I am from Vancouver, which means that if I want to travel anywhere other than LA, Calgary or Seattle I am going to have travel a long distance. To put it into perspective:
- Flight to Toronto: 5h
- Flight to London, England: 10h
- Flight to New Delhi, India: 21h
What you should also know is that we both are avid travellers, often joking that we live and work in order to travel. We have even gotten into the bad habit of motivating ourselves in terms of trip planning (there is just so much to see in this magnificent world!) and try to go on large trips every other year with short trips on the years we don't. Asia, Europe and North America, we've covered it or a part of it. Meaning, we have grown accustomed to long flights and so, these are our 5 most important lessons we have learned that we would love to share with you.
Long flights are hard to get through especially since airlines are opting to decrease personal space (leg room, elbow room, privacy space...you know all that stuff that makes it a little less insufferable)...not to mention that they recycle air. How can you make things better for yourself? We've got you covered:
I usually get to the airport early enough that after I do baggage drop (having checked in online the night before and printed my boarding passes) and clear security I have enough time to eat a meal before I get on the plane. This is important because eating on the plane during a long flight is not enjoyable (lack of appetite, upset digestion, distasteful food). I also grab snacks I can eat on the plane throughout the flight because my stomach and plane food do not go together. And even if you do eat the meals on the plane...it just isn't enough. Keeping your stomach the right level of full on a plane is key to not having your stomach be upset both on and off the plane! A fuller stomach also helps you fall asleep.
2. Liquids: water, water and more water
I can not stress how important this is. Many people get this one thing wrong. Make sure you drink water before your flight, during your flight and after your flight. Remaining hydrated is so important for overall health in life so nothing changes when you fly. This point is especially important when you realize that the cabin pressure dries out mucous membranes and causes headaches, congestions, and muscle aches. As an extra tip I would suggest to steer away from soft drinks and alcohol--they just dehydrate you and cause stomach aches!
3. Pack layers
Sadly many airlines have also stopped supplying blankets and pillows so advise packing them for yourself. I usually pack a blanket scarf in my carryon. If you are someone that gets cold easily then you should also wear socks. I know many doctors advise not removing your shoes on flight as your extremities tend to swell up but I love taking off my shoes and curling up on the airplane seat while watching an in-flight movie so wearing socks help to fight the cold. In fact, pack a touque (beanie) it can act as a light blocker as well as keeping your head warm.
4. Get up and walk
This is something you hear all the time, but its good advice, especially if you have injuries. I love to get up and stretch, walk around get out of the airplane seat mentally and physically. Well, I mean, with all the water I am drinking the legs get a stretch by walking to and from the washroom anyways! But moving around during the flight helps to keep the blood circulating, the swelling down and aches away!
5. Don't forget these accessories
There are certain accessories that I find key for long-flights:
- Gum: helps your ears during take offs and landing, also a good thing to have if you feel nauseous (but not if you feel gas-y or that your stomach is full of air) and if you want to freshen your breath!
- Pen: Pens are so important from filling out tags to your landing cards--you don't know when you'll need a pen.
- Earphones: some flights have started charging for in-flight earphones..so dont forget to pack your own!
- a book: if you get tired from watching movies or you're unable to sleep read a book for a bit!
- Tums or other indigestion aids
- an ipod or something to listen to your music on (I guess nowadays the kids just use their phones eh?): This may seem antisocial, but when I travel by myself I listen to music continuously except for when I watch movies. Basically, whether I am walking around the airport or seated in my seat I am plugged in and it makes flying easier for me.
I hope these tips help! I know flying can be stressful and we all have our own tips and tricks to survive long flights but I love sharing and hearing ideas to improve my flight game! So what are your tips?