Long distance flights – it’s a term that sends chills down my spine. Some people love it but for others it’s the thing of nightmares. These tips should help make that long haul a little easier.
1. Stay away from the booze
While the idea of drinking as much free alcohol as your body can handle may seem enticing or like a good way to fall asleep, trust us it’s not. Alcohol is a depressant and it dehydrates your body. While you’re at it, try and stay away from the coffee. Just like alcohol, coffee will keep you awake and dehydrate you even more.
2. Move around
I know, how far can you move around in what is essentially a giant sardine can? The answer – not far. But making sure you get up and stretch every hour is a great way to keep your blood flowing properly and avoid things like deep vein thrombosis, which is blood clots in your veins, particularly in the large veins of the calf. Take regular toilet breaks and extend your walk up and down the aisles a few times before returning to your seat.
3. Choose your food wisely
There is nothing special about airplane food, and unless you’re flying first class (if so, you don’t need to be reading this, your 12+ hour flight will be a dream) you’re unlikely to be served restaurant quality food. One study by Professors at Yamaguchi University in Japan shows that carb rich foods can make it easier to transition between sleep and eating schedules by inducing insulin secretion.
In the days leading up to your flight, try not to eat anything that’s going to upset your digestive system. There is nothing worse than being trapped in a confined space when someone isn’t feeling 100 per cent.
4. Hydration is your best friend
Fun fact, the relative humidity in a plane drops to nearly zero in just 30 minutes – that’s nearly the same humidity as a desert. To counteract this, start hydrating the day before you start travelling and make sure you drink a lot of water. Kara Mulder, the founder of The Flight Attendant Life blog, says that drinking at least 250 ml’s of water every hour should prevent dehydration. Also try to have a good lip balm and a good moisturiser. It’ll make plenty of difference.
5. Location, location, location
This one comes down to personal preference, but getting the ideal seat on the plane is an essential key to staying sane. Some say a window seat is the best because you won’t get interrupted by those rude people that go to the toilet every 5 minutes. However, we at Voyage think the best seat is the middle row on an aisle. You’ll be able to move around at your own pace and won’t feel so confined!
6. Make like a girl scout and prepare!
Packing your carry on is another key thing to your survival. You want to make sure you have a neck pillow, an eye mask, noise cancelling headphones, toothpaste and a toothbrush, deodorant and plenty of entertainment. You’ll be thankful when you land.
This point is really self-explanatory. The easiest way to get through a long flight is to try and sleep for as much of it as possible.
And really if all else fails, pop a few sleeping tablets and you’ll sleep through the whole nasty ordeal.