How to Prepare for a Long-Haul Flight

Source: American Pregnancy Association

Imagine being stuck inside a flying container for many hours. Well, that can sound pretty dreadful and boring if you don’t know what to do with your time. Not everybody finds it easy to sleep on planes, and to beat jet-lag, sleeping is not always recommended (check the Jet Lag Rooster for better tips on how to beat jet-lag!)

Make the most out of your dreary flight by being prepared. Preparation is the key, really. Don’t just hop into the plane without having everything clear and set. Here are 10 tips on how to prepare for a long flight:

1. Book your tickets in advance

One of the easiest ways to have a comfortable flight is to choose your own seat. Booking in advance gives you the perks of having a pre-selected seat. For most flight attendants, some of the best seats are situated in the front, wing, and exit rows. The front area of the plane is quieter than the back. But of course, the exit area has more legroom. The seat over the wing part is also a nice pick for those wanting a smooth ride. And if you are travelling with kids, you can have the bulkhead.

2. Bring the essentials

Long-haul flights can be demanding to your health. So, you need to adapt with the varying temperatures. Oftentimes, the temperature inside the cabin alters over the course of the flight because of the weather outside. And the best thing to combat the changes in temperature is to bring the essentials. Layering is one good way to keep you warm. Wear something light, and then topped it with a sweater or a cardigan. Perhaps you should also bring a blanket and other sleeping essentials like neck pillow and eye mask (and ear plugs!) to get you through the freezing nights.

3. Secure your stuff

Source: Road to Status

It is always advisable to secure all your valuables such as passport, wallet, and other important documents inside your hand-carry. Also, don’t forget to pack up a couple of clothes, underwear, snacks, medicines and the like in your bag. Having all these things right within your reach makes a long-flight more tolerable. There’s no need to spend scrupulous time looking for your luggage at the rear and disturbing the flight attendants. And to give you ample time, check-in early so that you will not be panicking on your way to the hectic airport or worst, miss your flight.

4. De-stress before the flight

There’s no need to stress yourself out before your flight. Eat a healthy meal. Watch your favorite series. Read a book. Head on to the gym, and repeat. Work your butt off for several minutes because you’ll be sitting on the plane for a couple of hours or even days. And when we say de-stress, it doesn’t mean getting wasted. Shun alcoholic drinks a day before your flight if you don’t want to experience the worst long-haul flight of a lifetime.

5. Stay healthy and hydrated

Source: South China Morning Post

Living in a confined metal tube for many hours is somehow very frustrating. Hence, you should stay healthy and hydrated. Fight off sickness and dehydration by choosing healthy options over junk foods and chocolates, though a little bite of these tempting pieces is manageable. Drink water regularly and avoid those with alcohol and caffeine. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages will definitely mess up your sleeping patterns, and might be the reason for frequent horrible bathroom sessions. For your food, it’s wise enough to bring your own pack snacks as most supplies in the cabin are excessively priced. Bring nutritious goodies like fruits, granola bars and packed vegetables. Enjoy a healthy stay in the plane.

6. Be hygienic

Please stay hygienic even on the plane. This is for your own sake. Wash your face, brush your teeth, change your underwear and clothes, put on some deodorant, go to the bathroom— do all your daily routines with a touch of precaution as you are not in your own home. Thus, make sure to bring your own toiletries in your hand-carry. Toothbrush, cleanser, hygienic wash, towel, and every single thing you deem to be necessary for your trip.

7. Enjoy an entertainment session

Source: Vietnam Airlines

Seriously, there are several ways to keep you busy. Most long haul flights have on-board entertainment, but you can always bring a book or your own laptop. Watch your favorite series or listen to your ultimate playlist. With that on hand, prepare your gadgets and files ahead of time. Charge all batteries and keep a spare one. You wouldn’t want to be interrupted while watching your fave movie scene just because of an empty battery, right? It’s quite frustrating, actually.

8. Try to meditate

Sleeping is very important, especially for long-haul flights. However, some people are having a hard time getting a good nap while on a plane. That’s when meditation kicks in. Try to meditate with the help of your headphones. There are noise-cancelling headphones for a more relaxing sleep, but you can also make use of high-quality earplugs. Listen to calming music while you do some breathing exercises. Eye mask is also another important stuff you shouldn’t miss.

9. Get productive

Do your daily routines with your laptop or cellphone. You might be miles up in the air but you should never let boredom strike you. Get productive and communicate with your colleagues in any ways possible. Continue on your pending transactions with just a click, and maximize your dull moments by catching up with your work. So, be sure to charge all your electronic devices prior to your flight. A reliable power bank is one of your best buddies during a long-haul trip. 

10. Do some exercises

Source: Expat Post

Don’t let your bones and muscles weaken up by sitting all day long. Do some exhilarating exercises and stretching even on your seat. Yes, never underestimate the power of dedication. Maximize everything and try to enjoy some of these workout routines: leg lifts, leg circling, cross-over lifts, neck rotation, elbow raises, stand on fists and squats. These simple steps will surely make your flight more fruitful. Just make sure to fasten your seat-belts once done.

Enjoy the entire flight

Well, you can never demand a perfect plane ride. You get to hear crying babies in the middle of the night, see toddlers running at the aisle during breaks, experience frightening air turbulence, and witness weird scenes from your fellow travellers. These are just some of the most common instances of a long-haul plane ride, and the best thing you can do about the rather stressful journey is to be prepared and let go of things you can’t handle. Enjoy the flight because you’ll soon be transported to your ultimate destination.