Follow these simple tricks to ensure your next long-haul flight is one you enjoy. Most people cringe at the idea of getting on a plane for a 10-hour (or more) flight. The trick to enjoying these flights is simple.
Think of your flight as personal "me" time. A time when you can do the things you’re usually too busy to do. Read a good book, watch a movie that only you will enjoy or clean out your email inbox.
Read below to get our best tips for your next long-haul flight. I bet you’ll be looking forward to them once you put these tips into place.
1. Before departing, check-in for your flight and select your seat. Most airlines will allow you to check-in up to 24 hours prior to boarding. This can be done online using your flight confirmation number (which is usually all letters). If having an isle seat or a window will make or break the enjoyment of your flight, consider paying a little extra to secure your preferred seat when you book your flight. Use com to select your seat. On this website, you will find the layout of your plane.
2. Set your watch to the time zone of your destination as soon as you get on the plane.
3. Make sure you set aside some time for rest. It is best to sleep if you can. Not only does this help pass the time it will give you a boost of energy when you get off the plane. To get some rest you should pack earplugs and eye-mask.
4. Choose airline food wisely. If you have sensitivities, select your meals ahead. Insider tip, if you pre-order a special meal (vegetarian or Halal) you will most likely receive your meal before everyone else. When meals aren’t offered on the flight, head to the airline’s website to pre-order food. This ensures you get what you want and it’s already paid for.
5. You've heard it before, you shouldn’t drink too much alcohol or caffeine during your flight. Both are considered diuretics and will dehydrate you. However, enjoying 1 or 2 Alcoholic or caffeinated beverages is fine, if you counter it with at least 1 glass of water for every alcoholic/caffeinated drink you consume.
6. Pack snacks and water. There are some foods you can bring through security. Please double check with your departing airport to ensure you know which ones are OK. After you pass through security, go buy a big bottle of water to take on board, as well as snacks if you didn’t bring any from home.
7. Pack a neck pillow and a small blanket. If you have a long comfortable sweater bring that instead of the blanket. Inflatable neck pillows are the easiest and most compact to tote around. I prefer the memory foam ones as the inflatable ones tend to deflate after a few trips. In addition to using the neck pillows on flights, they come in handy when taking long bus or car trips. Assume the airline will give you nothing and pack a few essentials that will make your trip more comfortable.
8. Dress in layers and wear comfortable clothing. This will help free up some space in your luggage. If you find it chilly during your flight, you’ll remain comfortable and if it’s a little warm, you can take a few layers off.
9. When you settle in for a rest, ensure you put your seatbelt on, over your blanket, so the airline steward can see it. They won’t need to wake you if the captain requires everyone to remain belted and in their seats.
10. Pack some simple toiletries, that are approved for air travel. Such as a toothbrush and toothpaste and lip-balm. Cleansing face wipes and a little bit of face cream or make-up for the ladies. All the samples you’ve been collecting from the drugstore come in very handy. Also, if your luggage gets lost, you have some essentials in a pinch. Put any liquid in a small, clear plastic bag before you leave the house, you’ll be ready at the security gate with all items.
11. Consider compression socks. They are not my favorite item (i.e. not that sexy) and I have yet to use them. However, I have heard they really help with swelling and keep the circulation flowing in your legs. I usually stretch and get up and walk around several times throughout the flight. This helps with foot swelling and leg cramps.
12. If you need medication, ensure you bring it with you and it is clearly marked so you can pass through security without a problem. This might include antihistamine tablets if you suffer from allergies, nasal mist such as Dristan or simply ibuprofen.
Some of these tips might seem like common sense, some might be new. The most important thing to do is to plan and look at your time in the air as “me” time. You’ll feel rested and ready to start exploring when you arrive at your destination.