11 HOURS ON A PLANE! (long haul flight tips) | Lily Pebbles
How to Enjoy Your Long Plane Ride
Being stuck in a small area over a long period of time can be difficult for even the most patient of people. How you transform your long haul flight from an ordeal into an enjoyable experience is a matter of preference. Some people find long flights ideal for getting work done, while others look at it as the perfect time to relax with books and movies. Whatever you prefer, with a little planning and preparation, your lengthy flight can become a pleasant part of your trip.
Ensuring a Comfortable Flight
.Although an upgrade to business or first class isn't always financially feasible, if possible, the extra room in these parts of the plane can make your trip much more comfortable. When traveling economy, try to reserve a seat on the aisle, as this will make it easier to go for a quick walk when you're feeling restless. You'll also be able to sprawl into the aisle for some extra leg room.
- Some flyers prefer window seats. The benefit of a window seat is that you can use the side of the plane as a cozy nook in which you can sleep. Also, the view outside the plane can provide natural beauty you can enjoy if you find your activities are becoming tedious. The major drawback to window seats is the difficulty you'll face potentially crossing over two other people when going for a walk or trying to use the bathroom.
Devise ways to decrease discomfort.Airline headphones/earbuds aren't always the highest quality, so you may want to bring a pair of your own. Noise-cancelling headphones, in particular, are praised by veteran long-haul flyers, though these can be expensive. Earplugs are a good, affordable substitution for these and can be bought at most drug stores.
- You might want to download some relaxing white noise tracks onto your media player to drown out other passengers or loud children. Rain sounds, beach sounds, and meditative tracks with gentle music accompanying natural noises can transport you to a more tranquil place.
- Many long flight travelers recommend wearing compression socks, especially when flying economy. The limited amount of space and long periods of time spent stationary can cause swelling in your feet and ankles or a dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis. Compression socks can help prevent this.
Familiarize yourself with in-plane exercises.Keeping your blood flowing and your body engaged can prevent soreness, swelling, and discomfort. The key to these kinds of exercises is small, controlled movement done consistently over time. Even if you're only raising your toes, doing this for 10 - 20 repetitions several times over the course of your flight will help keep your body limber. Speaking of raising your toes...
- Raise your toes while sitting. Keep your heels on the floor and slowly raise your toes as high as you can. Then lower your toes, and repeat this motion with your heels while keeping your toes on the floor. Do this 7 - 10 times with controlled, deliberate motion.
- Raise and twist your legs. You may have better results with this exercise if you recline your chair as much as possible first. Then, raise your legs as much as you can and rotate your toes in a clockwise motion until you complete at least 6 rotations. Then repeat the motion going counterclockwise the same number of rotations.
- Bring your knees to your chest. This engages both your abdominal muscles and your legs. Lean forward a little bit so your back is off your chair. After that, bring one knee as close to your chest as you can, using both hands to support it gently. Hold this pose for 15 to 20 seconds, then lower your leg and repeat the process with your other leg. Do this at least 3 times.
Create an in-flight schedule.Your schedule doesn't have to be set in stone, but by plotting out your plans for your flight time you can arrange activities to prevent boring gaps during your journey. You might plan on spending the first two hours of your trip getting situated and doing some light reading. At about the third hour of your flight, complimentary beverages, including alcohol, are usually offered. You may want to skip alcoholic drinks; the cabin will already be dry, alcohol can lead to dehydration, and alcohol can alsohurtyour quality of sleep.After that you might:
- Consider taking a nap or getting as much sleep as possible at around the five hour mark. Natural sleep aids, like chamomile, Valerian root, and melatonin may help.By planning a nap toward the middle of your long flight, you break up your activities so you hopefully won't get bored of in-seat entertainment.
- Think about a walk down the aisle at the eight hour mark. Even regular in-seat exercise isn't a substitute for stretching your legs. After your nap, a little past the halfway point of your flight, excuse yourself from your seat and take a stroll. This is also a good opportunity to visit the restroom and freshen up with your in-flight toiletry bag.
- Enjoy your planned activities between hours eight and ten of your trip. Settle in for a good movie, read your book, do your puzzles -- occupy yourself with all the enjoyable things you've brought along for the flight.
- Try to catch a little more rest at hour ten. Your quality of sleep on a long flight probably won't be as good or as long as what you're used to. If you feel sleepy, listen to your body, but following a relaxing movie, a good read, or some puzzle work, you might find yourself ready for another short nap.
- Finish out the rest of your flight with planned activities. This is also a good chance for you to do your in-flight exercises. Doing your exercises now will prepare your body for de-planing, snagging luggage, and making your way to a hotel or wherever it is you're headed. You might also want to take another trip to the restroom an hour before you land so you feel refreshed when you reach your destination.
