How to Prepare for a Long Haul Flight
So, you've decided to book a flight to the other side of the world. Great decision. Nothing compares to travelling, seeing new countries and enjoying totally different experiences.
But whatever your potential destination, there's one thing that can be a problem: long-haul flights.
Sitting completely still for upwards of 10 hours or more is difficult for most of us, but in the crowded and noisy environment of an airplane, it's even more challenging.
Thankfully there are plenty of steps that you can take to ensure your flight goes as smoothly as possible, especially if you prepare well in-advance. Be sure to pack well ahead of time and gather entertainment, taking work with you, indulging in a spot of gaming, or reading a good old-fashioned book.
Now, check out our tips on how to prepare for the most comfortable and stress-free long-haul flight.
1. Wear Comfortable Clothing
One of the most important things to consider when flying long haul is to wear clothing so you are comfortable. The more confortable you feel, the better the experience of being stuck on a place for a long time. You might want to give jeans a miss and go for cotton or loose clothing.
2. Choose Your Seat
Don't just wait till you arrive at the airport, be sure to check in online before and choose your seat so you get somewhere good to sit. Avoid sitting near the toilets which can often be busy and also smelly.
3. Do Work
The first tip on this list is slightly boring but it can be beneficial if you want to use the time on your long-haul flight wisely.
Very few of us get a solid 8 to 18 hours all to ourselves and the amount that you can get done in this time is can be very productive. The other great thing about flying is that you don't have the distraction of your mobile phone.
So, if you are lucky enough to work via your laptop, you can make the most of the situation and get some work done. Some flights will have the ability to charge your laptop, but not all of them do, so make sure that you're fully charged when the flight begins and, if you can, bring an extra power pack. As well as this, most flights offer in-flight wifi, whether free or paid for, so use that to your advantage.
You'll be able to access everything you could possibly need to online, which should make your working hours on the plane extra productive. Of course, no matter how hard you try, nobody can concentrate for a solid 18 hours and that's where the next tips come in.
4. Get Entertainment Ready
Long haul flights can be long. Really long. So you'll need something to fill the time and having plenty of games at your disposal is essential for a long haul flight.
You could choose to pack a nintento, play the online system from the airline or play games via your phone, tablet or laptop.
Whichever gaming sytem you choose, the key is to make sure that whatever you want to play is either browser-based, meaning you won't have to rely on the airplane wifi to download it, or if it isn't browser-based, that you've downloaded it ahead of time.
At some point during the flight, your tv or device screens can get boring or you'll need to give your eyes a break. At this point, its recommended to come prepared with books. Whether you go for an e-reader or the traditional paperback, books can keep you entertained for. long periods.
Reading a book that's set in the country or city that you're visiting is a great way to get you excited for your adventure to come. Better still, if you've been learning the language of the place that you're visiting then you could bring a book that's written in that language.
Books really are a great way to keep you entertained.
6. Pack Plenty of Snacks
It's no secret that airplane food generally isn't great. There are plenty of hacks like ordering the vegetarian or vegan option for a better chance at some fresh veggies, or booking a seat near the back of the plane so that your food comes out first and freshest, but the honest truth is, your food isn't going to be great.
To avoid getting those mid-flight hunger pangs when you couldn't stomach another mouthful of stodgy, wet bolognese, the best idea is to pack your own food. Bare in mind that there are regulations on certain foods that you can travel with. Honey is better left at home, as is anything strong smelling (you don't want to upset your neighbor).
However, there are no rules on instant noodles and the airline should give you free hot water, which can make for a filling meal. As well as this, fresh fruit and a couple of sandwiches is always a good shout. Make sure you pack plenty of bottled water too and ask if your bottle can be refilled. The air conditioning on planes is incredibly drying, so staying well hydrated is key to having a good flight.
7. Stay Hydrated
Its important to stay hydrated as flying can be quite drainingon your body. Drink plenty of water, fruit juices and avoid alcohol.
Finally, one of the most beneficial things that you can do on a long-haul flight is get a bit of shut-eye. This will help to make the time pass quicker and also help how to beat jetlag.
Arriving in a new country feeling sleep deprived can be a little disorienting, so if you can squeeze in a few hours of power nap then you'll be better prepared.
Unfortunately, planes aren't always the easiest atmosphere to sleep in, but there are a few tricks that can make it easier. Bringing your own eye mask to block out unwanted light from screens, windows, or reading lights will really help you to sink into a deeper sleep. If you struggle with background noise when sleeping then download some rain or beach noise to a listening device and plug in those earphones before drifting off.
Finally, a neck pillow will help you to feel supported and comfortable, even during turbulence.