With a little planning it’s possible to make any flight much more bearable. Here are afew tips to help you make the most of your next flight.
Choose your seat carefully.
On many flights it is possible to reserve your seat, on others you may have to quietly ‘assert yourself’ to get the spot you need. It is important however, to know what seat you are aiming for.
If you are particularly tall, seats by the emergency exits or bulkheads usually have quite a bit more legroom. It is always best to check they are not reserved first.
If you can’t get one of those, an aisle seat with allow you more opportunity to stretch your legs or to easily get out of your seat.
If you are content to stay put and want to make sure you are simply not disturbed, a window seat is the ideal choice.
If you want to ensure you get the best service, go for a seat right at the back where it should be easier to catch the attention of the cabin staff as they go about their duties.
If you are unhappy with your seat, wait for take-off then scan the plane for empty seats and empty rows. A polite word with the cabin crew, and you may find yourself stretched out across a row of unused seats.
Be kind to yourself
Take along a few essentials to keep you feeling at your best on the flight.
Simple luxuries can make a big difference on a plane journey. Miniature versions of the following easily can be packed into your hand luggage and can be incredibly revitalising on a long flight (or during an airport delay). Lip balm, moisturiser, face wipes, eye drops (particularly soothing for dry and tired eyes), and of course a mini toothbrush and toothpaste.
When it comes to travel pillows, there are plenty of options these days. Buy one in advance and test it out at home to make sure it works for you. Look for something that folds or deflates so it is easy to pack and carry and one that supports your neck while you sleep. But Avoid plastic or any material that will leave you sweaty and sticky. It’s worth investing in something durable that will stand the rigour of multiple trips.
When you find one that works, treasure it and take it everywhere. It will become your favourite travel companion.
Prepare To be Entertained
Think carefully about your personal in-flight entertainment. Prepare things in advance. Download movies, tv-shows or box-sets to watch, podcasts, music or books to listen to (or even books to read).
If you’ve thought it through carefully, you’ll be looking forward to the moment you can sit back and get stuck in to the first page or episode and you will drift away in your own world for the entire flight.
But make sure those batteries are fully charged and that you packed your headphones, or you may be in for a disappointment.
Bring your own
Airline food is rarely exciting or inspiring, so think about packing yourself a few healthy snacks or treats to keep you going.
Kick your shoes off
Don’t let your feet get hot and swollen in tight shoes. Take your shoes off and get comfy. You can always pack a spare pair or warm socks to slip on to keep your feet warm on a long fight.
Never Dress To Impress
Don’t worry about looking stylish or smart. Just go for the content-and-comfortable look.
Make sure you always dress for comfort. Loose clothing will always be much more comfortable, so select loose and stretchy clothes. And always make sure you have an extra wooly jumper to pull on in case it gets cold.
Lay Off The Booze
Whilst it is tempting to knock back a glass of wine to relax you or help you nod off, the brutal truth is that it will only result in you becoming dehydrated, tired and more irritable. And on a long-haul flight you will have to endure the ensuing hangover at some point.
The air inside and aircraft is lower in humidity than normal. Normal humidity is between 30% and 60% percent, while inside an airplane, it can drop to less than 20%. During longer flights, cabin humidity can dip even lower. This can lead to dry eyes, ears nose and throat and often to headaches. Drinking coffee, tea, sugary drinks or alcohol (see above) can mike you more dehydrated and amplify this effect. There is also evidence that suggests de-hydration increases the effects of jet lag.
So stick to water and make sure you drink plenty of it.
Consider relaxing in an airport lounge before or between flights so that you are at your best before you climb aboard the plane. There are quite a few apps available now which allow you to buy lounge-time straight form your phone. We particularly like ‘Lounge Buddy’ which is listed in our Top Six Travel Apps article.