Having a Good Time on Your Flight
Brainstorm possible activities.Think about and make a list of activities you like to do in enclosed spaces, like your room, school, or office. Some common in-flight activities include reading, listening to music, watching movies, and doing homework/work. Don't forget any hobbies you might have that can be done in a seat, like drawing, knitting, playing chess, doing puzzles (like sudoku or crossword puzzles), folding origami, and so on.
- You might also want to consider practicing meditation before you step on board your flight. Some people experience flight anxiety, and many people become uncomfortable during a long flight. Meditating on your flight can help calm you down and put your body in a relaxed state.
- A long flight might also be a good time for you to try out a new activity, especially if you find that you normally don't have free time to try something new. If you've always thought about giving sudoku a shot but have never had a chance, your long plane ride might be just the place to focus on and try out a new activity like this!
Scope out free seats.Some long haul flights will be less crowded than others. Keep your eyes peeled when boarding and settling into your seat. If you notice some seats that look empty, call over a flight attendant and ask if you might move to those seats so you and the other passengers can have more room. Don't be shy when asking - in many cases, open seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Make a friend.Even if it feels awkward introducing yourself to a stranger, remember that your seat-mates are likely feeling the same thing. Being on friendly terms with those sitting next to you can make it seem less of a bother when you need to exit your row to use the restroom or go for a walk.
- To help making friends with those sitting around you, you might bring an extra snack to offer. Even if your seat-mate refuses, most people will appreciate the gesture of good will.
- You might engage your seat-mates in a game, like chess, or ask for help with a difficult puzzle. You might say something like, "Hi, my name's Tom, you wouldn't happen to know anything about famous people, would you? Thirteen down in this crossword has got me stumped."
Consider changing into pajamas.Routine can help put you in the mood for slumber. Even though you'll be in an enclosed, unfamiliar space on your plane, heading to the bathroom to change into nightwear/pajamas could be just the thing to help you nod off. These lightweight garments can usually be packed in your in-flight bag without taking up too much room.
- You might also find it easier to fall asleep if you take your shoes off and give your toes some wiggle room. If you are uncomfortable putting your stockings down on the airplane floor, you can ask your flight attendant for an airline blanket and use this to rest your feet upon.
- If you're traveling for business and are wearing a suit jacket or blazer, in many cases you can request a flight attendant hang your jacket up so it doesn't get wrinkled. This way, you can keep your business clothes crisp and fresh while you rest.
Get cozy when trying to sleep.Although your space in-flight will be limited, there are still ways you can get comfortable when you're trying to drift off to sleep. If you have a window seat, you can pull the window shade down and rest your head on it. But even if you don't have a window seat, remember to recline your chair! Even a slightly backwards lean to your chair can improve your comfort levels.
- If you don't have a pillow, a jacket or a scarf can do in a pinch. Fold or ball up an article of clothing to make a comfortable pillow for your head.
- If you are trapped in a middle seat, attempt various positions to find what's most comfortable for you. You may find that leaning to the left or right in your reclined seat helps considerably. You might even be able to create a surface to lean against by wadding up extra clothing, like a sweatshirt.
- Remember to buffer your lower body from discomfort. Sleeping while mostly upright can put unpleasant pressure on your lower back. Sitting on a pillow, even one of the U-shaped variety, can help relieve that pressure, give a slight lift to your legs, and add to your comfort.
Stay on top of charging electronics.It's easy to get distracted from maintaining the charge of your electronics, especially if, for example, you're enjoying a good movie on your tablet or laptop. Keep your chargers handy and try to keep at least one device charging at all times. This way, you'll at least have one device with a charge when the batteries on your other electronics are low on power.
- Depending on the kind of plugs used in your home country, you might also want to bring a power adapter for your electronics. To check whether or not you'll need a power adapter, you can check the specifications of your flight online to see what kind of outlets, if any, are available.
Give yourself something to look forward to.If you have a book, a game, or a puzzle you're really enjoying, try not to finish it in one sitting. Take a break halfway through so you can enjoy it more later on in the flight when you'll likely be more restless and in need of something engaging. You might watch a movie, do in-flight exercises, or go do some work in between the activity you're enjoying.
- Taking a break from an enjoyable activity will also prevent you from getting burned out on it. Even the most enjoyable things, if done for too long, can become tiresome.
Hydrate yourself.The dry air in the cabin can steal your moisture quicker than you realize. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, and can contribute to mental fog.Keep yourself well hydrated throughout the flight by drinking plenty of water.
