Long plane journeys can be something of a nightmare. Unless you’re lucky enough to be flying first or business class, you’re pretty much in for hours of sore, cramped legs, noisy neighbours, crying children and ‘interesting’ airline food. If you don’t take preparatory steps to guard against this terrible combination of factors, the chances are good you’ll be asking the air hostess for hard liquor. To help to keep you sane (and relatively sober) while you’re in flight, I’ve had a think and put together a list of 8 tips to survive a long plane journey.
1. Book Your Tickets Early
Planning ahead is the first and best tip to survive a long plane journey. There are a few advantages to securing your flight as early as possible, and one of these is a pick of the seats. While many people are keen to sit next to a window, I’d recommend going for a seat on the aisle, especially if you’re not good at sitting still. You’ll be able to get up and walk around while you’re in flight without incurring the wrath of your neighbours by climbing over them.
2. Dress Appropriately
You want to be in comfortable clothes, especially if you’re in for a long plane journey. Leave the stiff denims and cute little heeled boots in your luggage. Wear something soft and forgiving: leggings, a tunic and Uggs, or a wide legged trousers and slip on shoes.
3. Avoid the Booze
In the pressurised cabin, alcohol will affect you quite powerfully. This means you’ll feel drunker faster, and may not be able to sleep effectively. While liquor is a sedative and helps to get you to sleep, it disrupts the quality of your rest while you’re unconscious. When you wake up, you’ll feel tired, frazzled and disorientated, so avoiding it is a good tip to survive a long plane journey.
4. Stay Hydrated
The air inside the cabin of an aeroplane is very dry. In this kind of atmosphere you will dehydrate faster than you ordinarily would and this will, in turn, aggravate your sense of discomfort and contribute to jet lag. Make sure you drink plenty of water in order to counteract these effects.
5. Ear Plugs
Planes are noisy places. Pack a set of ear plugs or, better still, a pair of noise cancelling head phones into your hand luggage. The will help you to minimise unwanted noise so you can focus on your reading material or get a good night’s sleep.
6. Bring a Book
Keeping yourself entertained is always a fantastic tip to survive a long plane journey. It is a good idea to include something to read in your carry-on bag. You might find there’s nothing you want to watch on the plane and, trust me, the in-flight magazine will get old very quickly.
7. Listening Material
Plugging yourself into your iPod (or equivalent) is a good way to reduce unnecessary noise, and to keep yourself moderately entertained. Load a couple of audio books or interesting pod casts before you leave for the airport. These require none of the effort of reading but will, perhaps, absorb your attention more than music.
8. A Change of Clothes
It’s a good idea to pack a change of clothes in your hand-luggage. This is useful if you want to ‘freshen up’ before you land, and if your bags don’t come through at your destination airport. Obviously, you don’t want to go for anything too bulky; the basics will do.
An extended flight can be hard to bear but, with a little foresight and a few clever tricks, you’ll find that getting through it becomes easier. Hopefully my list of 8 tips to survive a long plane journey will help to minimise discomfort and allow you to keep all your marbles firmly in place. Do you have any suggestions of your own to share?
Top Photo Credit: amadeus fotografi