How To Survive A Long Haul Flight

Travelling can be an amazing adventure but getting there is something else. A long haul flight can be a pretty tiring experience and whilst the comfort of business and first class is something we would all love, the truth is, I’d much rather save the extra cash and spend it on exploring the destination I’m heading too. So how do you survive a ten hour flight in coach? Here are a few helpful tips to make those long haul flights a little more bearable.

 

SEATING

Nobody likes to be squashed in the middle so try your best to secure your seat before getting to the airport. You can usually do this online, straight after booking your ticket or at least 24 – 48 hours before your flight. This way you can avoid being stuck near the bathrooms or in the middle. It also depends on your personal preference: choose the aisle if you want to avoid hopping over other passengers when you need the bathroom or the window seat for a bigger head rest to sleep against and those perfect ‘in-the-air’ pictures. Seats near the emergency exits often have bigger leg room as well.

 

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

Keep your body well hydrated by drinking lots of water or fruit juices while flying. Avoid drinking too much of alcohol or coffee as this will dehydrate you.

 

TRAVEL LIGHTLY

Don’t take too many unnecessary items onto the plane as you’ll have too many things to worry about stuffing in the overhead compartments. You also run the risk of forgetting it behind. Of course, valuable items like cameras and important paperwork should always be packed in your carry-on.

 

WEAR GLASSES INSTEAD OF CONTACT LENSES

You’re bound to doze off at some point or rather, so wearing contact lenses can be a bit of a hassle. More importantly, aircraft cabins tend to be very dry and this may cause your eyes to feel more uncomfortable than usual. Glasses are a better option.

 

MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN

Avoid that dry, tight feeling in your face and arms by moisturizing your skin every 20 – 30 minutes. Drink plenty of liquids and choose the healthier meal options to preserve as much moisture as you can.

 

CHEW GUM

The change in air pressure means that at some point, you are going to experience some kind of discomfort or pain in your ears. Chewing gum induces the swallowing process which equalizes the pressure in your Eustachian tube (the tube in your inner ear which links your middle ear with the environment) and reduces the stress on your inner ear.

 

EXERCISE

Sitting in one place and position for extended periods of time can make your joints and muscles pretty stiff. Try stretching your legs, shifting and moving around every two hours or so. If you can, get up and walk around for a bit too.

 

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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

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