Are you someone who spends a lot of time on planes and fly long distances? Or maybe you’re preparing for your very first long flight? Well, we know a thing or two about taking long flights, and we know how uncomfortable it can be. However, there are a lot of travelers who’ve come up with great tricks you can use to make the flight easier. Some of these things might even make you enjoy that 15-hour flight! Keep reading to find some of the best tips to make long flights as good as possible.
Don’t Use Ice
It’s no secret that most people prefer their drinks to be cold, especially on a plane. It can be very refreshing. However, you should avoid asking for ice on the next flight you take. The reason for this is that those cubes were made from the water tank. No one knows how clean that tank actually is…
Don’t Sleep During Takeoff or Landing
There are people who tend to fall asleep as soon as they get on the plane, but doing so isn’t recommended. It turns out that your ears can’t regulate pressure while going up or coming down at those kinds of speeds. We recommend doing something to avoid any injuries, like chewing gum or using earplugs. If you want, you can also take some antihistamine to help.
It’s a real thing to dress appropriately for the airport and flying in general. You want to avoid anything that makes you feel constricted. Skip the jeans and formal shirts, even when traveling for work. Go for soft and stretchy pants, a loose t-shirt, and a sweatshirt to keep warm. You wouldn’t believe the difference it makes to wear comfortable clothes on a flight.
Get There Early
Most people know that it’s crucial to get to the airport early. However, the exact time varies. Some people say it has to be 3 hours before boarding, but others say it’s more. Either way, make sure you’re there early to avoid any problems that can come up like long security lines.
People who are frequent fliers should take advantage of the lounges at the airport. Some people use their American Express Platinum card for this. Some airports around North America you can enter the lounges for free just for being a cardholder. However, some lounges might charge a fee, but it’s worth it at the end of the day.
Make Sure There Are No Delays
Even though you can’t control everything that happens with your flights, you can definitely rely on statistics. You should really book an early morning flight since they are much less likely to get delayed. There’s an unknown rule that the later you travel, the higher the chances of flight delays.
This one tip only highlights the importance of dressing properly for a long flight. Layer up! Layers are perfect for traveling since climates can change quickly. Not to mention, airplane temperatures tend to go from boiling to freezing in a matter of minutes. If you bring a lot of layers you’ll be set for any situation.
Wear The Right Shoes
The same rules of clothing apply to shoes. It’s important to wear comfortable shoes that aren’t heeled or chunky. Chances are you’ll have to rush to your gate or through security at some point or another. It’s also likely you’ll have to remove your shoes for security, so don’t bring ones that will take a while to take off and put back on.
Check-In Ahead Of Time
One of the most important things to do is eliminate stress from your journey as much as you can. This is why you should always check in ahead of time and avoid standing in line at the airport. If you have luggage, you’ll just need to drop it off at the desk and you can go straight to security from there. This will give you more time to look around all those stores or charge your phone before you take off. Don’t forget to use the airline app as well.
Never Drink Fizzy Drinks
Everyone loves Coke and all kinds of sodas, but if you’re on a long flight, do your best to avoid them. The reason for this is that carbonated drinks make you swallow a lot of air. This gets into your digestive tracks, coming out as burps or… well, you know. To top it off, if the pilot moves to different altitudes, the air can expand and cause you pain.
Take Morning Flights
There are a good amount of people who, unfortunately, suffer from horrible motion sickness. Even though there are medications available, it’s best to follow this tip as well. If you have the option to choose the time of your flight, go for the morning. Doing so will help you avoid turbulence. The reason for this is that turbulence happens when the earth gets warmer, so the air will rise up. This also happens during storms and strong winds which are more likely to happen later on in the day.
Choose The Right Seat
Choosing the correct seat on the plane is no less than an art form. It might work differently for everyone. Depending on your personal preferences, there are still some general tips to keep in mind. One example is if you know you like standing up to stretch often, go for the aisle seat. On the other hand, if you’re more likely to sleep through the flight, go for the window seat. The back seats also tend to be less crowded since airlines fill the plane from front to back.
We’re all aware that nowadays there are so many apps and credit cards to pay for everything you could possibly need. Still, it’s important to carry small bills in dollars or euros. A lot of times, you’ll need to tip valets or other services, so the cash will come in handy. You can even buy in-flight things with cash. Not to mention, when you get your destination, take out some local currency at the ATM.
Make Sure Your Bag Comes Out First
After a long flight, it’s no surprise that the last thing you want to do is wait around for your bag to finally appear on the carousel. It’s pretty difficult to avoid something like that, but there is a little trick you can use. If you’re one of the last people to check-in, your bag will automatically be on top of the pile.
Check For Freebies
Frequent fliers will tell you to bring small gifts for the flight attendants – even something simple like a chocolate bar. Doing so will ensure you get the best treatment and maybe even some free things along the way.
Even though you might not be able to avoid a flight with a baby on board, you don’t need to sit right next to it. On a longer flight, there’s a large chance that babies will get irritated a cry. So, make sure to sit somewhere far from the partitions. These are the only areas that parents can put a bassinet, meaning that parents will be close to those spots.
Ask About Seats
If you weren’t able to get the seat you really wanted while checking in, don’t worry – there might still be hope. Even if the check-in system showed a full flight, the agents at the gate will know if something is really free. You might get lucky and get an empty row or seat. Always ask, because you never know!
Leave the Air Turned On
While it might be very cold on the airplane, you can fix that with a few layers. However, it is important to keep the air vent open since it creates a makeshift force field over you. Meaning, that with the air on, you can avoid getting diseases from other passengers. On top of that, it can help prevent dry skin.
