Long trips can be boring, uncomfortable, and exhausting, whether you’re flying for seven hours or doing the world’s longest flight for nearly 19 hours. Long-haul travel can be irritating and a poorly planned flight can destroy not only your day, but a few more following. Fortunately, there are a few simple techniques to make a lengthy flight much more enjoyable.
✈️ Upgrade with those flying miles.
If you have them, show them off. When you’re lounging in a first-class seat, sipping Champagne and pretending to appreciate caviar, you’ll thank yourself. If you don’t have enough miles, now is the perfect time to join Pointship and use other members’ miles/points for your flight!
✈️ Anticipate jet lag.
There are a few things you can do before your journey to help minimize the effects of jet lag. Adjust your sleep patterns in the days leading up to your journey. You can also schedule your flight to arrive during the day, take advantage of your layovers, and, most importantly, get enough of rest before flying. Staying up for the 24 hours leading up to your vacation in the hopes that everything would fall into place once you arrive just doesn’t work.
✈️ Check in early.
The last thing you want to do before a long flight is panic your way through a crowded airport — or miss your flight.
✈️ Bring your own pillow.
For long-distance travelers, a compact pillow is a must-have carry-on item. Almost every airport sells travel pillows. Don’t be shy to look over-prepared, use the pillow and save yourself from unbearable neck pain.
✈️ Bring a lot of face masks.
Face masks are still necessary on airlines, so keep a few on hand in an easy-to-reach location so you can switch them out as needed.
✈️ A necessity: noise-canceling headphones.
If you don’t have noise-cancelling headphones, a good pair of earplugs will suffice to filter out the airline noise or boisterous passengers.
✈️ Place your seatbelt over your blanket and fasten it.
Make sure your secured seat belt is visible if you plan to sleep at all during your journey. The seat belt light may turn on if there is turbulence, and flight attendants may come around the cabin to make sure everyone is fastened up. They’ll wake you up to see if you’re buckled beneath your blanket where they can’t see you.
✈️ Don’t forget to bring an eye mask.
If you’re traveling during the day or want to get some shut-eye before the cabin lights dim, an eye mask will come in handy.
✈️ Put on appropriate attire.
You’re not here to impress anyone, so keep it loose and comfy. Remember to have something extra with you, in case it gets cold. Travel blanket or even a cardigan will work just fine to keep you warm when the plane’s air conditioning is blasting.
✈️ Make a backup movie collection and download your songs on your device.
The reliability of in-flight entertainment devices is not always guaranteed. They don’t always work, and when they do, you’ll be grateful you have something else to do.
✈️ Make sure your devices are charged.
The last thing you want is for your iPad to run out of battery halfway through an 11-hour flight. If your in-flight entertainment system isn’t working, this is especially true. It is also a plus to bring a power bank with you.
✈️ Listen to a lot of podcasts.
Podcasts consume less battery power than movies, and they are frequently more distracting than music. You can listen to podcasts for the duration of a flight.
✈️ Don’t just sit there, stay healthy.
Sitting for the better part of a day (or more) in a cramped metal tube is not healthy for your health. Drinking water, stretching, and walking around the cabin on a frequent basis will help you avoid dehydration and deep-vein thrombosis, your two deadliest enemies in the sky. Also, try applying creams, face masks, and lip balm. You can be up in the air but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your routines.
✈️ It’s time to be productive.
You don’t often get the chance to sit for such a lengthy period of time, devoid of distractions, so why not take advantage of it? Bring a journal, a sketchpad, or whatever else you’ll need to work on your right side of the brain. If you have your laptop with you, this could be a nice time to catch up on any unfinished business.
✈️ Try not consume alcohol (maybe just a glass!).
Don’t use alcohol as a coping mechanism for your flight. You’ll end up using those cramped bathrooms a lot more, and alcohol dehydrates you and disrupts your sleep pattern. Maintain a sense of proportion.