Tips and Tricks to Surviving Long Flights
We're no strangers to flying. When it comes to long flights and layovers, no one is ever wholly prepared—but we have compiled some tips to at least make the travel more tolerable.
1. Book a Red-eye flight.
If it's possible for you to fly when you usually would be sleeping—Book it!
I tend to lose sleep when I travel. I've learned that it's significantly easier to close your eyes and hopefully get a bit of rest when the cabin lights are dimmed, and everyone around you is quiet.
Internation flights will always offer food and drinks as soon as you hit cruising altitude. When the beverage cart comes your way, opt for a glass of red wine to help lull you to sleep.
I will advise; however, that it also contributes to dehydration—so drink enough water.
I'm often gifted with the middle seat (by often, I mean always). so I personally try not to drink too much. It's annoying enough to have to manoeuvre your way to the questionable toilet, in addition to asking someone to constantly move, or having to climb over them. Pick your battles.
2. Choose your seats wisely.
If you can afford the luxury of choosing your seats beforehand, do it. The best place to sit is at the very front.
While the back of the aircraft allows you to fully recline and not worry about anyone behind you, the front of the economy class has the most leg-room and you tend to get served first so all the food and drink options are available to you.
Most importantly though, no awkward ‘excuse me' when you need to use the toilet. The freedom of getting up to stretch your legs whenever the mood should hit you makes your 12+ hour flight that much more enjoyable.
If you are worried about turbulence, I've heard the centre of the plane experiences less turbulence.
TIP: If the seat that you want isn't available when you book, ask the check-in desk if you can change seats. Let them know that you have to rush off the plane when it lands to catch your connecting flight, or your legs have to be stretched out for medical reasons, etc... I know that it is wrong to lie, but it is worth it though.
The worst thing they can say is no, so it doesn't hurt to ask because you might luck-out.
3. Wear something comfortable.
This one seems obvious, but try not to succumb to "if you didn't post it on Instagram, did it really happen?" syndrome while flying—you'll have plenty of opportunities to update your fans when you land.
No one posts about how bad their air-plane morning breath is, how much their feet swell, or how they were a human pillow for the person sitting next to them.
Long-haul travelling isn't glamorous. We don't all have private jets and glamour crews at the ready when we get a cruising altitude pimple.
The least that we can do for our swollen limbs and numb bums is ensure that we wear something that we're comfortable in.
We've all seen the horrid photos of people in their undies sleeping or people who have jammed their gnarly feet through the seat gaps— don't be those people.
Be comfortable, but don't be an asshole. We are all stuck on the tin bus with wings, try to be kind to everyone around you.
4. Don’t over pack your carry-on
Okay, so this is something that I don't practice but I preach—I'm working on it.
I'm the person who packs my laptop, iPad, 2-3 books (wtf who does that) magazines, makeup, change of clothes, and basically enough snacks to share with every person on the plane in my carry-on luggage.
My carry-on is as heavy as my checked baggage. On my last international flight, that baby weighed in at 9.4kg (20.68lbs)!!
I will admit that for taking copious amounts of reading materials... I never read them during the flight. The number of onboard movies and Netflix offlines that I have to choose from keeps me entertained for hours that I am awake.
Just make it easier on yourself while you're travelling around airports, and pack a lighter carry-on.
5. Go with the flow.
Travelling can be tough and when things don't go precisely to plan, it becomes even more difficult. The only thing you can do is to remember that some things are out of your control—Let it go.
The amount of arguments and headaches that come when people hold their expectations too high is astronomical. Your partner isn't going to allow you to sleep on top of them. The airline company isn't going to bump you up to first-class (unless you're extremely lucky, then why are you reading this list?)
They always say that the best things happen when you least expect them. By dropping all expectations and just going with the flow, who knows what can happen?
Perhaps you will get bumped to first class, and you may get to shower in the airline lounge. You could have an epiphany and change your whole life by meeting the right person. No one knows the future, the least you can do is face the world today with a little bit of grace and charm.
Travel is both exciting and impressive. One always learns things about themselves when pushed outside of their comfort zone.
Some people travel to get out of their bubble. Others overcome daunting tasks in their home life to push themselves.
No matter what it may be, we must always be moving forward and expanding who we are as humans. If you're like me and enjoy the forever-itch of the travel-bug, I hope that these tips and tricks will be something to think about the next time you are jetting off for a new adventure.