Long-Haul flights are not always the most exciting things to look forward to so I’ve created a few tips to help make it a little more enjoyable when you feel like your feet are starting to get restless and you’re ready to take off to somewhere new.
I always ensure that I have my iPad, iPhone or laptop with me before heading on a flight. I always ensure that my devices are filled with my favourite TV shows, music and reading material. Do not forget to pack your headphones and chargers in your carry-on, not all airlines have electrical outlets onboard so once I start losing power I often opt to charge my devices in the airport during layovers. I have recently purchased a portable travel charger also known as a portable power bank which is not only compatible with my smartphone but with my tablet as well.
Ensure you’re comfortable:
Always change into a comfortable outfit prior to getting on your flight. I tend to go for a pair of track pants and a hoodie because I have a tendency to get very cold on planes and it gives me the option to wear layers such as a tank top or t-shirt to prepare for fluctuating temperatures during the flight. Wearing my most comfortable pair of socks or footies is also important since I remove my shoes for the majority of the flight.
A neck pillow and a light blanket or travel throw:
Many airlines may provide you with a pillow or blanket but I would suggest investing in your own. These items are essential whether you’re sitting in the aisle seat or window seat they help make falling asleep on a lot easier. Depending on the type of pillow you use it can help ease the pain of waking up with a stiff neck. I purchased a great neck pillow made from memory foam, you can find a similar on Amazon
Bring your own water:
Although 99% of international flights provide you with beverages with your meal, I would suggest purchasing a bottle of water after you’ve gone though the security check and before boarding your flight; bottled water will be confiscated at the security check. Once you’re on the flight and you’ve ran out of water ask the flight attendant to refill your bottle with their bottled water. If you’re anti plastic water bottles I would suggest bringing your own reusable bottle and asking the flight attendant to fill it up for you, and that way you always have it handy and can avoid having to constantly ask the flight attendant for a beverage.
Packing a few snacks is great to get you through a long flight. You will always have something to nibble on while you watch a great movie, TV show or even while reading. Often times I will pack small snacks such as trail mix, sunflower seeds, granola bars or almonds. Fruits are a great option as well as they will help keep you hydrated but do not forget about them or they will go bad and you’ll have a bag that smells like rotten fruit for a few days. Avoid packing any snacks that might smell.
Pre-order your meals:
Since I’ve recently become a vegetarian I pre-order my meals which essentially means I get fed before everyone else and as a bonus most of my meals have been decent and full of nutrients. I would suggest you contact the airline prior to boarding to see what their options are for pre-ordering meals, especially if you have any dietary restrictions. Sometimes there may be an extra charge associated with this, but it is worth it.
I find that having a small zip lock bag or a transparent reusable airline carry-on bag is a great thing to have when packing your toiletries. Basic items such as lip balm, unscented hand and face cream. Wipes and a toothbrush and toothpaste are helpful on long haul flights when you don’t have access to a shower. I also pack my essential make-up items such as my concealer, mascara and eyeliner. Remember everything needs to be travel size or it will be confiscated at the security check.
Pre-select your seat(s):
If you have a preference when it comes to where you decide to sit I would highly suggest pre-selecting your seats far in advance prior to the day you board your flight. There is nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat when you would have preferred to have the window or aisle seat. For long flights, if you tend to sleep a lot, you may want to select the window seat and this way you won’t be disturbed for bathroom breaks. I tend to also take into consideration where on the plane to be seated, if you’re closer to the front you will be able to get off the flight faster than someone who is closer to the back and is stuck waiting for the people in front to get all of their items down from the overhead compartments.
Get up, walk and stretch:
The possibility for blood clots also called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) forming increases when sitting for long hours at a time. If your knees are constantly bent the blood flow to your knees slows down. Although the chance of developing DVT is very slim it’s something that we still need to be aware of. If you want to ensure you’re up and moving a lot why not drink a lot of water so you constantly have to make a trip to the bathroom. Walking up and down the aisles helps relieve the leg cramps as well but do keep in mind that if you’ve been assigned the window seat constantly getting up can extremely annoying to your neighbor.
Many people I’ve met during my long haul flights have mentioned to me that they rely on sleeping aids to get them through long flights. I enjoy sitting beside these folks because they don’t speak much due to the fact that they’re sleeping the majority of the time. They’ve mentioned that they get a prescription from their doctor or alternatively they purchase over-the-counter options such a Bonine, Unisom Sleep Tabs or even Benadryl. Always consult with your physician or pharmacist before taking any type of drug. I do not rely on sleep aids because I tend to fall asleep very easily on flights. There is nothing more disappointing than waking up from what you believed to be a long slumber to realize you still have several of hours left until you arrive at your destination, I cry a little inside each time this happens.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Let me know below!