Everyone loves to travel, but not many people like to fly. Oh, the irony! Fortunately, I’m not one of those people; I enjoy the full travel experience, except packing, I truly hate it. But, lets face it, you can’t escape flying. It’s just one of those things you have to deal with, no matter how painful it may be to you.
The longest flight that I have ever experienced was 13 hours non-stop to Beijing, China. I could barely survive in my room for 13 hours, imagine an airplane. But guess what, it was tolerable, but only because I had thoroughly prepared myself for the lengthy journey; preparation is key. Ensure that you are fully prepared and equipped with the basic necessities and be sure to follow these “10 Major Tips For Surviving A Long Flight”, and you’ll never (hopefully) have a bad flight again.
- Choose the right airline. Being able to endure a long flight makes it all worthwhile when you chose the right airline. Before you book a flight, read reviews; ask a friend or a travel community about their experiences with airlines. My preferred carriers are Delta, Virgin Atlantic & British Airways because of their comfy seats and service. I have also heard lots of great things about Emirates Airlines and I’ve had a good experience with Alitalia. Always remember not all airlines were made equal.
- Reserve a good seat. After you choose the right airline, choose the right seat. Never ever book your flight without picking your seat. You will regret it. My favourite seat is usually the window seat, which usually only has two people to a row. It as comfortable as it gets and I only have one person to disturb when I need to take a walk or a restroom break. I know a few people that also prefer the aisle seats in the middle of the plane that comes with four to a row. Your call, just don’t get stuck in the middle of four people!
- Wear comfortable clothing. I can’t stress this enough. If you’re going to be on a plane for a considerable amount of time, dress comfortably. Remember that airplanes get very cold so layer up. Cotton pants, tees, sneakers, leggings, sweaters or overall loose fitting clothing are all perfect choices for the long haul. I opt to leave the jewelry in my purse because I just don’t feel comfy with all the extras.
- Sleep. Before long flights, I try my best to tire myself out as much as I can. That means doing everything from cleaning, washing, packing, washing my hair, everything and anything to keep me up until the wee hours of the night. If I have 10 plus hours on a plane, I prefer to spend half of my time sleeping, that way when I get to my destination I’m refreshed.
- Download movies. Even though airplanes these days have in-flight entertainment, I suggest you download or rent a few movies. Before I travel, I usually download about three movies which accounts for about half of my travel time. In-flight movies are usually awful, I need options or else it starts to go downhill.
- Bring reading material. Another awesome way to keep busy while in flight is to read. Pack a few books in your carry on, or if you’re the Kindle type, download a few. Yes, you’re on vacation, but if you can catch up on some educational reading or tasks, it’s the best time.
- Walk a little. If you are on a long flight (4 plus hours), you are advised to take a walk up and down the cabin; it is good for your health as it decreases your chances of getting a blood clot. When I take restroom breaks I usually just try to shake my legs out a bit, look out the windows, strike up conversations with at the people in the aisles.
- Take your own snacks. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but airplane snacks are not all that. They’re usually limited and nothing fancy. Unless you like peanuts, and most airplanes skip peanuts these days. Carry some fruits, chips, nuts, cookies, whatever your preference. Being hungry on a plane is the absolute worst.
- Drink up. Flying sucks the moisture out of your body so it’s important to stay hydrated while up in the air. But, there are rules to staying hydrated! First up, drink lots of water. Pack some gatorade if you can. Flying does a number to your body; the last thing you want is to reach your destination and be completely out of it. Go easy on the alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, salty snacks or anything with caffeine.
- Upgrade. If it’s in your budget, go for it! Or, if you’re feeling lucky, ask for an upgrade. If you’re a frequent flyer, sometimes you can get away with a free upgrade or maybe you can get a comfier economy seat. Flying a lengthy flight in economy versus business or first class is a totally different experience.