We think it is a fair assumption that most long-haul flights (10+ hours) are international. While the destination may be extremely exciting, the long hours of the flight do have a tendency of taking a toll, physically as well as mentally. Although, some lucky folks are able to just sleep through the entire duration, and arrive completely rested, and ready to go. We have put some ideas for you to be able to not only successfully survive, but also be lucky and enjoy your flight time.
Wear your most presentable yet comfortable clothes.
This one is obvious. It is important to focus on comfort throughout the duration of the long flight you are about to embark on. Carry a light jacket in case you get cold, or ask for a spare blanket from the attendant. Comfortable clothes and shoes will keep you breathing well, and not bothered by tight clothing. Avoid belts, jewelry, etc, and this will also have the added benefit of not needing to submit them for security clearance. But, you are among lots of people, and not in your home lounging, so it is important to be a little presentable still. Use this advice with a take-it-or-leave-it kind of attitude. Many people do not really care how they look while traveling, and that is perfectly their prerogative.
Plan how to keep your important documents secure.
Wear a pouch around your waist, to carry those important passports, visas, tickets etc. These are items you will need to pull out at different occasions before you board that flight, and keeping them handy and secure in a waist pouch/wallet, makes everything that tad bit easier. After you have already boarded the flight, you can always shove the pouch into your hand luggage or backpack, and relax during the flight. Figure out whatever method is easier for you to be able to frequently pull out those documents, and not lose it along the way. Many times, boarding passes fall off that passport, because people have their hands full with their documents, and their phones, and their children, or anything else they are carrying. So, it is very important to plan in advance on this aspect of your trip.
It's ok to have had a busy, rough day before travel.
Again, this one is obvious as well. We are not saying that you should tire yourself out needlessly before you travel. Just knowing the human tendency of not finishing up things until the last moment, we are assuming that this will not be a chore, but rather an automatic phenomena. If you are traveling with kids, it is even more work the days before the actual trip. The idea behind this is that since you will be tired, hopefully, you will be able to find sleep easier and quicker. And, that will have the added benefit of cutting short that awareness of your time on a long haul flight. Just make sure your valuables are safe and secure, your kids are all sorted out in their own seats, and you can take your own little blanket, put on those ear plugs, curl up into yourself, and take a trip down dream lane.
Carry your own headphones. Plan that sleep schedule.
This is an important one. Chances are that you are traveling to a location operating in a different timezone than your own. Maybe you could schedule your sleep cycle according to the destination timezone. To cut some time, you could probably catch up on some of the movies you missed, or some tv shows. At this point, we would like to stress that you carry your own headphones, so you do not need to use the generic ones from the airplane. Also, make sure those headphones are noise cancelling. Once you are ready to rest, it is a good idea to use ear plugs and eye covers, so you can have uninterrupted sleep for some hours in a row. If your neighboring seat is empty, even better, stretch a little while you nod off.
Look around for unoccupied 2-3 seats.
Let's hope and pray your flight is not full. The first chance you get after the plane has taken off, explore the airplane for a couple of empty seats, and you could use them to stretch your body and sleep a little more comfortably. Maybe you could take turns with your significant other, or have your kids stretch out to sleep. It is funny, how the times when you are unable to sleep full stretch, is when you miss it the most. And, these are the times we realize how much we take for granted, just being able to stretch on our beds.
Stretch, move around frequently and stay hydrated.
This is a very important one, especially in flights with long durations. As important as it is to sleep through to get your rest, as well as pass the time, it is also important to move and stretch those legs and your body. Move around frequently, maybe do some stand-up exercises on the spot, out of the way of those lavatory users and the flight attendants carrying drinks and food. Also equally important, is to keep yourself hydrated. The airplane environment is usually pressure controlled, and extremely drying. Keep those fluids moving through your body constantly. Maybe carry your own bottle, fill it up when you finish it, so you are not dependent upon the water/ drinks brought about by the flight attendants. If you are traveling with kids, make sure they are hydrated regularly as well. This also has the added benefit of relaxing your body sitting in one position most of the time, and not making those muscles stiff. Regular movement around the plane, with regular drinks will keep your muscles relaxed, healthy and hydrated.
So, there you have it. Plan your time on the airplane three-fold. Schedule your sleep in coordination with your destination timezone, get some much needed rest after all the work that you put in to get ready for the trip, and successfully survive your long-haul flight. Who knows, if you follow some of the tips we have mentioned, you might just be ready for another trip in no time!
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