Flying long-haul is not the exclusive thing it used to be back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Nowadays one can easily book a ticket and fly halfway around the world for holidays. The fact that it’s easy to book a flight does not make these long flights any easier. In order to help you out we wrote 9 tips to survive long-haul flights. These tips apply before, as well as during the flight.
Before the flight
1. Choose the perfect seat
The perfect seat depends on your personal preferences. Some like the window seat and love watching outside or take pictures of their surroundings. Furthermore, window seats are easier when sleeping because you can lean against the window/wall. Others prefer the aisle seat in order to not have to disturb anyone when going to the bathroom.
On Seatguru.com you can check which plane is going to be used for your flight and find the best seat.
2. Dress accordingly
We’re not talking about wearing an evening dress or a suit and tie but rather wear comfortable clothing. During flights the cabin can get pretty cold so it helps to wear layers or a hoodie, which can be helpful when you’re sleeping to cover your ears.
Also bring a neck pillow and an eye mask if possible to make sleeping more comfortable for yourself.
3. Charge your devices
Traveling without a mobile device nowadays is like traveling without a roadmap back in the 1950’s. Today we often carry our boarding pass, maps, translation services and banking apps in our smartphones. Running out of power will cause you some minor inconveniences. It might be handy to also travel with a portable USB battery to give you that charge when you need it the most.
Make sure all your electronics, such as mobile devices and cameras are charged. More and more airplanes are offering USB and or electrical outlets but this is not always a certainty.
4. Request special meal to get served first
If you want to be in control of what you eat or you simply don’t want to wait to long to get food, why not order a special meal ranging from gluten-free to halal and kosher to vegan/vegetarian meal? Special meals get delivered before the main service in most cases. If you are a couple with kids this would be a handy solution. One of the parents gets to eat first while the other one keeps an eye on the kid(s). A moment later they get to switch roles and thus still find a way to enjoy their flights.
Check with your airline what options they offer and order it before the flight.
On the plane
5. Don’t sit still
Sitting for long periods of time can have devastating effects on your body. According to a World Health Organisation research 1 in 4,500 passengers develop a blood clot, often times by passenger sitting still for too long. To limit this as much as possible try to move through the cabin if possible and do some exercises in your seat to promote blood circulation.
6. Noise cancelling headphones
One of the best investments we’ve done in recent years is buying a noise cancelling headphone. We’re both currently using the over-the-ear Bose QC-25. We have used it on more than 10 flights in the past couple of years and it’s been the best. You will be able to completely block out all of those extra noises that are unavoidable on an airplane. And it’s also handy to use at work and home when you need to focus.
7. Avoid coffee and alcohol
While this can have a calming effect on most people coffee and alcohol has a diuretic effect on people. This means that it tends to cause dehydration and stimulates urination. It is best to drink water throughout the flight.
8. Stay hydrated
Which brings us to hydration. Airplane air is very dry and not good for the skin and throat. Staying hydrated ensures you have a healthy flight and reduce the severity of jet lag. Get a water bottle and fill it after the security line (can also be done on the plane).
9. Be nice to the flight attendants
This goes without saying. Always be nice to flight attendants and don’t treat them as your servants!