Long flights are one of my least favorite things in the world. I have been on many international flights, some upwards of 12 hours long. It never gets easier, it never gets better. But I have learned a lot on how to make those long flights not so bad.
Being in a cramped metal tube flying hundreds of miles per hour at 30,000 feet in the air is not a recipe for a good time. At least not for me.
This is one of the most important things you can do when you have a long flight coming up. Flights are one of the fastest ways to dehydrate yourself, and if you mix having coffee or alcohol in the mix (which a lot of people do) then you’ll really be feeling the effects.
The reason you get so dehydrated is simple: the cabins of planes have very low humidity levels. The average plane has 20% humidity, that’s less than the Sahara Desert! That dry air is looking for moisture, and where do you think it gets it from? That’s right, us! Humans contain 70% water, nice and ripe for the air to suck dry.
This can lead to you feeling dizzy, bloated, and fatigued. Not a fun feeling to have for a multiple hour long flight.
The best thing to do to combat this, is to drink 8 fluid ounces of water every hour prior to your flight starting between 12 and 24 hours out. You don’t want to pound water right before the flight, or you’ll just pee it all out after you board and then you’re back to where you started.
The great thing with today’s technology, is that you still have a wide range of access to your technology even when you’re offline. Most long-haul flights will offer a screen built-in to every seat that offers some surprisingly new and good movies. However, you may get tired of watching them after a while.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to download a few episodes or even a couple movies on Netflix. So if you don’t want to miss out on your TV show for 12 hours, then you can download a few episodes to watch on the plane!
On top of this, you can also download various podcasts, comedy stand-ups, audiobooks, and a ton of music playlists; all to listen to on the plane without having to pay for that terrible on-plane Wi-Fi service!
Turbulence is a given no matter what. Every flight you go one will hit some sort of turbulence, even if it’s just a few little bumps.
I know a lot of people who are scared to death of turbulence, and the slightest bumps have them gripping the armrests for dear life.
The thing is, gripping the armrests actually makes the turbulence feeling worse. That’s right. Worse.
It’s because you are gripping the plane itself. The seats are connected to the plane, which is what is feeling the turbulence. So those rumbles are traveling throughout the entire plane. You grabbing the armrest is like you becoming a part of the plane. The best thing you can do to reduce the feeling of turbulence is to just keep your hands in your lap, or to cross your arms across your chest.
Also, these planes go through rigorous testing that emulates some very bad turbulence. They wouldn’t be certified to fly unless they passed those tests with flying colors. You’ll be safe, I promise!
I always aim for window seats when I fly. The benefits are endless. The one and only con I can think of, is that you’ll have to shimmy past everyone if you want to get up to go to the bathroom. Outside of that, the benefits are endless!
You get a wall to lean up against, you don’t have to stand up for anyone which allows you to just relax the whole time, and you can look out the window!
If you don’t plan on sleeping, due to the fact that you want to combat jet lag, then the aisle seat is probably a better choice. You’ll get more leg-room and more opportunity to get up and move around.
If you are tall, volunteer to sit in the emergency exit aisle. They offer an insane amount of leg-room at no extra cost! All that will happen, is that they will give you a personal safety brief and you’ll need to confirm that you understand the responsibility of sitting in the emergency aisle.
Should anything happen, you are responsible for helping people get off the plane.
Having a pen and paper is valuable in multiple ways.
First, it’s fun to have a notebook that you can just write or draw in. I feel that brainstorming ideas, or writing out a budget, or just any random thing that comes to mind, passes a lot of time. I’ll write down almost anything and then make it look nice and organized. Before I know it, another hour has passed!
A second thing it’s valuable for, is in case you need to fill out various forms. For example, since you are on a long-haul flight, you are most likely traveling to a different country. If this is the case, you’ll have to fill out a customs form. In my experience, they don’t give you pens, so you either use your own or borrow one from someone else.
This is probably the most invaluable item you can bring with you on a trip, no matter how long the flight is, but especially so for multiple hour long flights. The white noise on planes is very loud. From the engines, to the random beeping of the seatbelt sign, to the screaming babies; it’s just noise that prevents you from really relaxing.
Noise cancelling headphones get rid of all of those issues. It’s like the only thing that exists in the world is you and whatever you are listening to. Heck, you could even put them on and not listen to anything, and just use them as glorified ear plugs!
Make sure your carry-on is packed full of your favorite snacks! Long flights will most certainly offer a meal, but what about in-between meals? Or just when you’re bored? I know personally, I love to eat when I am bored.
As long as the snacks aren’t liquid, you can bring them on the plane. Just note however, that snacks in a foil wrap will most likely be stopped at security as the scanners can’t see through the foil. That doesn’t mean they will be confiscated, but it’ll just make your life more difficult is all.
As terrible as long flights really are, they don’t have to be THAT bad. Taking steps to make sure you are comfortable and entertained is crucial to ensuring you have the best flight you possibly could have!
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