So much planning goes into your dreams of travelling to faraway places. But what’s often left till the last minute is preparing for your long-haul flight.
Rather than dread the gap between take-off and landing and dealing with changing time zones, you can make the most of your time away from everyday responsibilities. No matter which class you’re travelling in, with a bit of know-how you can feel like you’ve got the best seat in the house.
Here’s a list of tips to make those hours on the flight manageable – even enjoyable!
Use it as an excuse to chill and conserve your energy for exploration wherever in the world you will soon find yourself. Don’t be defeated by cabin fever. It’s all in your mind. Rather than feel trapped, think of your flight as an opportunity.
Reflect on all of those days you wished for a day off work to stay in bed and do nothing. This is that moment. Remember, when it’s time to get moving you’ll be in another country – not back at the office!
The morning of your flight, or the day before if you catch an overnight flight, spend time exercising, this will help you relax on the pane. Also, drink plenty of water before you depart, the humidity on planes can be as low as 10-15%, which is dryer than the Sahara!
Make sure you also savvy with your carry-on. Include essentials such as lip balm, drink bottle, facial wipes, moisturiser, toiletries, backup light clothes, and a pen so you’re not waiting around at the other end to fill out your immigration card.
Spend a few extra dollars for your own neck pillow – if you want to get a good sleep, you can’t go past a memory foam travel pillow.
3. BATTLING BOREDOM
Research all the movies you’ve been planning on watching, work out the duration of your flight and see how many movies you can fit in. Count the movies, not the hours!
It’s remarkable how productive we can be without daily distractions so if you’re travelling for work, get stuck in to that proposal or report. Keeping your mind active will make time fly!
4. TIME ZONE PREPARATIONS
When you board, set your watch to your destination’s time, and get your mind into that zone.
Alternatively, you can research jet-lag calculators online a jet lag online will tell you when to try and stay awake and when to sleep to help with jet lag. The calculator considers your departure and arrival cities, as well as your current sleep pattern.
If you are anxious about where you’ll be seated, see if your airline offers pre-flight allocation or preferences for aisle or window seats. Some airlines offer this for free, some for a small fee, while some not at all.
Don’t be sucked into the myth that the window seat is the best, especially on a long flight. While you have to deal with people stepping over you to get out, you’re afforded the freedom to go to the bathroom, have an essential stretch and wander round.
Also, always ask if upgrades are available at check-in – it doesn’t happen often, but you never know!
Never drink too much in the 24-hours before boarding but if you think a pre-sleep tipple will help you drift off, go ahead.
Keep in mind that alcohol is a stimulant for the first few hours, which means it might keep you awake, just like caffeine. Try decaf green tea instead.
Your flight isn’t a catwalk so don’t bother dressing up for the occasion (unless you’re aiming for an upgrade). For the best chance of sleeping on your flight, the golden rule is to wear something comfortable.
This doesn’t mean you have to look drab – if this bothers you – so a light kaftan is ideal for women, and loose cotton pants for men, or the beloved tracksuit!
Dress in layers so you can be comfortable in variable temperatures. Forget heels at all costs!
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