driver. Everyone needs to get somewhere and an inch of space is the perfect opportunity for someone to sneak by you and disappear up the road. I think the only way i can describe how it feels to be on a bike in the middle of Hanoi is, it’s like being in a real life Crash Bandicoot game, anyone could swerve around and in front of you at any minute, there may be someones cardigan dropped ahead that you need to swerve from and U-turns are a given here, so watch out for those bikes coming towards you down that ‘one way’ street.
That being said, after you get used to the mindset, being a driver in Hanoi is actually quite enjoyable. It’s always fascinating to see new places, as you drive around. There’s a sense of accomplishment too, like YEAH, i CAN do it. I CAN drive here!

Food:

Oh my, now the food here. Hanoi is overwhelmed with smells. Both good and bad but find a good place and the food is just incredible!
We have eaten at so many different places here in Hanoi both traditional and Western. Moving to Hanoi i was originally very nervous about what i would find to eat. This is because i am somewhat  picky with food to start with. I don’t eat red meat, i barely like any spices, i don’t really like dressings or sauces. I’m a foodies worst nightmare. So you can imagine when i see ‘mixed meat’ on the menu i am less than excited to know what they class as mixed meat, however I’m currently trying to live with a ‘well you only live once’ outlook on life, so you know what i ordered? That mixed meat rice. It was delicious. I did only notice tofu and chicken in it (which was lucky) but it was truly yummy. Naomi has taken to eating Pho at any opportunity and for only 30,000vnd a bowl (that’s £1.09) it’s more than incredible value.
One day after work we went to a Vietnamese place with work friends and i suddenly realised i am actually no where neat as adventurous as i first thought. As they brought out Goat, baby birds, stingray and other impressive and petrifying foods. I felt myself coward back to the comfort of my tiger beer and rice paper rolls. I tried some of the sting ray and i must say it was tasty!

Sights:

Hanoi is rich in culture. It’s such a beautiful place to explore. I love our journey to work because we travel about half an hour away from our little Tay Ho bubble and in that journey i notice new sights every trip. If you have a bike take some time to go explore. There’s so many wonderful places to seek out. Including but not limited to the museums. Within our first week in Hanoi we had done three museums, in particular i enjoyed the Women’s Museum. Learning about the history of the Vietnamese housewife, the mother, the dress makers and the women who served in the Army. I felt incredibly emotional come the end of the museum. I really recommend going to this museum when you are in Hanoi.
I must also point out one of my favourite ‘sites’ to enjoy en route to work are other people’s bikes! It’s amazing how much people load onto two wheels.

I wanted to share with you some of my other favourite sights below;

The Districts:

Within Hanoi the city is broken down into smaller chunks, these chunks are known as districts. The most popular two you may know about before arriving at The Old Quarter and Tay Ho. The old quarter is what you want to explore if you’re travelling here. The old quarter is home to Lake Hoan Kiem aka ‘lake of the returned sword’.

Here is where you can sit and watch the traffic zoom around whilst having a beer up on the rooftops. You can wander for hours down the different themed streets that are adjacent to Hoan Kiem. You can watch the  water puppet theatre shows, get your hands on the best kinds of souvenirs and find some incredible places to eat. Perhaps what I love the most about the Old Quarter is the people, Vietnamese run businesses are the only kind here. Very traditional.

Tay ho on the other hand is quite the opposite. It’s known as the bubble here because of the ability to live in Hanoi without leaving Tay Ho. Here is home to most of the expats. It’s full of teachers, i say this as i too a new teacher now live amongst all my colleagues here in the Tay Ho bubble. Around here you are likely to hear more American, English, and South African accents than anything else. Unless you meet our door man, he speaks no english and our conversations are beautiful engagements of us nodding and pretending to understand each other. Tay ho has some amazing bakeries, inspired by the french, there’s a few places i have come to love along To Ngoc Van.

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I could honestly go on forever about how i feel living in Hanoi but i will leave you here for now. If you would like to hear more about my life here, do leave a comment and don’t forget to follow me on Youtube! because that’s a thing I’m doing now.

Thanks for reading

Danielle Jade.

All the way to the USA ✈️🇺🇸

Hello everyone, fancy this, me actually having time to sit down and write. It’s a miracle. Im back!

