I originally wrote this post while I was preparing for a long haul 17 hour + flight from Perth to London. Now I won’t be on that flight (or any others soon for that matter) but hopefully these tips will help you when you finally can get back in the air.
While nothing will take away from the fact flying means you will be stuck in a tin can in the sky for ages, there are a few things that you can do to make your flight more comfortable whether it is one hour or nearly 24 hours.
Pick a good seat
Obviously if you can get yourself an exit row seat or upgrade to business class that is the best option, however if not consider a window seat (to sleep and not be disturbed) or an aisle seat if it is more important to you to be able to get up easily. It is also worth considering things like proximity to the bathroom or baby bassinets, and whether you prefer to sit over the wings.
Wear comfortable, breathable clothing
If you are going to be stuck in a seat for hours you want to feel comfortable. Consider items made from cotton or bamboo instead of synthetic materials and layer clothing so it is easy to warm up or cool down as needed. You may also like to take a shawl that can be used for multiple purposes such a scarf, blanket or pillow.
Use noise cancelling headphones
It took me three overseas trips before I brought my own pair of noise cancelling headphones and they are magic. You don’t realise how irritating the drone from the plane engine can be until you are stuck listening to it for hours and hours. Having your own headphones will be much more comfortable than any free ones the airline gives you.
It is no secret that planes are very dehydrating, but you may not realise how much of an impact that has on your body. Being dehydrated can cause headaches and muscle aches which can make your jet lag feel even worse. Make an effort to drink a lot of water the day before your flight and take a glass of water any time the hostess offers it.
Pack a seat bag
It helps to have essentials in a small pouch that you can keep at your seat. It is not always easy or possible to grab your lip balm or eye mask as soon as the seat belt sign goes off. You might also find your bag is put in an overhead locker way down the back of the plane. By having a small pouch you can at least survive 30 mins or so until you can get up. For longer flights a little purse is a great way to keep snacks or toiletries close by so you don’t have to keep disturbing your neighbours.
Stockpile your entertainment.
Flights normally have have fairly new releases so especially for a long haul flight where you need 5-6 movies it can help if you are excited to watch the latest blockbuster. If you have gone and seen all the latest movies in the two months leading up to the flight you may find yourself really bored. Same goes for TV shows, books or podcasts etc, save something you are really excited for until the flight.
Enjoy the forced relaxation
Being on a plane is one of the few good excuses for not texting back right away. Use the time on the plane to have some time to yourself without distraction and enjoy the rest before you reach your destination.
How do you make a flight go by quicker?