Most of us dream of visiting every corner of the world; however, for that to happen, we sometimes have to go through excruciatingly long flights. Plus, if you’re travelling alone, a flight can seem even longer.
Regardless of whether you are a novice flyer or a veteran who still hasn’t found a way to make this experience bearable, take a look at some hacks when it comes to dealing with long flights.
#1 Choose the right seat
Your preparation for a comfy flight should start with booking your ticket. Where you sit can play a huge role in how you feel on the plane, so don’t neglect this aspect.
If you’re getting your ticket way ahead of time, you’ll probably have a chance to choose your seat, so make the most out of it. For example, try to find a spot next to a window, as that will give you something to lean on when you want to sleep and you will not be disturbed by people who need to use the toilet.
Furthermore, keep in mind that bulkhead seats are usually used by families with kids, so if you want to avoid this noise, don’t choose a seat in the front. When it comes to the back of the plane, it can also be noisy due to the engines but there might be some empty seats which you can use to stretch out.
However, there are also experts that claim that a seat by the wings is the best option as there is less turbulence. So, take your preferences into consideration before choosing a spot.
#2 Wear comfy clothes
When choosing what to wear for the flight, avoid constricting items of clothing. Seeing as how a lot of people prefer not to travel in sweatpants, there are other options as well.
For instance, women can opt for leggings, jersey or sweater dresses and some slip-on shoes. I always wear pants with an elastic waist so I don’t have a tight waistband cutting into my stomach for hours.
Men also have similar options when it comes to trousers which they can pair with wrinkle-resistant shirts.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should dress in layers, as you will probably sometimes feel very cold and sometimes too hot. You can consider bringing a travel blanket or a light scarf to stay warm when the AC is on full blast. A scarf is also good to have to wear at your destination, especially if you’re expecting variable temperatures.
#3 Do some exercises
Sitting for hours in such a cramped space can cause you pain. That is why you should try to do some light exercises.
For instance, while you’re seated, you can do some light stretching. Reach your arms above your head as high as you can go and do some deep breathing. Twisting your torso and looking over your shoulder should alleviate some stiffness in your back. Roll your head back and forth a couple of times and stretch your arms across your chest as much as you can without disturbing your neighbor.
Also, walk around a bit and go to the toilet to stretch your legs and hips – of course, when the seatbelt sign is not on. Legs are known to get quite stiff during flights, so don’t be afraid to move around.
You can consider searching for handy portable massagers online and find the most suitable one to bring with you. Once you get to your hotel room, your whole body will feel rejuvenated.
#4 Ask for a special meal
When booking your flight, you can put in a request for a special meal. There are plenty of options, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and halal dishes. These meals are served first and are usually free.
A lot of airplane foods are quite heavy on the carbs and are hard to digest, and you most definitely do not want to feel constipated. So, make sure to prepare some healthy snacks as well. Opt for something rich in fiber and protein, such as mixed nuts and granola bars. I always bring some yummy beef jerky on a trip with me, as well as some granola bars and dried fruit.
#5 Stay hydrated
Being properly hydrated is always important but especially when you’re flying. Make sure to keep sipping – yes, you might have to go to the bathroom more often, but you cannot risk being dehydrated.
The flight attendants walk around quite often offering cups of water. Accept the cup of water even if you don’t feel thirsty so that you can continue to sip throughout the flight. If you become thirsty in between the drink breaks, ask the flight attendant to bring you water using the call button above your seat.
You should avoid coffee and alcohol, as they lead to dehydration. Plus, alcohol might make you sick and you don’t want to spend a lot of time in a cramped toilet.
#6 Bring your own entertainment
For a long flight, bringing enough entertainment is vital. Consider reading books or magazines while waiting for take-off when they want electronics stored away.
Other than that, think about bringing various games as well as TV shows or movies downloaded on an iPad or other tablet (I have this one and love it). Depending on what you find relaxing, you can listen to music, podcasts or even white noise from your smartphone.
However, don’t forget to charge all the devices and bring extra power packs.
#7 Consider sleep aids
In addition to bringing your own neck pillow, you can consider other sleep aids as well. Think about an eye mask and noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs. On the other hand, you can talk to your GP to see whether there are some pills that can help you sleep on the plane.
Every person is different when it comes to dealing with long flights. Some people can sleep through the majority of it without any pills or other aids, while others look for various ways to stay entertained and avoid stiffness.
Try these suggestions and you will surely find something that works for you.
These flight hacks were contributed by Chloe Smith. Chloe is a business consultant, a cycling enthusiast and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).
In one period of her life she traveled a lot, and at some moments, that was a really stressful experience. She used all of all of these techniques at some point of her travel experiences so she wanted to share those techniques with other people. Let us know if you have any long plane ride tips in the comments below!