If you follow my blog (or are new to my adventures….Welcome, and please check out the archives!) you can tell that I have been doing quite a bit of flying, and most of them have been long haul international ones!! Now I know that there are about a bajillion other posts out there that give tips on how to make trips easier to handle, and I have read these and here are the one that I have found to really work to make long flights a little better!!
1.Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!!!!!!
Airplanes make your skin dry out like you are walking through a desert. If you can plan ahead (I mean you already have because you bought a plane ticket) you need to try and up your water intake. Not only does it help your skin, but it can also help with jet lag if you are going international! Avoid alcohol pre-flight and on your flight it will just make you feel like a big bag of yuck when you land. Make sure to take water from cabin crew each time they come by so you can stay hydrated during the flight.
2. Dress in Layers
I get super cold on planes and have found that the more layers I wear to the airport the more cozy I am during the flight. Plus if you don’t mind looking a little silly, I can guarantee that you will be way more comfortable!! A blanket scarf is awesome to wear if you get cold because you can use it for a blanket instead of the ones provided by the airline (Ewwww, they typically smell funky). Long sleeves t-shirts and a light jacket or cardigan help to keep you warm on the plane too! Socks are a MUST! If you aren’t wearing any with the shoes you wear to the airport, please make sure that you pack some in your carry on bag! They help keep you warm (especially if you are in a window seat), and being barefoot on a plane is just gross.
TIP: Put your shoes on anytime you have to head to the bathroom or get up to stretch….. You never know what you could be walking through or what is in the carpet of the plane.
Speaking of getting up to stretch…………. DO IT!!!!! I am a bit of a special case where I have to get up and walk around during a long flight, but even if you don’t have a medical reason to do it you should anyway! It will help with making sure that you don’t get all uncomfortable and crampy. Any time you get up to use the bathroom you can take the opportunity to do some stretches (calf raises, squats, quad stretches, etc.) especially if there is a line to wait in. The way that I use to see if its time to get up and walk around is at the end of each movie I watch or I mark out specific chapters in the book I am reading, that way I have only been sitting for a couple hours.
4. Stuff to Keep You Entertained
Make sure you have plenty of stuff to keep you busy on the flight!!! I know that most flights have seat back entertainment that has movies, t.v. shows, music, and games, however I have been on some flights that the entertainment system had to be restarted numerous times or doesn’t work at all! This is where having a couple books, an e-reader, some sort of music player, crayons and a coloring book, or whatever you like to do to keep busy in a small space. Now if the entertainment system is working make sure that you have a two prong adapter, just in case the seats require it so you don’t have to use the super gross headphones supplied by the airline and can use your own!!!!! Plus if you are using your own you get to keep watching your movie as you land and everyone else has to turn in their headphones to the cabin crew!
TIP: Make sure you also have a travel adapter for your layovers, so you can camp out at a power outlet. If you feel like being generous (and you have the correct plug) bring a power strip and you will make friends near your gate!!!
5. Stuff to Help You Sleep
If you have issues falling to sleep in a loud, crowded place where you can’t fully recline and you have no climate control you might want to invest in an eye mask, noise cancelling earbuds/headphones, and some medicine to help. I like to take some Advil/Tylenol PM, it helps me relax enough to get to sleep and helps prevent getting too sore from sitting in a weird positions for long periods of time. Allergy medications that make you drowsy also help. If you get motion sickness and are flying anywhere over the Northern Atlantic I would recommend bringing along something to help because there is ALWAYS heavy turbulence.
Last but probably the most important…………
Remember To Be Nice!!
The people at the airport desks are just doing their jobs, and the cabin crew are in the same position! I have found the nicer you are, the more patient you are, and if you are a little self depreciating when you ask, the more likely they are to help you out with pretty much any of your requests. Travel is hard, international travel can be excruciating with time changes, so try to think about how you would feel if someone was talking to you! It also doesn’t hurt to be cordial to those sitting around you, especially if you are in a middle seat! Makes asking to get up to use the toilet a little easier.
Hope this makes your next trip a little easier to get through, and bit more comfortable!!!!