How to Survive Long Haul Travel
Most travellers dread the thought of long haul flights. As anyone who has endured a long fight knows spending 15 hours trapped inside a plane can seem like an eternity. Boredom, noisy neighbours and an uncomfortable sleeping environment are just some of the challenges that travellers have to endure.
But, long haul flights don't have to be this painful. With a little preparation and few aids, long haul flights can be comfortable and possibly even enjoyable. Below you will find some tips for how to survive long haul travel.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
A good set of noise cancelling headphones can be a little expensive but are well worth the investment. Noise cancelling headphones actually neutralize ambient sounds so that you don't have to listen to your neighbour snoring or that baby crying three seats in front of you. At some point you are going to want to sleep on your long haul flight and this is when you will be glad you packed your noise cancelling headphones.
Audio Video on Demand
When selecting the airline opt for one which has Audio Video On Demand. This is the small screen and entertainment system which is found in the back of the seat in front of you. This will allow you to select films, television shows and even video games which you will actually enjoy. Some budget airlines do not have these systems, which is fine for short haul flights, but can make for an incredibly boring long haul trip. If you can't find an airline in your budget range with Audio Video On-Demand, make sure to pack an alternative such as your laptop or tablet in your carry-on luggage.
Make The Most of Your Stop Over
Along with being stuck inside a plane for hours on end, the other thing that travellers dread is stop-overs. If you are on a multi-stop flight then you should aim to make the most of your stop-over. One of the best uses of your stop-over is to get some exercise. If you practice yoga and you don't mind exercising in public then this is an excellent way to stretch your body. Many airports also provide a gym which can be another good alternative. Lastly you can simply take a stroll around the airport or go for a jog around the terminals.
Staying hydrated is very important to ensure a comfortable flight. The pressurized air inside a plane draws the moisture out of your skin. Staying hydrated will make you feel and look better. Usually you are able to order a second drink when the flight attendant comes around. Take advantage of this to order a double glass of water or juice. The general rule is for every five hours of flight you should drink at least one litre of water. You should also make sure to drink plenty of water the day before flying.
Use Neck Pillows and Eyeshades
On short haul flights it can make sense to pass on the neck pillows and eyeshades. After all, it just adds more additional item that you will need to carry around with you. But on long haul flights a neck pillow and eye shades become must have items. Having a comfortable mid-flight sleep will make the time pass a lot a faster. A good sleep will also leave you feeling rested when you land at your final destination. In order to get that sleep when you are surrounded by a plane full of people means using a high quality set of eyeshades that will block out all available light. The neck pillow will also make you feel substantially more comfortable and won't leave you with a sore neck when you wake up.
George Dean is a freelance travel writer and plane enthusiast.