So you've booked the trip of a lifetime - your bags are packed, itinerary is in hand, and the only thing standing between you and a week of bliss is an 10 hour plane ride. For a number of travelers, this ominous flight is almost enough to cancel the trip altogether. While it is true that sitting in the same seat for an extended period may not be the most exciting thing in the world, there are certainly things that you can do to make it more enjoyable.
Below are a few tips we'd recommend you take into account while getting ready for your travels
Dress as comfortable as possible
You'd be amazed at the number of people who show up for extended flights in fancy dresses and 6 inch heels or 3 piece suits. While you may not want to look like a bum at the airport, a large percentage of your flight experience is going to depend on your comfort level.
Remember, you're going to be sitting in the same space for longer than most of us sleep every night. While we wouldn't suggest that you show up to the airport in your pajamas, your clothes honestly shouldn't be too far off from a comfort perspective. A polo and jeans combination, t-shirt and shorts, or comfy dress and flip flops should be just what you need to get through the trip.
Don't forget to pack extra clothes items like a sweatshirt in case you get cold after a few hours in the air. Microfiber socks will also suffice for shoes in-flight and you don't want to be having shoes on for that length of time, but you don't want to be barefoot either.
Don't forget to bring the entertainment
The question that a lot of people ask themselves is what the heck are they going to do the whole time they're on the flight?! While the airline may provide some options, a lot of this is going to depend entirely on you. 8-10 hours is a ton of time - enough to watch 4 movies, read multiple books, or get a full-night's sleep. However it's unlikely that you're going to do just one of these the entire time while on the flight.
We'd recommend packing enough items to give you options on what to do during the flight, but not so many that you're lugging around a bag full of things you're never going to touch regardless of how much time you have.
While we can't tell you the exact items that you should bring, here are some of the top suggestions we'd have
- Ipad with a variety of movies and TV shows downloaded
- Iphone/Ipod with your music
- Book(s) to read - a Kindle is a great option here as it's lighter than a regular book and lets you bring multiple books at the same time
- Card or dice game to play by yourself or with your travel mate.
- Journal to write down ideas, yearly goals, or record your thoughts going into your
Get ready to move around
If you're a first-timer to long flights, it is important that you know to move around at least a couple times during the flight. Studies
have shown that moving around could prevent blood clotting, which despite its minimal chance of occurring, could have deadly consequences.
Beyond this, getting the blood flowing every few hours will help you feel more comfortable in-flight and prevent aches and numbness that may occur by sitting in the same spot for hours on end.
Take advantage of in-flight activities
Most airlines provide some sort of in-flight entertainment during their trips, and depending on the carrier this may be even better than the entertainment you brought for yourself! Movies and music are pretty standard offerings for airlines, but some even offer trivia games
during the flight where you compete against others on board!
Before you book your flight, it may be worth it to investigate what your airline offers its guests. Some of the best airlines even offer drinks (alcohol) free of charge.
Don't underestimate the extras
There are plenty of extra items that you can bring on your flight that may seem inconsequential by themselves, but can be the difference between an enjoyable trip or a miserable experience.
To start, bringing a travel pillow on your flight might be the best decision you make if you're planning on grabbing a few zz's in-flight.
You could also bring an eye mask to assist in your sleep.
Other items that you should strongly consider bringing include:
- Snacks such as granola bars in case the food served is not as appealing as you'd like. There's nothing worse than having to choose between going hungry for half of your day or eating a horrible airplane meal.
- Tylenol or aspirin for a headache
- Pepto Bismol for obvious reasons
- Gum to chew during takeoff and landing to cut down on the pressure you feel in your ears
- Headphones to use with the airplanes entertainment system that are either more comfortable than what they offer or in case the airline charges a fee to use their own headphones
Remember, the purpose of taking the flight in the first place is to get you to a location
that would take days or weeks by any other travel method. While long flights may not be ideal, the least you can do is set yourself up to enjoy it as much as possible given the circumstances. If you do as much research as you can on airlines prior to flying to see which ones offer the best experience and follow some of these tips above, you'll make it through no problem. Good luck and have a safe flight!