Whether it’s for business, delight or doing a reversal home after a get-away, a whole deal flight can put a damper on your excursion arranges. The entire thought of going for a few hours at an extend can pester. Indeed, even successive air voyagers who are continually moving are not invulnerable to the negative impacts of long separation flights, the most exceedingly bad being plane slack. Flying over the Pacific or Atlantic in whole deal flights can be genuinely tedious for most, since a greater part of voyagers fly economy. The hours appear to extend unendingly and the seats appear to be doubly confined, and your appendages and neck may begin to feel unbending. You are going to get a couple of hours of erratic rest, when all of a sudden to your shame, the lodge lights go ahead, reporting that dinners will be served in a matter of seconds. So to make your time more pleasant and the travel more agreeable, take after the tips given underneath.
How to Make a Long Flight Comfortable
Selecting your Seats
Nowadays, almost all long haul flights offer the facility to select a seat in advance. Some airlines may charge you a fee for providing the service, so confirm it before you select the seat.
- There is always the lure of a window seat, but if you need to go to the lavatory often, select an aisle seat. Going to the lavatory if you are in the window seat means disturbing two more passengers on your way out. Aisle seats can give you some room to stretch your legs once in a while, but look out for people on the move.
Seats near the emergency exit and the bulkhead seats provide more leg room. Be wary of bulkhead seats though, they are often used by passengers with babies, with a bassinet attached to the partition, and thus, not the best seats if you are looking for some peace and quiet!
- If you haven’t made the seat selection online, check in early to get the seats of your choice.
What to Pack
Pack your carry-on luggage wisely. Here are some hints about things that you may need during your journey.
- Carry a couple of pairs of extra clothes with you, check-in baggage is prone to getting lost.
- All your important documents (passports and travel-related papers) and valuables like camera, laptop must be a part of your carry-on luggage.
- Keep a stock of medicines with you, ideally, pain relievers, antacids, travel sickness pills, or any other medications you are advised to take on a regular basis.
- Barf bags are available on board, but as a precaution, carry plastic bags with you, especially if you are prone to travel sickness. Remember to take your motion sickness medication before takeoff for best result.
- Keep a few magazines, books, and your iPod with you. Most airlines offer very good in-flight entertainment, but you may get bored with watching movies, and books and music can come to your rescue, especially if you are traveling alone.
- Airlines usually provide blankets and pillows, but keep a sweater or some warm clothing handy, in case it gets too cold. You can carry inflatable neck cushions, to prevent the neck from becoming too stiff.
- Carry an eye mask along, it will help you fall asleep faster even with lights on.
You can pack your favorite snacks like granola bars if the flight meals don’t appeal to you.
- Always keep lip balm and a small bottle of moisturizer in your bag. Cabin air is extremely dry, and your lips and skin can get chapped in no time.
Inside the Aircraft
The first few minutes may seem enjoyable, but boredom begins to kick in as soon as you finish your first in-flight meal. So how to make yourself comfortable and enjoy the flight?
- Watch movies and play virtual games, listen to music; on-board entertainment facilities can keep you occupied for quite some time.
- If you are one of the lucky ones who can sleep comfortably in a flight, then catch some Z’s. Placing a pillow between your lower back and the seat can offer a lot of comfort and reduce backache.
- Aircraft cabins are well pressurized, and the circulating air is very dry, so drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated. But avoid alcohol.
- Eat healthy snacks which are high in fiber.
- Do not sit for long hours at a stretch. Be on the move. Take a walk down the aisle every now and then. This prevents deep vein thrombosis, popularly called economy class syndrome, wherein clots can form in your legs leading to considerable pain and swelling. To avoid this condition, during long air travel, wear loose-fitting clothing and shoes.
- Some people pop a sleeping pill so they can sleep well during travel. My advice, if you have never taken a sleeping pill before, DO NOT try it on a long distance flight. It can be very difficult to fight off the lethargy and drowsiness of a sleeping pill, and you may feel the lingering side effects even long after you have stepped down from the aircraft.
- The constant drone of the engine can cause ringing of the ears, so put cotton balls in your ears or use travel ear plugs.
- Ascent and descent are usually known to cause popping ear pressure, which can be quite a pain. To ease the pressure buildup in your ears, keep moving your jaw to the left and right, or chew on gum which increases the saliva flow and makes you swallow, effectively opening up the Eustachian tube.
Traveling with Kids
A long haul air journey can seem daunting for people traveling with children. Twelve hours or more of travel with a cranky infant is enough to give nightmares to parents. To avoid boredom, here’s what you can do.
- Carry a good and interesting collection of lightweight books (puzzle books, sticker books, and coloring books are a good option) which will keep your child occupied for hours. Some airlines provide coloring books, crayons, and a soft toy for their young passengers.
- Carry small toys which are not too heavy or noisy but which will hold a child’s interest for a long time. Avoid toys with numerous small parts, like jigsaw puzzles.
- Airlines offer special meals for children, so make sure you opt for them. If you prefer your kid not to have aircraft food, carry enough snacks with you, (along with disposable spoons, plates, and enough napkins) keeping in mind factors like break journeys, airport delays, and food spillage.
- Do not forget to bring medications like acetaminophen, and cough and cold syrups. Any prescription medications will require the prescription as well.
- Some parents suggest using cough and cold syrups just to lull children to sleep, but I would suggest against using any medicine which will cause drowsiness in the child. It can sometimes backfire making the child highly strung and hyperactive, and under no circumstance, would you want an overactive toddler on a long distance flight!
- Keep barf bags handy. Unlike adults, children may not tell you they want to throw up!
- To minimize the discomfort of ear popping, use pacifiers for infants, and candies/chewing gums for older children. An easy way out is to ask children to keep sipping water which eliminates pressure build up during ascent and descent.
- If you have an infant, reserve bulkhead seats. The bassinets provided can be a real boon once the baby sleeps. Put the sleeping baby in the bassinet to get some reprieve.
- Pack enough diapers, extra sets of clothes, warm clothing, blankets, towels, baby wipes, formula, etc., for long journeys.
- Older children can occupy themselves by resorting to the flight entertainment that caters specifically to young travelers.
Undoubtedly, the worst part of international air travel. Crossing several time zones in less than 24 hours can be strenuous for your body. It can cause headaches, a feeling of disorientation, and tiredness. The internal body clock takes time to adjust to the new time in the new environment, and this doesn’t happen overnight. Typically, our body takes one day per time zone to adjust. Everyone has their own methods to beat jet lag.
- If you are traveling east, try going to bed and waking up earlier than you usually do, and if you are heading west, stay up a little longer, and sleep late than your regular timing.
- If you reach the destination during the day, do not sleep till its night. This will help your body adjust faster.
No doubt, long distance travel can prove debilitating for your body, and totally zap you of your energy levels. Taking appropriate measures to make the travel more comfortable and enjoyable can ease some of the discomfort. Some people opt for break journeys, and don’t mind the extra travel time, as it gives them a break from the long journey, whereas others prefer nonstop flights and want the journey to end soon! Whatever you prefer, get enough sleep in the days prior to the day of your departure. Try following the above tips the next time you travel, and be assured you will not alight the aircraft resembling a zombie!