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How to Survive a Long Flight

How to Survive a Long Flight

Some people love when their job takes them to exotic or far-flung countries, but hardly anyone enjoys a 17-hour flight. Sitting in a cramped seat while listening to hundreds of other passengers isn’t a fun start or end to any work trip.

While we can’t make the plane go any faster, we can offer you these 10 tips to make a long flight a little more pleasant.

  1. Upgrade Your Flight

If you’re a frequent business traveler, you’ve likely chalked up quite a few miles. Use those miles for a long flight and get yourself an upgrade to business or first class. You’ll really appreciate that extra space and quiet on a direct flight from New York to Tokyo.

  1. Pick Your Seat Before You Fly

Some people need to get up for the bathroom every hour or so. Avoid that hourly tap on the shoulder by picking the window seat. Some airlines will charge you extra to pick your seat, but if it means undisturbed rest, it’s well worth the money!

But if you are the person who needs to use the bathroom every hour, do everyone else a favor and pick the aisle seat.

  1. Be Well Rested Before Boarding

People often count on getting the rest they need on the plane, but between the friendly stewardesses offering you snacks, turbulence, and a crying baby in the row behind you, getting unbroken rest on a long flight is rare. Rest well or take a nap before boarding. This will help alleviate some of that in-flight crankiness.

  1. Dress Comfortably

Airport fashion should be about comfort. Avoid tight jeans, stiff-collared shirts, and fitted dresses. No amount of tossing and turning in your seat is going to make you comfortable! Loose-fitting clothes made from soft materials are ideal for long flights. A cotton blouse or shirt with a pair of slacks ensures comfort without making you look sloppy.

  1. Pack a Survival Kit

Have everything you need for the flight in a small pouch so you don’t have to rummage through your carry-on looking for them. This includes your medication, hand lotion, earplugs and sleep masks, and a toothbrush. Always keep your survival kit within easy reach—not in the overhead compartment.

  1. Bring a Comfort Kit

In addition to a survival kid, keep a comfort kit close to hand. This includes a neck pillow, socks, or anything you need to keep comfortable. Airplane seats aren’t slouchy armchairs and cabins often get notoriously frigid. Have what you need to stay comfortable; sometimes the airline’s blanket or pillow won’t cut it.

  1. Combat Dehydration

You may find yourself extra thirsty on flights because of the dry air and salty airplane food. It doesn’t help that the water is always served in tiny cups! Bring an empty bottle through the security check, and fill it at the water fountain at the departure gate, and you’ll avoid a dry and scratchy throat during the flight.

  1. Know Your Entertainment Options

Check out the in-flight entertainment before the flight: if it’s not what you’re after, bring your own entertainment, such as a book, some work to do (yes, that will be better than doing nothing on a long flight!), or an iPad full of your favorite movies. Fill your time with something you enjoy or need to do.

  1. Take Your Pills

Medications really do come in handy on a flight. Things like a headache or a runny nose no longer become tolerable ailments when you’re 30,000 feet above ground and away from your bed. Combat your runny nose, motion sickness, or even insomnia on your flight with the proper medications.

  1. Loosen Your Shoes

Feet sometimes swell when you’re flying because of the change in air pressure. Loosen the laces on your shoes to prevent them from puffing up. For maximum comfort, remove your shoes and replace them with socks.

Follow these 10 tips on your next long flight, and avoid travel crankiness!

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About The Author

A graduate from the National University of Singapore with an Honours degree in English literature, Salome’s writing experience goes above poetry and the odd academic essay. She has written extensively for both local and international firms, providing insight on business travel, professional relationships, and sales and marketing. In between writing, Salome also finds the time to edit and review articles and literary works in Singapore.

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