Now if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you may or may not know i went to the USA for just over two weeks.

I recently went to visit my Aunt and the family in San Diego, however we did pitstop at a few places along the way including, LA & Vegas BABY!

So Lets begin with : Los Angeles.

Hop on the plane from Manchester, fast forward 11hours (9 of which took my whole mental and physical will power and restraint not to pull the hair of the woman who’s messy bun, was messing all over my little head seat TV screen) and we finally touched down in sunny LA! 

‘You know, LA traffic where the city is slow’  and boy oh boy is the city  slow. The traffic is out of control here. 

Thankfully we had the worlds most optimistic uber driver playing the role of our own personal tour guide as we coasted towards our hotel, The Radisson Midtown USC.

It was around 4pm once we managed to get to our hotel, get changed and freshen up. So we decided why waste time? Lets go…Hollywood Blvd.


We walked up and down the street, hopping over peoples names and keeping an eye out for our favourites, enjoying the beautiful heat.
After a while we (very tiredly)  decided to take a ride on a tour of the city bus. You know the ones, they drive you around and point out everything there is to know about the city! We went up the hills to see the Hollywood sign and look out over the city. This was absolutely beautiful! The view was outstanding and we managed to get there before sunset.


As the sun began to set we started winding back down the hills and were pointed towards many different (mainly dead) celebrities houses. Perhaps my favourite moment was when we were literally showed a gate. yep, a famous persons gate. Now had we been more alert we could/should have found this tour interesting but instead we found ourselves laughing at the whole experience.
What can i say? It was one gate too many for us.
After exploring more of the city, getting to see the Chinese Theatre and the city at night. We decided, it’s time to head home.
Also i don’t know if you are aware but there are so many homeless people in LA, and as soon as the sun goes down, the city changes. There is a weird vibe around Hollywood and the atmosphere is less than glamorous. Fun fact: Cat calling is still a thing in LA, only here it tends to begin or end with some ‘white girl’ comment. Fantastic.

Heading back to the hotel, all i could think about is how much i wanted pizza. So you better believe it, i ordered some pizza. Well, by some pizza i mean, THE WORLDS LARGEST PIZZA. EVER. I literally woke Naomi up to eat some pizza with me as i felt bad by how much i would have left.

DAY TWO.

Up bright exceptionally early, we watched the sunrise over the city as our body clocks laughed at what little sleep we had. Choosing not to dwell we went for a walk around USC, grabbed some lunch and my favourite food : FRO-YO. This place challenged all Fro-Yo places. SO MANY FLAVOURS.  I had a coconut cheesecake flavour pot with different fruits on top.

As we wandered around midtown we became very aware we were in an academic area of LA. The pavement was covered with students walking to and from classes, young cool kids hopping on and off their bikes and the streets were beautiful here, big palm trees aligning the roads.


Oh and how LA is this? They were literally filming a movie on campus that day!

As the afternoon got closer as did our deadline to make it to the train station because we were about to hop onboard the Pacific Surfliner to Oceanside – San Diego where we would drop our cases before setting off to LAS VEGAS!


Stay tuned to hear all about our VEGAS adventure…coming up next.
Thanks for reading Danielle Jade x

25 Thoughts everyone has on a night out! Don’t you agree?

After the show it’s the after party and after the party it’s the HORRIBLE HANGOVER.
From start to finish i’m sure you’ll agree we have all had nights out where most of these have happened, but would we change them? Of course we wouldn’t.

1. What do i wear? Am i cool enough for this? Is this too much?
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Do i look desperate in this?

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Fuck it , back to the first outfit i tried on 7hours ago.

2. How much make up is too much make up? Answer…I don’t know i’m applying eyeliner after way too much alcohol.

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3. GLITTER GLITTER WHO HAS THE GLITTER?. It ain’t a party until everyone in your party is covered in glitter.

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4. What time do we have to leave?? 10pm PERFECT. Actual time you leave, anywhere betweeen 10:15 and 10:45 and putting one foot in front of the other becomes increasingly difficult.

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5. If i miss free entry i swear to god i will kill her for making us stop at that public loo/bush/park so she could pee.