- To prevent dehydration, you also might want to avoid diuretics. Diuretics are substances that make you have to urinate more frequently, like coffee and alcohol.
Packing for Your Long Haul Trip
Consider your basic needs.On many long flights, especially those over eight hours long, you'll likely end up sleeping or taking a nap. A bathroom kit is excellent for just these kinds of situations. This way, you don't have to feel like you have to worry about "dragon breath" after waking up.
- In your bathroom kit, you'll probably want to at least include a toothbrush, travel sized toothpaste, deodorant, and hand sanitizer.
- Many kinds of contact lenses can be uncomfortable when sleeping, or can dry out and leave your eyes itchy and blurry. A contact case and solution in your bathroom kit can save you from this! Be sure your solution bottles are within your airline's allowable limits.
- The air in the cabin of most flights, especially long flights, can be very dry. Some travel sized lotion and lip balm can soothe your dry skin. Eye drops, too, can be a lifesaver after a nap or after your eyes are dried out from cabin air.
Prepare in-flight sleep supplies.A few hours of sleep, or better yet, a full eight hours, can cut your long haul flight down to a fraction of what it would otherwise be. Many people, however, have difficulty sleeping in airline seats or ignoring other passengers while trying to sleep. Try to anticipate things that might help you sleep better, like a sleeping mask to block light, a travel pillow, personal blanket, and ear plugs.
- Some travelers swear by sleep aids to help with drifting off, and if you also plan on trying this approach with over-the-counter or doctor-proscribed sleep aids, you should give the medicine a test run before your flight. Sleep aids affect each person differently, and the last thing you want is to be caught wide-eyed and wakeful when all you want to do is nod off.
- You may also want to check the features offered on your flight. Many long flights offer amenities like pillows and blankets, though the quality of these may not be as good as what you bring from home. Still, if you find your carry-on luggage full to the brim, using an airline pillow instead can create more space for something fun!
Assemble your in-flight bag.Even though long many flights usually provide meal-service, there's no guarantee you'll find the food appetizing or that the amount will be enough to satisfy your hunger for the entire flight. Pack some travel-snacks approved by your airline, like dried fruit, and protein bars. Avoid nuts due to potential allergy issues had by other passengers. You'll also want to bring games, media, and other items necessary for the activities you've brainstormed.
- Prioritize snacks that you know from experience are kind to your digestion. An upset stomach on a long flight can ruin any enjoyment you might have had.
- Make sure you pack your chargers and potentially a power pack for charging your devices in flight. Even though many flights now have outlets for your electronic devices, if you plan on using a laptop/tablet, battery powered headphones, and your cell phone, you may find that you don't have enough outlets to charge them all halfway into your flight when your batteries start to die! A power pack can save you in this situation.
- Technology isn't always reliable, and the last thing you want is to spend a 12-hour flight watching an in-flight movie that you find boring. It's a good idea to bring at least one item that can't malfunction, like a book and/or some paper puzzles (sudoku, crosswords, etc.), along with some paper, a pencil, and a pen.
Determine your in-flight attire.You might be surprised by how the temperature in your cabin changes. At the beginning of your flight, you might feel relatively comfortable, but after getting comfortable and settling in to sleep, you might feel cold. Dress in layers so that you can ensure that you're comfortable no matter how the cabin temperature fluctuates. Prioritize loose fitting, comfortable clothing from your wardrobe.
- Even if it isn't scarf season, a scarf can be a great asset on a long flight. Scarves take up relatively little space and can be carried around your neck, but when it's cold you can drape your scarf over your arms, legs, or wherever you find warms you best. Scarves can also be used as a pillow in a pinch.
QuestionCan we not get food in airplanes?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can bring food, but you can't take any liquids unless the liquid container is 100ml or less. But you can easily take food on the plane, and if it's a long flight they'll serve food at some point.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the best way to feel comfortable on the plane? What if I get bored?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you’re bored, watch a movie, play games, read a book, listen to music, etc. You can get comfortable on the plane by bringing a blanket or a neck pillow, or an eye mask, and socks. You can buy them at the airport, though they might be more costly there.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I watch a movie if there's no Internet?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGoogle Play and Netflix (among others) allow you to download video for later viewing.Thanks!
- Many people are sensitive to altitude changes when taking off or landing. To prevent pressure that may cause a headache or uncomfortable popping in your ears, you might try chewing gum while taking off or landing.
- At certain points in your flight, you'll likely be instructed to turn off electronic devices or put these into airplane mode. Because of this, it's a good idea to also bring along a physical item to occupy your attention, like a book or puzzle.
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