Going overseas for a holiday is something everyone looks forward to. The actual getting there though, not so much, especially if a long flight is part of the journey. After all, not all of us can afford to travel in business or first class, and being stuck in a small space for an extended period of time is less than ideal for most people.
However, there are some ways to make your time in the air less uncomfortable, all it takes are a few simple hacks.
- Pick the right seat
Though you are limited by your budget by the class that you can fly in, within each class there are decidedly better and worse seats that you can have. So how do you know which seat to pick, or more importantly, avoid? SeatGuru has the answers. The site uses your flight details to churn out information about the aircraft you will be traveling in and points out any noteworthy seats both good and bad. Also included are a list of the inflight amenities and feedback from previous passengers about their flight experience. That said, everyone has their personal preference, be it window or aisle, and getting a seat that you prefer in this regard is more important.
If you are travelling long haul, it might be worth your while to pay a bit extra to bag the best seats. Otherwise remember to set your alarm to ring 24/48 hours before your flight (depending on the airline) to do your online check in and get a seat of your choice — it could be the difference between a normal and nightmare flight.
- Equip yourself to sleep
Not everyone has the ability to knock out on the plane, and this is where a few tools that aid sleep can come in handy.
Eye mask: Though the lights are dimmed during a flight, it is hardly pitch black. Studies have shown that the more light you can remove, the better the quality of rest you will receive. We recommend first using the MegRhythm Steam Eye Mask to soothe your eyes, before putting on an eye mask that will block out the light around you.
Travel Neck Pillow: Full service airlines do provide a small pillow on board, but it barely gives any neck support which is essential if you’re trying to snooze in an upright position. There are many types of travel pillows that will do the trick, but we like the Muji Neck Cushion for it’s versatility. It can be used not just to support your neck while on the plane, but also other parts of the body as needed.
Sleep spray: Sometimes all you need is a little boost to help you get the sleep you want while travelling. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is infused with lavender and chamomile essential oils, oils that are known to calm the mind, and lull you into a good sleep.
- Hydrate yourself, but not with alcohol
Cabin air humidity levels are very low, leading to dehydration which can exaggerate jetlag. And though it tempting to go crazy with the free-flow alcohol available on board, rather than hydrating you, alcohol does the opposite.
Instead, you should fill up on water. While there is no mathematical formula to how much water exactly you should drink, the Aerospace Medical Association recommends approximately 240ml for very hour you are in the air.
- Dress comfortably for your flight
You’ll be spending long hours in a small space, so comfortable clothing is of the utmost importance. Choose fabrics that are breathable and allow air and moisture to pass through easily such as cotton, silk and linen. You should also layer your clothing in a manner that allows you to remove layers when it gets too warm and add on easily when it gets too warm; shawls, cardigans and sweatshirts are the best choices.
The same goes for shoes. Pick footwear that is easy to slip on and off when needed. This will allow you to wiggle your toes, put on extra socks and slip on your shoes when you need to scoot to the washroom.
- Move during your flight
Long journeys without moving can lead to an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) as being in a seated position for too long makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood from the legs to the heart and keep your blood flow circulating. Thus moving regularly is important, especially if you are pregnant, as you will be at a higher risk of getting DVT. Even if you can’t get out of your seat to walk about, you should do some simple exercises to get the blood moving in your legs, arms and shoulders. You’ll feel much better even with just a few minutes of stretches.
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