Dread long-haul flights no more! With these expert tips, you can conquer the beast of boredom, discomfort, and jet lag and turn your next marathon flight into a pleasant journey. Whether it’s a 10-hour cross-Atlantic trip or a whopping 17-hour marathon to the other side of the globe, we’ve got you covered.
The Flight Prep: Getting Comfortable
Choose the right seat: Not all seats are created equal. Whether you value legroom, peace and quiet, or easy aisle access, do your research. Use a site like SeatGuru to get the lowdown on your plane and pick the best spot for you. Remember, exit row seats and those near the front of the plane often provide more legroom.
Dress for comfort: Swap your tight jeans and fancy shoes for breathable, loose-fitting clothes. Cotton leggings, joggers, or drawstring pants paired with a comfortable tee and a cardigan make the perfect long-haul flight outfit. Layers will help you adjust to changing cabin temperatures. And don’t forget your comfy socks or slippers to keep your feet warm!
Pack a survival kit: Your kit should include a neck pillow for head support, a blanket to ward off the cabin chill, earplugs, an eye mask for better sleep, noise-cancelling headphones to drown out the noise, and a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. To combat the dry air, pack moisturizer, lip balm, and a facial spray to keep your skin refreshed.
In-Flight Entertainment: Keep the Boredom at Bay
Download before you go: Don’t rely on in-flight Wi-Fi, which can be slow and pricey. Instead, download movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, or audiobooks onto your device before you board. And remember to fully charge your device and bring a portable charger just in case.
Pack a good book or two: Long flights offer the perfect uninterrupted reading time. Whether you love mystery novels, autobiographies, or self-help books, make sure you’ve got plenty to read. If books aren’t your thing, you could also try crosswords, Sudoku, or drawing to keep your mind active.
Work or learn something new: If you have work to catch up on, this could be the perfect opportunity. Alternatively, you could learn a new language or skill with apps like Duolingo or Masterclass. Not only will this keep you occupied, but you’ll land with a sense of accomplishment.
Beat the Jet Lag: Adjust to New Time Zones
Start before you go: A few days before you depart, start adjusting your schedule to the new time zone. Eat, sleep, and wake up as if you were already there. It can make the transition less jarring and help minimize jet lag.
Stay hydrated: The dry air in airplane cabins can lead to dehydration, which exacerbates jet lag. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, both of which can disturb your sleep cycle and further dehydrate you. Drink plenty of water instead.
Sleep strategically: Depending on the direction you’re flying and the time you’ll arrive, it can be helpful to sleep at strategic times on the flight to help adjust to the new time zone. An eye mask and earplugs can be invaluable for this.
Long-haul flights don’t have to be a dreaded part of travel. With a little preparation and these expert tips, you’ll arrive at your destination feeling fresh and ready to explore. So next time you’re staring down the barrel of a long-haul flight, remember these tips and master the skies.
Safe travels, and enjoy the journey!