Tips on Surviving Long Distance Flights



While cheaptravel options such as cheap airplane tickets, cheap fares, cheapdeals, discounthotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages helpmake long distance trips affordable, you need to do some advance preparation isyou want to prevent boredom, dehydration, deep-vein thrombosis, sleepdeprivation, and more on an extended flight.

The following are survival recommendations the next time youare imprisoned in a metal tube for an entire waking day of your life, accordingto Ed Hewitt:

·     Upgradeif you have available frequent flyer miles. If you have the necessary frequent flyer miles, make certain that youare purchasing an upgradable ticket before finalizing your purchase.  You may need to be flexible and willing totake puddle jumpers to reach your final destination, but a couple of shortextra flights is a small price to pay for 27 hours of first-class legroom,fully reclining chairs, edible meals, entertainment, and breathing space.

 

·     Plan to“escape” while in the air.  Thinkheadphones and Hollywood blockbusters. Getting a lot of work done while flying is fine, but work will fail youwhen you get to the brutal middle hours of an extended flight.  Pay for and watch every movie, swipe yourcredit card for DIRECTV, bring your iPad packed with your favorite shows andbooks to read, do whatever it takes.

 

·     Do notcarry on too much stuff.  Rememberanything that is under the seat in front of you just means less legroom and amore cramped living space.  Do not bringso much on the plane with you that it interferes with your own sleeping space.

 

·     Bringyour “go-to” gear.  Neck pillows, eyemasks, earplugs, noise-canceling headphones provide comfort that help deal withthe misery of 15 hours in flight with crying children, pilot announcements,engine noise, and a major crick in your neck.

 

·     Boardrelatively rested.  A long-haul flight isnot a good place to plan on catching up on sleep.  If your eyes eventually start to droop, getout the eye covers and earplugs and go with it. Don’t throw away a solid two-hour nap for a couple of extra rounds ofAngry Birds.

 

·     Secureyour stuff.  Long-haul flights giveunscrupulous travelers plenty of time to figure out the location of your walletand devices, wait until you fall asleep, and make a move on your luggage.  Secure your valuables deep inside yourbags.  Consider placing items such asyour passport, credit cards, and cash in a money belt under your clothes.

 

·     If youwant to travel with a sleep aid, whether a “natural” one such as melatonin, orprescription drug such as Ambien, try them before you fly with them.  The same drug sometimes affects differentpassengers very differently.  If someonecould potentially need you to be 100 percent during a flight (such as childrenor elderly family passengers), you should pass on any sleep medication.

 

·     UseSeatGuru to find the best seats on your plane. Before selecting a seat, think about your usual preference of exit vs.aisle vs. window seats.  You may want adifferent seat on a long-haul flight than one you usually select on a shorterflight.  An aisle seat might come withinterruptions from others in your row trying to go to the bathroom.  A window seat could result in you beingblocked from getting up by a fellow sleeping passenger.

 

·     Askabout seats at your gate.  If you flightis not full, a gate agent may be able to find you an empty row or place you anda traveling partner in a window and aisle configuration that reduces the oddsof having someone sit in the middle seat.

 

·     Takecare of your health by doing the following while in the air:

  1. Hydrate well the night before the flight, preferably with electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade.
  2. Do not drink alcohol the night before, or the day of a flight.
  3. Avoid diuretics such as coffee, soft drinks, and even chocolate (all of which contain caffeine).
  4. If you have no issue with ulcers, take a baby aspirin the night before and day of your flight.
  5. Get an aisle seat or exit row so you can get up and walk around whenever possible.

·     Wear compressionsocks and walk up and down the aisles of the plane, moving, flexing, andstretch your legs to encourage blood flow to help ward off deep veinthrombosis.

 

·     Minimize your odds ofcatching a cold, the flu, and being exposed to bacteria while flying.  Avoid the water coming out of aircraft sinkfaucets which is often rife with bacteria. The same is true of your tray table and seatback pockets.  Pack bacteria killing wipes and clean up yourseat area as best as you can and relax.

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