Travel season is in full swing so we thought we’d share the best of tips to help you SURVIVE and ENJOY a long flight.
Travelling is fun, but long flights for work and pleasure, especially in economy class can be quite stressful. We thought we’d put corporate and individual traveller Pragati Siddhanti’s travel to good use and bring you some of the best tips, tricks and hacks she has learnt through the years to keep herself happy in a long flight.
Over the next 10 minutes, we will tell you how to plan, what to carry with you, how to make most of waiting time, choosing the right seat, entertainment options and lots more. The idea here is to gear up: you see, the more prepared you are,
the easier it gets.
Read on to get your own long haul survival tips!
1. Prepping up before the flight:
- A day before your flight, check if you can upgrade your ticket to premium economy, since there are more chances on getting a cheaper upgrade at the Nth hour.
- Also, never ever ever, reserve your seat in the first row in any of the seating sections cuz of your greed for leg room. These seats usually are reserved for families with irritable toddlers or infants. What would you prefer– legroom or solitude?
- Reaching the boarding gate way before time is stupid for a long haul, chances being that you have more stuff on you. Get there about 20 minutes prior to departure and sit down till the gates open. They call it a long haul for a reason 🙂
If you have upto 2 hours at an international airport, check in to a lounge of your choice. You don’t even need business class/first class tickets. Your credit cards are a key that open those doors – look out for MasterCard and Amex lounges and thank me later. The lounges offer good food, alcohol, snacks and comfortable arm chairs.
Pro Tip – When you’re walking into the airplane to your seat, have an eye to spot the empty rows – after take off, request the flight attendant for a change in seat. It’s worth a shot to get some peaceful sleep.
2. “Airplane Essentials” kit
Now this kit should contain the following (in order of personal preference):
- Eye Mask – Invest in a good eye mask, preferably in darker shades. Try to get a firm one, with the non flimsy ends – these are mostly available on the airports itself. The ones that you get in the airplane are usually good if you are a business/first class passenger. Or else if you want to ensure preparedness, check this one out.
- Noise cancelling headphones – I carry my headphones irrespective of the class, it helps you during all the transits and when the crew “oh so rudely” comes and collects it back almost an hour before landing. And then you’re left wondering as to how the movie ended! These are also great to fall asleep with, as they cancel out the commotion. Order here.
- Laptop/Tablet/Smart phone – Of course you are most probably carrying all of them – what you need to ensure is full charge and at least one of the devices crammed up with all the shit that you have been wanting to watch. Probably a full season marathon of the TV series you’ve been wanting to see or a couple of movies on your “to-watch” list. For me personally, a soothing episode of Friends or ELR on my headphones, acts as a lullaby.
- Travel pillow – Use the pillow that the airlines provides as a back support and use your own inflatable neck travel pillow to lay your head on. Again, if you are a frequent traveller this is a wise investment and all the good brands are available at the airports. Or else, order these.
- A pair of decent socks – Not the thin ones but the thick ones, probably the winter socks. Flights usually get cold, to get cozy and comfortable a pair of decent socks is a must have.
- Water – Quench your thirst, and carry or buy a big water bottle at the airport. Keep asking the flight attendant to fill the water for you as remaining hydrated during the journey is an absolute must.
- Bathroom kit – These include toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturiser, eye cream, comb etc. Make sure you don’t carry over 100 ml bottles, as these get taken away at security. Invest in a good kit – see here and add this with the travel size bottles and boxes.
- Medicine kit – Sleeping pills for insomniacs like me can obviously work wonders. Carry a paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen to help serve the purpose of anything from headache to slight fever.
The airplane essential kit can actually be a small bag/ packet which you can keep with you in the front side seat pocket. Everything else can be stowed in the cabin and the things you need are right with you from the beginning. This way you save some leg room and are more comfortable.
3. Dress comfortably – Now there is a fine line between going to the airport in your night clothes and going on the ramp walk. The below icons keep it simple and classy. It’s always nice to look nice, period.
Tight jeans, heels, belts, heavy make up, complicated hairstyles, tight clothing in general reek for attention and not comfort. They are a definite no-no on any flight, let alone a long one. Look for comfortable fabrics, loose or regular fit tops and tee shirts, and a jacket to keep you warm. If you need outfit inspiration, follow us on Pinterest.
4. Health and Hygiene – While you have your basic medicines with you, follow the below basics to make sure you feel good during the flight:
- Do not eat heavy meals – Eat lighter meals before and during the flights to prevent bloating and acidity. A good idea is to even pack some snacks (the healthy ones) for your in flight entertainment. Not a big fan of carrot sticks, but yeah, the ideas is to stick to things that suit your body.
- Alcohol – While the complimentary booze cart is a welcome treat, try to minimise the alcohol content in the body in case you cannot avoid it. A glass of wine or light beer is okay, as long as you keep yourself well hydrated.
- Uneasiness, bloating, stomach ache and indigestion is something you should plan to stay away from.
- Carry the wet antibacterial wipes, use it everywhere possible, – on you and around you. Probably on the seat, the table, the toilet and the handles – no this is not OCD.
5. Killing time –
- Watch the series or movie you put on your media device, time will fly by. Of course, the in flight entertainment also provides a good number of options. Do not put something unfamiliar if the idea is to sleep.
- Play Pokemon, Angry Birds or Candy Crush (we don’t judge!)–I prefer Bubble Shooter or Tetris to kill time. Video games are a good option for you if you are an anxious traveller. It’s a great way to pass time and the small room in your brain which is always worried, that part is usually the one getting rest when you play these games.
- Or do both simultaneously, for me – that’s probably the best combination.
- Sleep – How to actually sleep on an airplane? For me personally, I make sure I am in a comfortable position – it does take time to find your sweet sleeping spot. I make sure I have my warm socks, eye mask and headphones on – in a couple of minutes am usually off to “la-la” land, this has happened in economy as well.
- Be still – Some things like these are almost impossible, but if you can, do this then, meditate. A lot of people take this alone time to take stock of work, months to come, or just re-look at life goals and plans for 2016.
- Reading – My dad never gets bored, it’s because he would read anything and everything. Hence paperbacks, magazines and newspapers, even digital content can be great ways to pass time especially if you are an ardent reader.
We hope you liked this post, and are more comfortable and prepared for your next long haul flight. Share with us your experiences on a long flight, in the comments’ section below.
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