How To Make Long-Haul Flights More Bearable: 12 Tips From Experts

Everyone loves to travel. It’s a chance to explore the world and discover new things about yourself at the same time. No wonder people are doing it instead of saving for their pensions!

But traveling around the planet does have a downside: all that time spent in a tiny seat on a plane. It’s intolerable sometimes.

The good news is that there are various things you can do to make it better. And, what’s more, many of the world’s experts are behind these ideas. Getting plane trips right can help you make the most of the experience and enjoy yourself, no matter how far you’re going, even if it’s on the other side of the world.

Get Your Body Into A Good Place

The first step is to get your body into a good place before you fly. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re multiple hours behind or ahead and can’t wake up when the alarm goes off in the morning.

Start adjusting your bedtime a couple of weeks before you travel. Go to bed half an hour earlier or later every night until you adjust your schedule to fit the destination. Then, when you arrive, you won’t have jetlag and you’ll feel so much more refreshed compared to when you set off.

Also, focus on your food and diet in the days before you go. Ensure you’re feeling healthy and full of energy so you can withstand a bit of airline or airport food (which isn’t always the best). If you feel well-nourished before setting off, you can spend a couple of days in transit before you reach some good food at the other end.

Choose A Decent Seat

Another pro tip the experts love is choosing the right seat. Of course, if you can afford it, go for first or business class. These options are wonderful for individuals who need more space.

If you can’t do that choose aisle seats further back on the plane. Look for options that allow you to get up and move around frequently. You want to be able to get up and go to the toilet and stretch your legs, without having to clamber over anyone else.

Of course, if you love watching the world pass by below you, choose a window seat. Ultimately, where you go depends on your preferences. It’s just that the aisle is best for most.

Pay Attention To What You Pack In Your Hand Luggage

Don’t treat your hand luggage as just some extra space for things besides your suitcase. It shouldn’t be full of socks and other items you couldn’t stuff into the main baggage. Rather, everything it contains should be relevant to the flight.

For example, pack toiletries so you can brush your teeth and freshen up before you arrive at your destination. You might also want to do things like pack moisturizer and lip balm to protect your body against the dry air (which can be a problem on aircraft because of the air conditioning and bacteria scrubbing systems).

If you are prone to getting cold on flights, pack some extra layers of clothing. Having a thermal vest nearby can be handy if temperatures suddenly drop when you get to altitude.

Compression socks are also handy if you worry about blood getting to your feet after several hours of sitting in your chair. These push blood back around through the legs, reducing the risk of things like clots.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Don’t indulge too much in-flight alcohol and coffee. While these might seem luxurious and stewards do everything they can to sell them, they can also dehydrate you, making the experience less pleasant than it might otherwise be.

If the attendants don’t serve water frequently enough, buy some once you get through security at the airport. Having some extra liquid with you can make you much more comfortable during a long flight.

Get Up And Move Regularly

While it might be annoying for your fellow passengers, getting up and moving regularly can be an excellent strategy for making long flights more bearable. Standing up instead of being in a sitting position could have cardiovascular benefits and reduce risks.

Even if you’re young, moving is still a good idea. Walking around the cabin or going to the bathroom helps improve blood flow and energizes you after a long period in a sitting position.

You don’t have to move around a great deal to get the benefits either. Just a few minutes every hour should do the trick and keep you healthy.

Don’t worry if you’re asleep: the body has other mechanisms for being still for a long time.

Entertain Yourself

Of course, you’ll also want to find ways to entertain yourself and make the experience more pleasant. Sitting down and watching the back of someone else’s chair for hours at a time is no one’s idea of fun.

Most airlines offer copious in-flight entertainment options to keep your mind busy. Most people watch films, but you can listen to music and enjoy podcasts, too.

You can also sometimes pay for internet access so you can listen to your private streaming services or access your YouTube account. Again, you might find these options help you pass the time faster.

Games are another option. These focus on your mind and stop you thinking about how far you still have to go until you reach your destination. You stop focusing on every minute ticking by and start enjoying yourself.

Games like solitaire can help you make the most of a miserable afternoon or evening on a flight. Challenging yourself takes your mind off the flight itself.

You can also play games with other passengers on some systems. Many airlines offer games where you can compete against others and see who can get the highest score when you touch down.

Eat Light

Another pro piece of advice is to eat light when on flights. Airlines will mostly take care of this for you, but it can also help to curate your diet to ensure you don’t wind up feeling bloated by the time you arrive at the destination.

Eating light means consuming more fruits and vegetables and less red meat and refined grains. Whole grains should be okay for most people on flights, but be careful which you choose. If you can get hold of ancient grains, you can avoid many problems associated with commercial varieties.

If you don’t want the airline food on the menu, you can usually ask them for a replacement option. Many airlines cater to special dietary requirements, which is helpful.

If it is impossible to eat light on your flight, eat less. Don’t continue stuffing forkfuls of food into your mouth just because it is on your plate.

Apply Moisturizer

Experts also suggest putting some moisturizer on your face, hands, and elbows if you’re the sort of person who’s prone to developing dry skin on long flights. Adding a layer of emollient can help prevent water loss and stop you from looking like you’ve been desiccating in the sun when you arrive at your destination.

You can also bring eye drops with you if you have dry eyes. Again, these will keep you comfortable on the flight.

Talk To Someone Nearby

Another way to make long flights more bearable is to strike up a conversation with someone nearby. While not everyone will want to talk, there are usually people on most flights who are more than willing to have a conversation and enjoy your company.

Often, they’ll want to talk to you first. They might want assistance filling out declaration forms or learning more about what to expect when they reach their destination.

Practice Deep Breathing

You could also try practicing your deep breathing techniques on long flights. These are excellent for calming you down and making everything seem okay.

Focusing on the breath can be an excellent way to reduce the level of panic you experience on flights. If you’re the sort of person who hates take-offs and landings, it can help you calm down and trust the pilot to do it properly.

Usually, you’ll notice a feeling of well-being after between three and six breaths. It only usually takes a minute or two.

Upgrade To The Executive Lounge

Finally, you might want to upgrade to the executive lounge during your trip if you’re stopping off at various airports along the way. These private spaces have an exclusive atmosphere and can help you feel refreshed after a long flight.

Executive lounges tend to have comfortable chairs, bars and even places to recline and take a nap without people dragging suitcases past you. These facilities cost a little extra and usually add to the price of a ticket, but they are an excellent option for anyone who doesn’t want to wait at the gate for eight hours and would like to have some downtime before the next leg.

So there you have it: how to make long-haul flights more bearable.

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