Tips for Staying Comfortable on a Long Haul Flight 2

There is perhaps nothing better than taking off for an exotic destination to make once in a lifetime memories. But along with all the excitement can come what feels like a never ending flight to get there. We’ve surveyed some (very) frequent fliers and a flight attendant to bring you some tips to make that long haul flight more comfortable.

  1. Always bring a carry-on: If it’s a long flight, chances are that you’ve checked most of your luggage. You don’t want to bring a large or heavy bag onto the plane, especially if you’re flying coach and are unsure of the overhead room. But you should bring a bag that is big enough to store everything you need. Ideally it should have a small compartment for easy to reach items (e.g. headset, snack, book, sleeping aid) and should be soft enough to be squeezed into small spaces.
  1. Be prepared for temperature extremities: Despite all the technology on today’s planes, they still seem unable to maintain a consistent cabin temperature. Chances are that during the trip, you’re going to get uncomfortably cold or warm and the thin complimentary blankets and air vents are not going to help very much. Packing items in your carry-on such as extra thick socks and warm clothes like a cashmere sweater (low bulk but very warm) can make a huge difference. Likewise, you must be prepared for when the temperature rise, often while sitting on the tarmac. Wear clothes that you can easily take off and put in your carryon if need be, such as a scarf, hat, pullover, and even zip away gym pants that convert into shorts.
  1. Eat smart. Long flights typically come with up to two meals and snacks, accompanied by soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. No matter how much food is at your disposal, you don’t have to eat all of it. Stick with light fares that go easy on salt, carbonation, and heavy spices in general. Foods loaded with sodium will cause you to retain water and this will bring on uncomfortable bloating and cramps in your legs and abdomen area. Nuts and carbonation can cause a different kind of bloat—gas. Bear that in mind and consider drinking water and bringing your own snacks.
  1. Ear Plugs. You are going to want to sleep on the flight. If you are unlucky enough to be seated near a loud conversation, or a young child, that may be a painfully hopeless pursuit. And even if you don’t want to sleep, you might want to at least dampen the noise around you. Don’t get the foam earplugs – they don’t do much. Get the wax plugs that you can mold to the shape of your ear. It can feel strange at first but you will get used to it and they can be a life-saver.
  1. Get on your feet: While it’s often crowded with food carts and kids, try to take periodic walks up and down the aisle. It’s important for your health and circulation, and it will feel great to stretch your legs after sitting for such a long time.
  1. Minimize boredom activities to one hub: You never know if your flight is going to have a decent video monitor with good movies choices so take advantage of today’s technology to store all of your books, games, and media together on one device. A tablet is an amazing way to do this and there are obviously lots of options. 
  1. Go for comfort over style: Yes, get the neck pillow. And not the cheap one from the gas station. Invest in a good, memory foam neck pillow from a reputable brand. Sites like offer tons of creative pillow-type solutions that will cost less than a last minute purchase at the airport. Get an eye-mask too so that your sleep schedule is not determined by the cabin lighting schedule.
  1. Put together a survival kit: This goes in your carry-on and contains items such as toiletries that keep you feeling fresh (mouthwash, hairbrush, eye drops), supplements like Airborne, headache suppressors, sleep-aids, and hand sanitizer. It’s always a good idea to bring moisturizer on planes since the air gets so dry.
  1. Hydration: It may sound inconvenient to drink yourself into 20 bathroom trips during your flight, but it can make a huge difference. You need to be drinking 1-2 cups of water an hour, so plan on bothering the flight attendant a few times, or bringing your own bottles of water. Staying hydrated wards off headaches, sleeplessness, stress, the possibility of blood clots, and it forces you to get up and walk to the bathroom.
  1. Take advantage of seat options: When you have an opportunity to upgrade to a seat with slightly more leg room, be sure to take advantage of it. Sometimes you can nab a bulk head or emergency row seats for as little as twenty bucks. This is well worth it for the extra room. Just make sure that the seat backs recline!





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