Traveling to the other side of the world? While you’re probably looking forward to exploring a far-flung destination, few travelers enjoy the long haul flight to get there. It can take more than 20 hours to travel to some countries, which means you’ll have to spend 20 hours on a plane with cranky strangers, limited entertainment, and crying children in a cramped space.
Long haul travel can truly be brutal and while there’s no way to avoid it, here are several tips for long flights that help make the journey a lot more bearable.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Remember, you’ll be spending close to an entire day inside the plane. It’s not a fashion show, so skip the trendy outfits and choose loose-fitting, comfortable clothes you’ll be happy to wear for 24 hours. Layering is recommended, so you can simply pile on layers when the air-conditioner is on full blast. Opt for shoes that are easy to slip in and out of, particularly pairs that aren’t too snug, since the feet tend to swell at very high altitudes.
Choose A Good Seat
Or rather, make sure you reserve the seat most comfortable for you as soon as checking in is possible. Travelers who want legroom like seats on the exit rows, while those who want to be as far away as possible from children usually stay away from the seats up front. Many passengers who want peace, quiet, and a nice view choose a window seat, while the ones who stand up often should be positioned by the aisle.
If you weren’t able to get a good seat ahead of time, ask the agents at the gate whether there are any prime seats left. Who knows, you may even get an upgrade!
Prepare For Jet Lag
Jet lag is dreadful, but there are a few things you can do before traveling to minimize its effects, if not avoid it completely. If possible, adjust your sleeping hours for a few days before your flight, although it’s just as important to be well-rested. Try booking a flight that arrives at your destination in the morning, which is much better rather than arriving at night and struggling to sleep.
Keep Your Carry-on Luggage Minimal
Go easy on yourself and keep your hand-carry bags as small as possible. Not only will you not have to deal with dragging around a huge suitcase at the airport, but you also don’t have to struggle trying to fit it in the overhead cabin. Limit your gear to a single compact carry-on bag for the overhead compartment and a smaller shoulder bag for everything you need during the flight.
Bring Your Sleep Essentials
When figuring out how to pack for a flight, some don’t consider the length of time they’ll be spending on the plane. Sure, it’s great to catch up on movies or listen to podcasts, but one of the best things to do on a plane is sleep, so make sure you have everything you need to help you sleep, including a good quality neck pillow and a lightweight blanket.
Take it a step further with a sleep mask and earplugs—or even better, noise-canceling headphones. If it helps, consider taking medication to help you sleep.
Pack Your Own Snacks
There’s bound to be food served during a long haul flight, but it’s not always good and you don’t know when it’s going to be served. Airport meals are also usually not large enough to satisfy big appetites, so make sure you have extra food in your carry-on bag to munch on throughout the flight.
Pack a couple of granola bars or pick up a bag of nuts or two at the airport before boarding. As a courtesy to other passengers, don’t bring anything smelly or messy on the plane.
Finally, keep in mind that you’re not attached to your seat for the entire flight. Get up every two hours or so to stretch your legs and walk a few times up and down the aisle. Not only does it keep you from going stir-crazy on your seat, but it also helps prevent deep vein thrombosis, which is a very real risk during long haul travel.
Take it easy on your first day in your destination after a long haul flight. Schedule the grueling adventures for another day and enjoy a laid-back day exploring the city instead with a tour like the KKday’s charming Luang Prabang Half Day City Tour by scooter.
*Featured image from Pixabay