Take a look at a few travel tips for long flights.
I’m going to be honest; I dread long flights. I really envy those people who love flying and enjoy the experience – no matter how long they have to be cooped up in the plane cabin. I am definitely not one of them and probably will never be. However, since I love traveling and exploring new destinations, I had to find ways to help me cope better with the challenges long flights always bring. Here are some tips I put into practice in the last years to survive those long flights which helped me cope being stuck on a plane for seemingly endless hours.
Move around the cabin
Whenever you are on long flights, make sure you move around the cabin often – at least once every hour. Not only does it break up the monotony but moving around can help you avoid developing blood clots (more accurately called deep vein thrombosis) which occur when you are immobile for long periods of time or sitting in those tiny cramped seats during the flight.
Wearing a Fitbit during a flight is a great idea – it will notify you that it’s time to get up and move around in case you get lost in an onboard movie marathon. If you don’t have a Fitbit, drinking plenty of water also promotes movement; it acts as a good reminder to get out of your seat since you will be forced to go to the bathroom more often. Take this time to also walk around the cabin and do some quick stretches. Just staying standing in one of the cabin aisles for a few minutes before you return to your seat will also help.
Wear comfortable clothes
Forget about being stylish when you fly and bring comfortable, loose clothing that will make your flight more pleasant. When I travel, I usually wear leggings, warm shoes, and a hoodie. Of course, I always carry a jacket since I am on the boarder of hyperthermia with the plane’s malicious AC. It’s always a good idea to dress in layers so you can adjust to the airplane temperature.
I have seen people travel in their pjs – but this is a bit too much. Remember that when you travel your feet might swell up due to the high altitude, so bring shoes that are not too tight and some warm socks. There is nothing more uncomfortable that having cold and swollen feet for hours.
Bring sleeping aids
If you are taking a redeye flight, make sure you are adequately prepared to catch some shut eye. Falling -and staying- asleep is usually harder in a plane but there are a few tips to follow which might help. When packing for your trip, make sure you bring a comfortable sleeping/neck pillow and a quality sleeping mask. This is vital because to get some good hours of sleep onboard your flight, you can’t wait too long to have the lights turn off in the cabin. When I fly, I usually take a sleeping pill such as ZZZquil to make sure I sleep for as long as possible.
Pack a necessaire
I usually carry with me a small necessaire (toiletry bag) with travel essentials like skin care products, a hairbrush, a small stick of deodorant, and a toothbrush to help me feel a bit fresher when I land. Remember to wash your mouth with bottled water when you brush your teeth in the plane’s bathroom.
Bring a few distractions
Inflight movies can be very hit or miss. Take advantage that you have several hours of basically free time to read that book you’ve had on the shelf, flip through a few magazines, listen to a good podcast, download that Netflix series, or simply relax. If you are traveling with someone, bring a pack of cards to play a fun game or two. I always try organizing the hours ahead and break them up into several activities. For example, I would read for an hour, then watch a movie, eat a snack, nap, etc. Building a “routine” will help time go faster. Keep in mind that phone batteries might die within a couple of hour so it’s important to bring an extra cable to charge your phone as many times as needed. Oh, and download what you want to watch on your iPad or phone before leaving from home.
Pack snacks and your favorite food
As I mentioned during previous posts, I am not a fan of airplane food, and my husband is a snob who refuses to eat on a plane. Whenever possible I always try to bring my own food and plenty of snacks. I usually bring walnuts/almonds or some crackers, while my husband packs in bags of Kit Kats or Swedish Fish. You can either buy a sandwich at the airport or bring a better one from home (we traditionally pack prosciutto sandwiches, since they last longer, and then suffer from overdrinking water). Bringing your own food means that you don’t need to wait until service starts to eat which is especially beneficial during red eye flights – you can fall asleep as soon as you want.
Additionally, before you board the plane, remember to bring one or two large bottles of water. Hydrating yourself during long flights is essential so you should have water readily available to drink when you get thirsty.
Find a good seat
If you want to sleep and not be bothered pick the seat next to the window. If you like moving around and need to go to the bathroom plenty of times, pick an aisle seat. Avoid reserving the last row as seats do not recline as you will be uncomfortable for the whole flight. Arrive early to the airport so you will have more chances of getting a good seat if your ticket didn’t allow to reserve seats in advance.
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