Flying in comfort, especially on long flights, can be a challenge as you head off on your dream trip. But fear not … Global Basecamps is here to help! Read on for travel tips about how to manage your carryon luggage, your mind and your body to experience as much comfort as possible on long flights.
Your Carryon Luggage: outfit yourself for a comfortable flight!
Equipping yourself with some well-chosen gear can make all the difference between a miserable voyage and a restful and relaxing one.
Consider small pack or sling bag for your carryon to keep all your in-flight gear close at hand. This should easily stow under the seat in front of you, and can hold the items described below.
Wear your wisest clothing onto your flight, choosing comfortable, WARM (flights almost always run chilly), loose-fitting with room to stretch clothing. Compression stockings can ward off swelling of the feet and the unlikely but serious deep vein thrombosis.
Dial in your devices, ensuring your phone, tablet or laptop are charged and loaded up with that movie, audiobook or podcast you’ve been meaning to get to or project you’ve needed to get done! Consider bringing a powerpack, but being that they are almost always equipped with a lithium-ion battery, be sure they and everything you pack is in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration’s PackSafe Website.
Your sleep setup (see more below under Your Body) is important, as sleeping on planes can be tough. This is some of your most important carryon gear to help your long flight be a restful one. An eye mask and earplugs are basics, and a neck pillow and light blanket can complement any you may get from the airline.
Your Mind: don’t let your flight get to your head!
Traveling is exciting from beginning to end, but long flights can present challenges to our peace of mind in their own ways. From background noise to the inevitable quirks of being in a small space with scores of strangers for many hours, keep these tips in mind.
Noise-cancelling headphones with soothing music, white noise or meditation can create an island of calm between your ears.
Regarding onboard entertainment: tons of program options will be available on the screen in front of you, but think about how to take in calming media (i.e. maybe not that latest shoot-em-up action movie) to prep to get the best sleep you can.
Loving thy neighbor. As you try to be the best traveler you can to those in seats around you, don’t be afraid to communicate with other travelers (and a flight attendant if needed!) about your seat being kicked from behind, screaming children, or other unbecoming behavior that may be coming your direction!
Your Body: travel is a shock to your system!
Taking care of your body is a big part of flying well. Travel in general is a shock to your system, and learning how to balance your body’s need for rest and movement, the airplane’s seating environment, and factors like time change are all important.
Choose your seat strategically. Window has good head rest and nobody climbs over you, but aisle is best if you’re one to get up and move a lot. Keep an eye out for empty seats towards the back! It’s often fine to get up and change seats once in the air.
Plan for times of sleep and wakefulness, and if possible, alter your sleep patterns to anticipate the time change your trip will include for a few days before departure. Do in-seat and up-and-about exercises (check out these 10 Exercises You Can Do On An Airplane Without Looking Weird), and get up and move around frequently!
Eat and drink conscientiously. Drink plenty of water, and think about only consuming coffee and alcohol in moderation, as they can disrupt sleep. Bring some of your favorite healthy snacks - airline food can be hit or miss, and usually isn’t plentiful.
Keep germs away. Hand sanitizer or sanitary wipes are a must, and consider a germ mask - a travel standard in Asia, these will keep others’ bugs out of your lungs and illnesses to a minimum.