Does anyone actually enjoy a 6 or 12 or 15 hour flight? No one I know that`s for sure! Your cold, uncomfortable, and stationary for hours and hours on end. Not to mention the screaming baby, snoring old man, or 3 hour flight delay that has been driving you insane the entire trip. Now, while we can`t do anything about the crying or the snoring, we do have a few tricks that will help you get through those terribly long flights in the best possible fashion!
Airplanes and airports are always kept a little on the cool side so its important to bring something warm onto the plane. Being inactive for hours on end will slow your blood flow; dropping your internal temperature. It’s also a good idea to wear clothing that`s not only cozy, but loose or stretchy as well…. it’s hard to get into a comfortable position when your belt is digging into your side! Choose shoes that are comfy and easy to slip off on the plane, but that you could also speed walk through airport in if necessary.
Pillow & Toothbrush
There are literally 10,000 different neck pillows on the market and they can make a huge difference in your quality of sleep during a long flight. Trust me, there’s nothing worst than starting your vacation off with a sore neck!
I know this one might seem a little strange but after you`ve had a meal or just woke up from a long sleep, it will feel VERY refreshing to walk down to the bathroom, wash your face, and brush your teeth! Sometimes you end up spending 24+ hours between airports and airplanes so do yourself a favor and throw these items in your carry-on.
Strategically Booking a Long Flight
Before hitting that check out button its important to pay close attention to layover times, layover location, departure/arrival times, time changes and dates. Sleeping through the majority of a long flight and waking up to the landing gear being deployed is the best feeling (that`s why we always try to book long flights during the night!)
If your flight does have a layover, you want to pay close attention to which airport it`s at and how long you have. The ideal time for a layover is 2-3 hours. This will give you enough time to find your gate, go to the washroom and grab a bite to eat. Layovers that are 1 hour or less can make it tricky ans stressful to catch your connecting flight.
Before you board that long flight, make sure your phone or laptop is charged and your podcasts, shows, or movies are downloaded. Most planes have charging ports and WiFi but some of the older planes are still a little behind the times. If you plan on using the on-board entertainment system, make sure you bring some headphones that plugin to the headphone jack.
Research the Airline
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but not all airlines are created equal. Some offer pretzels/cookies, expensive WiFi, and a high price for checked luggage while others offer full meals, free beverages (including wine), free movies, and free checked luggage (if you ever get a chance to travel with China Airlines, jump on it!). It’s important to research these things in advance so you will be able to plan for your flight accordingly.
Snacks & Drinks
If the airline you booked your flight with doesn’t supply a meal or beverage but you got a smokin` deal… that’s okay! Load up with your favorite snacks and drinks at the airport before your board the plane. We always bring a big bottle of water on with us as well; who seriously feels refreshed with one of those dinky little cups, anyways? TIP: It`s always cheaper to stock up at the airport than it will be to purchase items on the flight.
Move Around/ Stretch
It’s super important to move around and/or stretch every couple of hours during a long flight. Many people avoid it because they don`t want to disturb their neighbor or be that weird dude stretching by the bathrooms; but it will help induce blood flow, reduce jet-leg, and avoid deep vein thrombosis! If you`re looking for a few discrete stretches you can do, check out this post for some great idea’s: 5 Stealth Stretches to Do In-Flight Because Deep Vein Thrombosis Is No Joke.