10 Travel Tips For The Most Comfortable Long Haul Flight
Sunday, July 2nd, 2017 in Travel Tips
We’re all very familiar with the discomforts of long haul flying: cramped space, little legroom, dry air and the dangers of falling ill. While no strategy is 100% effective, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure the most comfortable, relaxing flight possible.
Stress Free Long Haul Flights
Ready? Let’s take a look at the best ways you can improve your flying experience and make it the least stressful journey you’ve had so far.
1. Eat Well, Fly Well
While passengers don’t have much control over their inflight meal, they can make crucial choices in what they consume at the airport. Every terminal in the country is littered with Burger Kings, Wetherspoons, WHSmiths and manner of familiar food outlets. For the sake of your journey, we suggest you pick the healthy options.
While it may be tempting to indulge in a big slap up meal before the flight (after all, you are on holiday!) we urge that you stay away from the saltiest, greasiest fast food. Tasty as gourmet burgers may be, they’ll leave you with a rumbling gut and a dry mouth on the plane. The dry air that circulates will only exacerbate your thirst, then you’ll be driven to drink more and pay frequent visits to the toilet – all on a cramped, crowded plane.
2. Rest Before The Journey
Do not assume that long haul flights will cater for a comfortable night’s sleep. If you’re the sort that can doze through turbulence then great. If not, you may find yourself enduring hours of restless travel, with a full day’s activities once you get to the other side.
Approach your flight having banked a few hours sleep, that way you have reserve energy in the event that you can’t relax inflight.
3. Bring The Right Clothing With You
Those travelling to hot countries often forget that flights can be rather cold. We’re not asking that you pack a winter jacket to Morocco, but do consider extra light layers that can double up as blankets, pillows and snugglers on your flight. Our personal recommendation is a soft, comfortable cardigan draped over the knees.
Socks (or lack of socks) are also important. Pack a pair or two in your hand luggage for when the flip flops come off after takeoff. We’d also recommend leggings or compression socks for those wary of deep-vein thrombosis.
4. Consider Those Airport Gadgets
Those weird gadgets you see at airports are popular for a reason. Neck pillows, eye masks, ear buds and headphones can be the saving grace of a long journey. Even the ambience of a night flight can’t compare to the total darkness enjoyed by a comfortable eye mask. All we suggest is that you buy these before arriving at the airport; chances are you’ll make a much bigger saving on a high street than at the terminal gift shop.
5. Choose A Good Seat In Advance
Everyone has their favourite type of seat. The daydreamers among us love to be by the window, whereas those that like to stretch their legs will appreciate an aisle seat. If you plan on sleeping lots, it’s probably best that you sit somewhere where passengers won’t be clambering over you to reach the toilet. Needless to say, if you need frequent toilet breaks we recommend you avoid the window and sit somewhere closer to the loo.
Top tip: the bulkhead (front) of the plane is the sweet spot where you get maximum legroom. If you’re not fussed about having a pocket in front of you, go for these seats.
In the event that you haven’t reserved the best possible seat, all is not lost…
6. Keep A Beady Eye On Vacant Seats
Sometimes a plane is under-booked, other times passengers turn up late and miss their flights. Either way, yours may have empty seats dotted around that better suit your circumstances. Once the plane is in the air and the seatbelt sign is off, look for aisle or window seats that suit how you wish to travel (see above). Just make sure you don’t accidentally wander into first class unless you wish to pay for the upgrade!
7. Treat Your Feet
As mentioned above, we recommend bringing some comfy leggings or compression socks for your journey. You might also want to use that inflatable neck pillow as a leg rest. The raised angle will help circulate the blood around your body and mitigate joint pain/swelling. If you’re really serious about comfort, why not also bring slippers?
8. Toiletry Tidbits
Modern air travel doesn’t permit you to bring much in the way of toiletries and liquids. That said, try and bring a little moisturiser to combat the dry air that circulates around the cabin. Another way to refresh yourself is by putting a small amount of water in a spray bottle and misting your face.
9. Take Your Own Headphones
With respect to the airlines, the headphones they supply behind the seats are not the best. If your flight takes ten hours and several films, you’ll be grateful for comfortable headphones that work properly, not the cheap plastic imitations. Noise cancelling headphones are also a great idea for those that want to doze off to music.
10. Stay Hydrated!
Last but not least, make sure you drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated throughout the flight. This will keep you alert, healthy and combat that dry air that circulates throughout the cabin. We could write a whole blog about the importance of hydration, and we probably will. In the meantime, take it from us that water intake is a hugely important part in enjoying a comfortable, relaxing long haul journey.