The idea of travelling abroad for a vacation is undoubtedly fun and exciting. But in case you are taking a long-haul flight, it can be a frustrating experience. This is especially true if you are not well-prepared. Put it this way: Imagine the flight takes 10 hours to reach your dream destination and you are sitting in economy class that doesn’t have ample leg room. Pretty uncomfortable, right? However, there are ways to turn your otherwise uncomfortable long-haul flight — well — comfortable with these survival tips below.
1) A Good Seat Matters
By “good seat”, we do not automatically mean you have to spend more money to book a first-class flight. Even if you are in an economy class (like most of us average people are), you can actually get a good seat. The trick here is finding the right one, depending on your specific needs. Here are the best respective seats below:
- If you are looking to sleep, choose a window seat. It gives you more freedom compared to middle or aisle seats. You can get better shut-eye since you don’t have to worry about whether other passengers wakes you up if he or she needs to go to the toilet. You even have freedom to place your pillow on the seat or against the window. And if you are looking for the best window seat in economy class, choose the one at the front of the plane since it is quieter.
- If you want more leg room, your best choices are either at the exit rows or the bulkhead section (the latter, of course, refers to a wall or a curtain that separates between cabins).
- If you often walk around or perhaps frequent the toilet, an aisle seat would be your best option.
- Can’t wait for your turn to get out of the plane and enjoy your holiday? Do not pick seats in the middle or at the back section. If possible, choose a seat near the exit door located at the front section of the plane on the left side.
2) Move More
It is definitely not a good idea to remain stationary on the plane. Not especially if you are taking a long-haul flight that lasts, say, eight or twelve hours. Doing so might be risk yourself developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or commonly known as blood clot. So, do yourself a favour and stretch your legs often by moving around the plane (e.g. go to the toilet to wash your face).
3) Never Neglect Your Health
Here’s the thing about travelling on a plane: the humidity in the cabins is very dry and might cause discomfort like dry skin, dry eyes and chapped lips. Not to mention that low humidity will make you dehydrated. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water or electrolyte beverages. But whatever you do, avoid diuretics like coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol since they dehydrate you further. Do not forget to bring along other essentials like skin moisturiser, eye drops and lip balm if you are prone to these symptoms.
4) Be Aware Of The Time Zone
Travelling overseas, particularly to the country with different time zone, will definitely cause jet lag. It is a common symptom typically associated with long-haul fliers where you will suffer the likes of headaches and insomnia. Avoid messing up your circadian rhythm by keeping track of the time zone at your destination. This means try your best to stay awake during the day and sleep at night as you used to on a daily basis. While it is admittedly easier said than done, it really helps you if you are persistent and stick to the routine.
5) Dress Comfortably
Tight clothes like skinny jeans restrict your muscles and freedom of body movement. Definitely not a good idea if you are travelling long-haul. Of course, that would be entirely up to you but if you do not want to feel uncomfortable throughout the flight, loose clothes are your best option. This includes the likes of loose top/shirt/T-shirt/pants and shorts. And if you are wearing shoes or sneakers, it’s best to put on a pair of compression socks. They are particularly helpful to improve blood circulation and minimise the risk of DVT.
6) Keep Yourself Busy
Let’s face it, an 8-hour plane ride or more isn’t a fun thing to do. But you can at least keep yourself busy to pass the time. For instance, you can read an in-flight magazine or even a good novel. Or better yet, bring your own entertainment like playing mobile games on your smartphone or watch a couple of downloaded movies/TV series on your tablet. This also helps to create some diversion.
7) Bring Your Sleep Essentials
You probably need some sleep one way or another during a long-haul flight. So, it’s wise to invest in a good travel pillow to prevent a sore neck. Other sleep essentials you should consider bringing aboard include a sleep mask, a blanket and a pair of earplugs to filter the noises in the plane.