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6. Wait a second, am i more drunk than everyone? QUICK! Suggest shots so everyone can catch up.

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7. Wait a second, am i the most sober? HELL NO!  I am not being responsible for these dumb dumbs. SHOTS.

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8. I FORGOT MY ID, I FORGOT MY CARD, I FORGOT MY KEYS. No wait, its here. Carry on.

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9. We should pre-drink now so that we don’t have to spend money in the club.Next Day…WHO DID I THINK I WAS LAST NIGHT BILL GATES?

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10. Hello new best friend, we may have only just met a few seconds ago, whilst applying make up in the toilets but i just KNOW we are soul mates.

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11. To the over crowded smoking area everyone!

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12. To the over crowded bar everyone!

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13. Everyone must move everywhere together at all times, otherwise you won’t see each other again.

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14. (Insert name here) Is missing again! I saw them kissing (so and so) here. Fuck it. I’ll go get them .

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15. HELL YEAHHHHHH. This is OUR song. Let’s go girls, who run the world GIRLS!

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16. Oh ,shit – That shouldn’t have happened. Well here’s to sorting this mess out tomorrow.

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17. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! To anyone you have ever met. Ever.

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18. I’m sorry did my glare look like ‘PLEASE DANCE UP ON ME’ to you, NO?!. FRIEND SAVE ME QUICK, Claim to be my lover immediately.

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19. WHO TURNED ON THE LIGHTS, Jesus don’t make me see myself. Get me home now.

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20. Hello kebabish i’ll take one of EVERYTHING please.

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21. My bed, my beautiful, beautiful bed. Sure all 384301842 of us can sleep here.

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22. AHHHHHHH. I’m Dying.

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23. Who on earth is this in this photo/ texting me/ sleeping next to me.

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24. IM NEVER DRINKING AGAIN. I NEED COFFEE NOW.

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25. Same time next week?!

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Thanks for reading everyone.
Let me know in the comments if any of these have happened to you.
Danielle Jade
x

10 ways to survive that dreaded long haul flight.

1.Choose your seat wisely. Ideally if you can choose a seat before you check in do it. Or turn up early and make sure you get a seat with whoever you are travelling with. Don’t be left alone on a flight thats going to take a while.
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2. Following up on that, if you can get a seat without anyone in front of you, do it. The last thing you want is what happened to me. (A guy thinking it’s completely acceptable to recline his seat onto my lap, wanna just come hop on over and spoon me whilst you’re at it? – if you can’t already tell, i was not impressed)

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3. SNACKS. SNACKS. SNACKS. Plane food, is NOT the win. Now i know some people are fine with that solid bread roll but i, i just cant compare it to an actual edible piece of bread so i take snacks. Sweet & Savoury and a whole lot of water. Keep hydrated.
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4. Try to set your body clock whilst you’re in the air. If it’s 11pm where you’re landing then you should be sleeping on that plane. Try to keep with what time of the day/night it would be in the country you’re about to touch down in.
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5. Wear comfy clothes. The plane is not a catwalk, you’re not going to look your best after being squashed in one seat for a long time anyway so the least you can do is give yourself the most comfort and embrace life in those comfy jumpers/leggings/baggy tee’s whatever it is you feel good in.
ALWAYS keep a jacket though, the air-con is going to hit you at one point so take something you can wrap up in should you need it.
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6. Get up and walk around. You should try to keep as active as possible, stretch your legs. Walk to the bathroom. Make sure you are moving, unless you like pins and needles that is.
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7. Two items i cannot get on a plane without are; headbands and chapstick. These two are my favourite pocket items on a long haul flight. They are simple but effective.
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8. Take advantage of the entertainment on board the flight. The movies, tv shows, music, games, podcasts.(the alcohol) Anything to keep the brain awake.
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9. Now is the perfect time to research and plan your upcoming trip, you have so much time to make an itinerary and to think about exactly what you’re going to do whilst you’re on holiday so make the most of it!
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10. Pack light. Take a nice size bag with all your essentials in it as carry on luggage. Keep your passport, phone, and anything else you’ll immediately need in a separate wallet so you can easy get to them when you need them at the border etc.
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*Credit: all gifs taken from http://www.giphy.com*