Friday, May 30, 2014

Tips for long-haul flights

Now that summer is approaching, you are probably wondering where you want to spend your holiday. Is it going to be a staycation, exploring the wonders of your home town? A weekend trip to the sea? A week exploring a new city? A month spent backpacking around Asia? Whatever you do, book your flight in advance. Not only will this save you money, you will be able to start planning your trip and the places you want to visit right away.

If you choose to travel to another continent and across the ocean, chances are you are going to spend more than five hours on a plane. Here is a list of tips to enjoy your flight in the ill-famed economy class.

Check-in early.

By checking in early you can get the window/aisle seat in the row of your choice. When you arrive at the airport, you will only need to check-in your bag and be on your way. Try to board last in order to not spend an extra hour on the plane.

Keep hydrated.

Dry skin, dry hair, dry throat, those are the symptoms that you have spent a little too much time on a plane. Keep hydrated and ask for water, which is complimentary on long-haul flights. If you prefer to take your own bottle, make sure it is empty when you go through security, and refill it in the bathroom once you passed security. Check that the water is potable, just in case. And if you are prone to hunger pangs, bring a small packet of your favorite snack to nibble on during the flight.

If you have a tablet, use it.

Not all planes have a personal entertainment system, and not everyone can sleep through the whole flight. If you want to save space and avoid boredom, download a couple of TV series and films, an e-book and your favourite albums. Make sure your tablet is fully charged, and bring a portable charger if you have one. In this way you will be able to watch a movie before the meal arrives, take a nap, get hooked to a new TV series and listen to your travel playlist while you enjoy that book you have always wanted to read.

Bring your own gear.

By gear we mean you own travel blanket, neck pillow and anything else you will need for a comfortable flight. Noise cancelling headphones are a must if you are a light sleeper, ear plugs are ideal for those who cannot stand the noise of the engine, and an eye mask is recommended if you cannot bear bright lights. Just make sure that they do not take up all of the space in your carry-on luggage.

Wear comfortable clothes.

This is an absolute must on a long flight. Shoes that are easy to slip on and off, cozy socks, a large sweater and a loose T-shirt make all the difference when you have to spend the next half day cramped in an airplane. Tip: if you are a scarf person, a bulky scarf can be transformed into a pillow and a blanket ideal for a nap. However, do not overdo it. Sweatpants and flipflops are more suited to the gym and beach, respectively.

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