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How to survive long-haul travel!

Being enclosed in a metal tube for several hours can be hard even for the most frequent passenger.

But long haul flights don’t have to be the uncomfortable experience we expect. Here are some helpful tips for the next time you step on board..


Pack snacks

Hunger on the ground is bad enough, but when your stuck up high, something to quell the inevitable munchies is a must. If you don’t grab a few snacks in the terminal you will be force to pay the sky-high prices on the flight. And, don’t forget a couple of bottles of water, Hydration is always important.

Don’t stuff your face

According to Web MD, it’s harder to digest while in the air, so although it’s okay to eat, filling up isn’t the best idea. In fact, depending on how long your flight is, you might want to eat just before boarding, and eat only snacks while on the plane. If you do choose to eat on the plane, keep in mind that warm foods are better than cold foods since they’re easier to digest.

Avoid caffeine

Caffeine will keep you up, dehydrate you further, and make you irritable.

Drink green tea instead

If decaffeinated green tea is an option on your flight, you might want to take advantage. The drink has been said to help stave off the onset of jet lag.

Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum

Drinking too much can lead to multiple issues such as dehydration and grogginess that will only exacerbate the dehydration you’re already experiencing, and the jet lag you’ll most likely experience once you land. There’s also the chance that you’ll get sick, and no one wants to spend the better part of a long distance flight in a cramped (and possibly not-so-clean) bathroom.

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing

While sweatpants shouldn’t be your go-to travel attire, it is a good idea to wear more comfortable loose clothing on a flight — especially a long one. For men, this can mean a pair of jeans and a T-shirt; woman might want to try leggings and a sweater.

Wear layers

Long flights can mean going from freezing to overheated and back again. In order to keep your body at a comfortable temperature, it’s best to layer your clothing. Don’t just wear a T-shirt and bring a heavy jacket. Instead, wear a T-shirt with a sweater or sweatshirt over it, and then consider bringing a jacket as well just in case.

Bring a scarf

Even though this likely pertains more to female travelers than male travelers, a scarf comes in pretty handy on a flight since it can be used as a fashion accessory, a blanket, and even lumbar support (see below).

Bring a neck pillow

Sure, they’re not the hottest accessory out there, but your neck will thank you. Plus, being physically comfortable will improve your general well being, and is likely to help you sleep.

Bring lumbar support

Why airplane seats were designed with a curve is beyond us, but their C-shape does nothing for the human spine, which looks more like an S, thus causing passengers achy backs and necks. Wedging a pillow, blanket, or sweater behind your lower back will counteract the seat’s shape, and keep your spine in its natural shape.

Bring noise canceling headphones or earplugs

The ambient roar of a plane’s engine (and background noise in general) is said to cause stress. Noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs will not only block out that noise, but also block out other sounds that will keep you awake, like crying babies and flight attendants who are trying to serve a meal.

Download white noise or meditation sounds

In the same vein, white noise or meditation sounds can block our ambient noise, as well as help you relax and sleep better.

Bring an eye mask

It’s not the most flattering look when you’re flying, but blocking out light helps with jet lag, as light affects your circadian rhythm. It also mentally prepares you for sleep, and blocks out the early breakfast wake up on long-haul flights.

Wear compression socks

Compression socks will help you avoid “economy class syndrome,” aka swollen feet and ankles, leg pain, and even blood clots and deep vein thrombosis that one gets from being seated or in the same position for too long.

Bring your own entertainment

This is a no-brainer, but bring enough books, magazines, games, and movies to keep yourself busy instead of relying on the possibly terrible in-flight movie and shelling out $5 for headphones. Reading material is imperative, as there will be at least an hour between take off and landing during which you can’t use your electronics or watch movies.

Charge all of your devices and bring an extra power pack

Traveling drains your phone’s battery — while you’re waiting, you’re probably playing games, texting, or checking weather, traffic, or delays. Make sure your phone and iPad are fully charged before you leave, or, bring some extra juice in the form of a power pack.

Snag a window seat

A window seat not only gives you a nice, solid wall to rest your head on for a more comfortable nap, but also means you won’t be disturbed by passing beverage carts, and that you only have to get up when you need to go to the bathroom.

Sit by the plane’s wing

Many experts claim that the seats by a plane’s wing experience less turbulence, since they’re closer to the plane’s centre of gravity.

Avoid bulkhead seats or those in front of exit rows

The former won’t have storage space for your carry-on, and the latter won’t recline.

Bring the flight attendants chocolate

Apparently, when flight attendants fly privately, they bring the crew chocolate — make yourself popular and do the same, you may get some perks and preferential treatment, or, in the very least, some good karma.

Bring lotion, chapstick, and Evian spray

Dehydration is the worst part of every flight as the recycled, pressurized air leaves most passengers raisin-like. Counteract the dryness by bringing hand lotion, Evian spray, and chapstick.

Wear closed-toed shoes

In the case of an emergency, closed-toed shoes are your safest bet. There could be fire, debris, or shards of glass. Proper closed-toed shoes will also let you move faster if need be.

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