First things first…
Let’s face it, traveling internationally is worth it, trust me, but long flights don’t typically make people get excited. As a matter of fact, the thought of a long international flight often induces people to groan as they think about cramped seating, unappetizing meals, snoring seat mates… You get the picture, right?
Let me make a few suggestions that may make the journey more comfortable.
- Fly First Class or Business Class. Many airlines give you a pillow, blanket and complete toiletry kit so you can “go to bed” in your seat. Have you heard of “Lie Flat” seating? “Lie Flat” seating is becoming more common on aircraft flying international routes. This type of seating folds down into a flat bed and allows you to relax and sleep on the flight. I had the pleasure of experiencing this myself and found I was refreshed and ready to hit the ground running once the aircraft landed.
- Wear Comfortable Clothing. Don’t wear your pajamas or dress immodestly for the flight. Let’s face it- most of us feel comfortable when we feel “presentable” in public. Try to avoid clothes that are too tight, that bunch or ride up in funny ways, are made of materials that irritate your skin (think fabrics that are scratchy) or are otherwise bothersome in any other way. Consider soft, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen and design features like elastic waist bands. Wear multiple thin layers so that you can add or remove clothing to help regulate your body temperature in transit. Cabin temperatures are notorious for fluctuating and no one likes to roast one minute and feel frozen the next. Comfy shoes are also a must! Don’t wear brand new shoes that may still be in that break-in period and could give you blisters. Wear shoes you know you can walk all day in without your feet screaming to be set free! Slip-on shoes are a great idea too – for ease through security as well as comfort once you’re on the plane.
- Reserve Bulkhead or Exit Row seating. Have long legs or just like more leg room? Consider an aisle seat or exit row for more leg room. If you have enough points you may be able to get an upgrade to Business or First Class seating. Extra leg room can make a long flight more tolerable.
- Stay Hydrated. This point is not to be overlooked. Drink plenty of water throughout the flight. It isn’t enough to chug down one bottle of water and think you’ve had enough to satisfy your physical needs. You should drink water liberally stretched over the course of time. Want to avoid headaches, nausea and fatigue while in flight? Drink water!
- Pack Plenty of Gadgets to Entertain Yourself along with a Portable Battery Charger. Although most flights will have in-flight movies, your choices may be limited. Bring your own tablet or laptop loaded with a few movies you know you will enjoy. Pack something to read. Here again is where a hard copy of a book, tablet or Kindle, mobile phone or laptop really shines! Make sure you download multiple books or magazines prior to boarding the flight. Love podcasts? There is a podcast for every interest out there. You can be entertained, or educated or both. And here is a bonus – podcasts take up less space and use less battery than movies – so load ‘em up! And last, but certainly not least, pack something to listen to. If popping in your noise-cancelling headphones and zoning out to your favorite music is your thing, make sure you have all your favorite tunes loaded on your device.
- Bring along Some Healthy Snacks. You know what you like to eat and how much/often you need to eat. I recommend packing a little more than you think you will need in case of travel delays. Nutritionists advise smaller meals with a good balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and plant-based foods to stay happy and healthy on long haul flights and to avoid jet leg. For Business and First Class travelers, most airlines provide you a menu of complimentary gourmet food, and in some cases, it’s made to order – VERY different from the food served in economy. Stuck in economy? Bring snacks that are compact and will fit easily in your stowaway bag, don’t have strong odors and are packed with healthy ingredients.
Just like with anything in life, preparing your attitude ahead of time is key to success. Why not look at the time you are going to spend on a long-haul flight as a glorious day of rest, a true holiday. No phone calls, no text messages, no social media, no responsibilities. Sit back and relax, sleep, read that great book you’ve been wanting to read, binge watch movies guilt-free. You’re going to be stuck on a plane for a long time – you might as well turn it into something you can enjoy!
Have a great flight!
Do you need some help with planning your next vacation? Contact me and I’ll be happy to provide a free consultation.