Flying, in general, can be unnerving for even the most frequent flyer. But long-haul flights are a different kettle of fish. The fact that you are essentially trapped in a giant, airborne, heavy metal tubes for hours on end will definitely take its toll on you. But a long haul flight doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience – especially if you know how to survive it properly.
Over here at TPG we have composed some very helpful tricks that’ll make economy feel like first class – or in the very least, more enjoyable.
Be mindful about your choice of food
Carb-rich food such as pasta, wholegrain bread, and oats make it easier to cope with jet lag, a study found. It says that higher levels of insulin make it easier to transition from one sleep and eating schedule to another. These high-carb foods help induce insulin secretion, which is why they may be helpful in minimizing jet lag from a long-haul journey.
Don’t forget to pack snacks
Being hungry in general is horrible enough but, in most situations, you can usually pop to a shop or search in your cupboards to find something to eat. Hunger on a plane, however, means either caving in and spending all your holiday money on the expensive snacks on board, or continually checking your watch to see how long until the next meal is served – if meals are being served.
The best kind of snacks to pack for your long-haul flight are ones that are rich in protein as they will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Almonds, peanut butter, crackers, cheese or protein bars are easy to back and full of protein.But don’t over eat!
According to Web MD, it’s harder to digest food while you’re in the air, so although it’s fine to eat, filling up isn’t the best idea. Depending on the length of your flight, it may be better to eat before boarding and just eat snacks on the plane. If you do choose to eat on the plane, keep in mind that warm food is better than cold as it’s easier to digest.
Bring your own entertainment
Surely a no-brainer but you don’t want to rely on the in-flight movies to get by. Bring books, magazines, a tablet or whatever you find fun to pass the time. Reading material is a must; there will be at least an hour between taking off and landing where you can’t use any electronic devices.Keep hydrated
While there’s no specific or magic number of how much water to drink on a long-haul flight, health experts usually recommend drinking more than you usually would, seeing as air travel is really dehydrating! Continue drinking throughout your flight and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to ask the flight attendant for water.
Green tea over coffee
If decaffeinated green tea is an option on your flight, take advantage of it! The drink has been said to help stave off the onset of jet lag and, unlike coffee, won’t dehydrate you or keep you awake.Bring noise-cancelling headphones/earplugs
The plane’s engines and general background noise is said to cause stress. The headphones or earplugs will block out that noise as well as other sounds that may keep you awake, like screaming children or that stag-party at the back.
Wear layers that are comfortable
Jogging bottoms may not be your style but it’s a good idea to wear loose clothing on a flight – especially a long one. Flights can often go from freezing to overheated and back again. So, in order to keep your body at a good temperature, layer up. Wear a t-shirt with a jumper and consider bringing a jacket just in case.
Bring back and neck support
Something like a neck pillow is essential when it comes to a long-haul flight. Being physically comfortable will improve your general well-being and improve your chances of sleep.
Wedging a pillow or blanket behind your lower back will counteract the odd curve that plane seats are designed with, and keep your spine in its natural shape.
Sit by the plane’s wing
Some experts claim that seats by the plane’s wing have less turbulence since they’re closer to the centre of the plane’s gravity.Wear closed-toe shoes
Not to end on a bad note but, just in case of an emergency, closed-toe shoes are your safest bet. All sorts of things can happen, just like in life – don’t panic, like fire, debris, shards of glass. Proper shoes will allowed you to move faster too, if you need to.
Read our tips on what to pack before your holiday!