How to Prepare to Enjoy Your Long Flight
Just like with anything in life, preparing your attitude ahead of time is key to success. I suggest looking at the time you are going to spend on a long flight as a glorious time of rest rather than an inconvenience. No phone calls, no text messages, no social media, no responsibilities. You just get to sit and relax - sleep, read that great book you’ve been wanting to read, binge watch movies guilt-free.
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If you’re going to be stuck on a plane for a long time, you might as well turn it into something you can enjoy. So let’s talk about how you can actually do that.
Prepare to be Comfortable
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Everyone has different things they find comfortable, but consider soft, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen and design features like elastic waist bands. Wear multiple thin layers so that you can add or remove clothing to adjust to temperature changes.
Got long legs, or just like more leg room? Consider an aisle seat or exit row for more leg room. Or, upgrade to business or first class.
Don’t carry on too much stuff. Even though you technically can stow a bag under your seat, that doesn’t mean you want to. Think about how much leg room that extra large bag might eat up before you decide to carry it on.
Prepare to be Healthy
Pack plenty of food. You know what you like to eat and how much/often you need to eat. I recommend packing a little more than you think you will need in case of travel delays.
Stay hydrated. Air travel is dehydrating. That coffee you drink to stay awake is dehydrating. That wine you drink to relax is dehydrating. Dehydration exacerbates jet-lag, so in order to stay healthy you need to counteract all this with plenty of water. Make sure your water bottle never runs dry and be sure to sip on it during your entire flight.
Prepare to be Entertained
Pack something to watch. Most flights will have in-flight movies, but your choices will be limited. You might want to bring your own tablet, or laptop loaded with a few movies that you know you will enjoy. Movies that you love and want to watch again or new movies that you have been dying to see - or both.
Pack something to read. I recommend bringing/downloading more than one book, just in case you get bored of one or finish it!
Pack something to listen to. If popping in your noise-cancelling headphones and zoning out to your favorite music is your thing, make sure you have all your favorite tunes loaded on your device. Maybe even some new songs to keep things interesting.
Podcasts are another great option for audio entertainment. There is a podcast for every single interest out there. You can be entertained, or educated or both. And bonus - podcasts take up less space and use less battery than movies - so load ‘em up!
Prepare to be Rested
In order to rest, most people need to be able to block out light and noise. A good eye mask and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones or simple ear plugs are a must. Most airlines provide these sorts of amenities on overnight and long flights, but why chance it. Especially if you are picky about the style, I recommend packing your own.
You also might want to bring your own travel pillow. Travel pillows have come a long way since the only option was a U-shaped inflatable neck pillow.
And lastly remember: this too shall pass. A long flight might seem like it's never-ending, but the rewards of an amazing trip will be well worth the relatively short time spent on the plane to get there!
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