So you’re going on vacation. You’re excited and can’t wait for the adventure to begin – but oh that long flight ahead… That’s the only part you’re really dreading! Well, here are a few tips that might help make it more enjoyable…
In preparation for your flight I’m going to cover a few different topics:
1. Carry on items
Your carry on should be small and light. On most long haul flights, your big suitcase gets checked for free, so why bother dealing with a lot of carry on. You really only need a few essentials with you during the flight.
My personal favorites are my fully charged cell phone, earplugs, my own headphones, my eye mask, a good book, a few granola bars, almonds, chex mix, a refillable water bottle, a pair of heavy socks, my neck pillow and a small blanket. All of these items fit into a small backpack, along with my wallet and my passport. Multiple compartments help me keep it organized and easily accessible. I also add a pair of Yoga pants (to sleep in), a hairbrush, travel toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturizer, eye drops & nose spray (to fight the dry air on planes) and some powder make up. I always make sure I wear a scarf. Can be used as pillow, headband, blanket and more…
2. Food before and during your flight
Eat healthy, light foods. Elevation and climate changes are hard on the body and the digestive system. Eating heavy, hard to digest foods, is not going to help. You don’t want to be going to the restroom every hour and you probably don’t want to be the gassy person on the plane either… 🙂
Sandwiches, Salads, Nuts and Trail Mix are usually a safe choice. Snacks like Almonds can hold you over for hours and are easy on the stomach.
Stay away from smelly foods. Especially if you plan on eating on the plane. As yummy as it is, Indian Curries, Chinese Food, Burger King or Beef Jerky are NOT good options and will make your seatmates hate you. Do you really want to be the most disliked person on the plane for the next 8-14 hours? Think before you eat – it’s not like we can just open a window…
3. Proper stretching before you get on board
Sitting in the same position for a long time, is not only really uncomfortable, but can be a health hazard. It is important to move your limbs around a bit, get up and walk around and do proper stretching. It helps if you do some exercising a day or two before your flight. Get those muscles loose and the blood pumping…
When you’re at the airport, waiting for your flight, don’t sit around. You have hours of that ahead of you! Instead, walk the terminal, stretch out a bit and keep moving. You don’t have to resort to push ups at the gate, but hey, if you’re up for it good for you…
While on the plane, make sure to move your limbs a bit – within your own personal space please! You can draw circles with your feet, crunch your toes, tip your toes and heels and much more. There are usually some exercises in the Airline Magazines. Make sure you get up every few hours and walk up and down the aisles to get the circulation going. Blood clods are the biggest risk here.
We know you’re going to be on a long flight. You want to be comfortable. I get it. But onesies are not acceptable clothing! PJ’s as a whole are not acceptable. Let’s be a bit more sophisticated than that… Cover your private body parts. We don’t want to see your belly button, lower back tattoo, side boob etc.. you get my drift. If you’re an adult, dress like one! .
5. Code of conduct at the airport and on the plane
I shouldn’t even have to cover this, but please try to be courteous and just be happy. Every person with a boarding pass has a seat on the plane. Nobody will steal it from you.
There is no need to push your fellow passenger around or try to cut in line to get on the plane first. If you stick with the standard carry on, there will be room for it.
Instead of bad mouthing the parents with crying kids in front of you, be sympathetic and understanding. They have enough to deal with and don’t need dirty looks.
Same goes for you, it’s nice to be able to strike up a conversation with your seat neighbor, but use indoor voices. Some people want to sleep and not everybody is as fascinated by the life cycle of butterflies as you might be…
Put up your backrest during meal services and keep your limbs to yourself.
If you take a relaxed approach, many things won’t bother you and you can be a happier traveler.
I hope these tips help you enjoy your next long haul flight a bit more.