As I am currently planning a huge five month trip overseas to North America in a couple of months time, being able to survive a long-haul flight is crucial. I must admit, I absolutely dread long-haul flights. The thought of sitting down in a confined space for a long period of time, not being able to sleep or move freely makes me extremely anxious. However, I find a few small tips and tricks to help me survive the dreaded long-haul flights, and I am going to share these with you.
Preparation is Key.
Preparing your body 24 hours before your flight is important. There are many myths that believe deriving yourself from sleep before a flight will help you sleep better, however this is not always the case. Exercise and stretching are great ways to prepare your body for a long-haul flights. Also, avoid wearing tight or restricting clothing, such as clothes that dig into your skin and cause discomfort. You want to ensure you are comfortable whilst on board, therefore lose and free flowing clothes are recommended for your own comfort.
Now when it comes to seat selection, be prepared and organised and book your flights early. This will give you a better opportunity of choosing your favourite seat on board. Wether that be a window seat or an exit row seat for extra leg room. I personally choose seats strategically, for example on short domestic flights I will choose a seat that is next to the window, or I would choose an aisle seat in which someone is already sitting at the window seat, giving us a seat between the both of us. However, on long-haul flights, I have been fortunate enough to not travel alone, I have always had a friend or family member travel with me. In this case, when we both our flight tickets we book a window aisle with a seat between the two of us, giving us the best chance to score the row to ourselves, and for us in all cases this has worked.
Bring Plenty of Distractions.
It is crucial that you bring enough entertainment material to distract you from the hours passing by. There is nothing worse than not having enough to do whilst on a plane. Reading books, laptops, iPads, music, puzzle books and even work are some easy things that will provide you with plenty to do on board the long flight. It is also important that you bring along all your required chargers and power cords to keep all your electronics alive.
Remain Comfortable at all Times.
Whilst trying to dozeoff, it can sometimes be hard to be comfortable and warm. Therefore, bring on board a neck travel pillow to help support your neck and head. Small blankets are provided on some long-haul flights, however majority are not very warm, hence why I would recommend bringing along a warm blanket that can be easily packed away into your carry on luggage. Lastly, bring along a scarf or eye mask, these are great for helping you to fall asleep. Sometimes the lights within the cabin can become very annoying for some people who wish to fall asleep and these items will ensure that the light is blocked out.
Always Bring Extra Snacks and Water.
On board long-haul flights, meals are provided, however, these meals can be unfavourable and not fulfilling. Therefore on all flights I always bring along (or purchase within the airport) some snacks, such as nuts, chocolate and chips, to help fill my hunger. It is also important to stay hydrated during your flight, therefore I also purchase a large bottle of water for the flight. I find having your own water, rather than continually asking the cabin crew continuously for water, more convenient whilst on board.
Take on Board the Required Medication.
If you are like me and sometimes feel unwell on long haul flights, ensure you have the appropriate medication in you carry on and at the ready at all times. The medication that I take have in my carry on is Panadol, Nurofen Advance, Travelcalm Original (for motion sickness) and Temazepam (to induce sleep). I find these are helpful in preventing my motion sickness and aid me in falling asleep.
Below is a YouTube clip created by The Telegraph UK, which will also provide you with some other tips and tricks for surviving long-haul flights.