13 Tips for Long Haul Flights
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I fly regularly, though I do not think of myself as a frequent flyer – and, to be honest, long distance flights are a bit of a pain for me. Though I am not a fan of long-haul flights, I have learned to deal with them and, with some tips/tricks, I sometimes realize they really are not that bad!
Here are my tips how to survive long-haul flights (if you do not have a business or first-class ticket)
Preparation – Before Checking-In
1. Get an upgrade
Okay, I wrote I will give you tips to survive a long-distance flight without being in the first-class, but if you can try to get an upgrade. The reality is: I have never gotten any, nor did I ever book a business or first-class ticket (so, I will tell you more about it once I know how to score an upgrade).
2. Check-in Online and Choose the Perfect Seat for Yourself
Window or Aisle Seat?
I prefer a window seat, some prefer an aisle seat, but apparently, no one likes the middle seat.
Pro window: Good view, easier to fall asleep, no one disturbs you when they get up
Pro aisle: Easier to get up and walk around
Close to the wings, at the end, or front?
Sitting near the wing apparently, has the advantage that the flight is smoother (especially if there is turbulence).
I personally try to have a seat at the end or front of the plane, since it is easier and quicker to get out of the plane (at the front of economy class are often families with children, so this might be worth considering as well).
3. Order a Special Meal
Since I am vegetarian now, I order a vegetarian meal, but even before I became a vegetarian I had always ordered meals without fish and pork. So I basically have always gotten my food first and could go to sleep quickly (more on that later).
4. Move and Rest Before a Flight
If it is a night flight, try to rest a few hours before the plane takes off. Thrombosis is real and putting your legs up helps to prevent swollen legs (and serious health issues), though some light activities/exercises before a flight are also important.
What to Do to Survive During the Flight
If you are a lucky person, you will be able to sleep most of the time – since not all people actually have that talent to fall asleep wherever they are, there are also some other things you can do to keep yourself happy during a long distance flight in this list.
Taking a neck pillow is actually my most important travel tip for long distance flights and is often my lifesaver (extra tip: I do not wrap the pillow around my neck but put it on backwards, so my head won’t fall forward during the flight and wake me up- and it is way more comfortable).
I often I fall asleep before the plane even takes off – so I seriously miss the take-off. I am aware that I am very lucky and know most are not “gifted” with such a talent, so some might need an eye mask and ear plugs.
Before Netflix allowed offline downloads, I was sure that my iPad had been my worst “investment” ever – now that I can download my TV shows and watch them offline, long-haul flights have become much better!
Music: I could not survive a long time without my own music, so my iPod is one my favorite items.
Books, Kindle, notebooks, etc.: I never rely on the entertainment program of the airline, sometimes they are awesome (hello Emirates Airlines), sometimes they are not. So be prepared and take your own entertainment.
7. Pack all Necessary Items in a Carry-On Bag
Organize your carry-on like a pro, so you have easy access (to find out how to pack a perfect carry-on click here).
Wear layers and wear comfortable clothes. Good clothes and shoes are the foundation for a good flight: sweatpants (never wear jeans on a flight), comfortable shoes which you can easily take off and on, a cardigan, and pro tip: take an extra scarf, which I use as a blanket, or as an extra pillow.
I have to admit that I looove airplane food (even in economy-class) and I strongly assume it is because I am bored and look forward to being busy. However, many people dislike airplane food and snacks and wind up staying hungry, so pack your snacks (I have a sweet tooth so I always look forward having my favorite snacks on board).
10. Stay Fresh
You are how you feel – so being hygienic makes you feel better for sure, so a toothbrush and toothpaste are my essentials, as well as some refreshing towelettes and peppermint drops.
11. Stay Away from Certain Food/Drinks
No alcohol, no caffeine, and nothing you do not tolerate well in general (everything seems to be worse up in the air).
12. Change Your Watch Ahead of Time
Prepare yourself mentally, and adjust for the time difference.
It is important to get up and move so your blood can flow and you´ll feel better (and to kill time), try to avoid crossing your legs as it is not good for your blood flow.
I hope these tips on long-distance flights help you to enjoy your next long-distance flight more.
SAFE TRAVELS, Arzo
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13 Tips to Survive Long Haul Flights