Make sure your long flight will be comfortable by stocking up on anything that might be useful for you. Add some small luxuries to the travel kit you’ll bring on board. A toothbrush, deodorant, and a hairbrush can be essential, but don’t forget about a sleeping mask if you’re a light sleeper, and earplugs. If you want to pamper yourself, bring along a small perfume and your favorite face cream.
Take Extra Socks
Something you always need to have in your travel kit is an extra pair of socks. While traveling, you will get sweaty, and there’s nothing worse than stuffy socks that feel as if you’ve worn them for three days straight. Bring an extra pair of comfortable socks for the plane and immediately change them as you board. Doing so will make you feel fresh and comfortable.
You might be thinking that there will be enough food on board, but believe us when we say that there never is. Long flights tend to get boring, and at times, the only thing left to do is eat. Bring snacks that don’t take up too much space and will last you the whole way. If possible, try and pick the healthiest option in the supermarket snack aisle. Organic energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, or even chopped carrots and peppers make good snacks that are easily packed.
Get Some Peace
It’s a known fact that some people have to take their kids on a plane, and things can get really noisy. However, you aren’t the one who has to put up with their behavior. Just bring a pair of silicone earplugs that you can sleep in. Some people swear by noise-canceling headphones, which are also great for music.
Plane air is terrible, and if you don’t make sure to drink enough, you will get seriously dehydrated. To combat the dry and air-conditioned air, be sure to drink enough and on a regular basis. Long flights always offer water, so ask the flight attendants for a few cups every hour, even if the food service isn’t going by. It’s important to avoid alcohol, coffee, and a lot of sugar since they can dehydrate you more. Stick to good old water.
Pick Seats at the Back
If you don’t have a specific seat on the plane that you prefer, we recommend you choose one at the back. At times, it could get a little noisy due to the flight attendants working, but you will get better service. You might even have more things offered since they have a rule not to walk around with special stuff since there isn’t enough for all the people on board.
Avoid Family Routes
If you have the chance to choose a layover or a connecting flight, do not choose common family routes, whatever you do. For example, a flight that goes to Orlando might be filled with families on their way to Disney World. You might not be able to avoid them in every flight you take, but it’s best to try if you want a good rest on the plane.
Bring Your Own Bottle
One of the best things for a plane travel kit is your own reusable water bottle or coffee cup. Since flight attendants will gladly fill it for you with water or even coffee or tea, it’s the best thing to carry with you. You won’t have to wait around for food service to pass to ask for drinks.
While long flights do have entertainment on board, the quality of the screens tends to be awful, which can take away from the movie itself. If you happen to own a tablet or are traveling with your computer, just stock it up with movies and TV shows you love to watch. No passenger announcements will disturb your movies anymore.
Find Cheaper Flights
If you check the same flight a few times on your browser, you’ll notice that the prices go up. This has something to do with the cookies you have on your browser since these companies know you want to buy tickets. So, it’s always a good idea to use Private Browsing or Incognito to buy tickets.
Emphasize That Your Bags Are Fragile
Whoever has flown will know that the bags tend to go through a wild ride and that you shouldn’t take any valuables on flights. However, if you really have to put something in your bag, place a “fragile” tag on your bag too. This will ensure people will handle it better. At times, it might even end up on the top of the pile.
Get An Upgrade
We aren’t saying this always works, but if you get to the airport early, in a good outfit, with a great attitude, you might get a few benefits. If you fail, you can also tell the check-in person that you and the person you’re traveling with are on a honeymoon. You might just get lucky.
Prep Before The Flight
Even though it’s known that you can try and get rid of jet lag by jogging early, you can also do your best to prevent it even before the flight. In fact, you can start adjusting to a new schedule. On top of that, you can choose flights that get to your destination at daylight and sleep on the way.
If you’re worried that your battery won’t last the whole flight if you watch videos, then go for podcasts. They hardly eat up the battery and they will keep you entertained for hours. You can download several episodes to your phone to be prepared for the flight. Make sure you download all kinds since you never know what mood you’ll be in on the flight.
Don’t Have Too Many Carry-Ons
Naturally, if you’re on a long flight, you’ll need more stuff. However, you don’t need more than one carry-on. The only exception would be parents. Still, it’s always the best to carry a light load at the airport. Try to minimize the amount you take and be sure to know where all the important things are.
Get Work Done
Long flights can really be a drag, and if you don’t feel like sleeping, there are many ways you can entertain yourself. On the other hand, you can also get some work done. If you have your laptop with you, then why not?
Avoid Plane Blankets
A lot of the time, long flights offer plane blankets and pillows to the passengers. However, if you care about hygiene (which you should), you might want to steer clear of them. They hardly ever get washed and are repeatly used by many different people. If you need one, just bring your own with.
When flying to a different continent, you might have some jet lag to deal with. Everyone hates it, and most people are convinced that there’s nothing to do about it. Well, they’re wrong. You can fight it off by jogging on the first morning of your visit, especially if the sun is out. The light will help your body learn its new schedule.
Be Friendly to Staff
It’s obvious that you should always be polite to the flight attendants and anyone in the service industry. However, you can always take it a step further and be sure that they know your name and you know theirs. This will get you special treatment. Not to mention, you’ll both have a more pleasant time on the flight.
Start a Conversation
Most people seem to prefer their alone time on the plane, but some frequent fliers enjoy meeting new people. If you’re sat next to someone who likes talking, you might get to know an interesting person. Of course, don’t go and bother anyone who’s not up for it.
Use Your Angry Face
While there are some people who are friendly and outgoing on planes, others don’t like being bothered. If you’re one of the latter and you don’t want anyone to disturb you, you better prepare an angry face. People will stop misbehaving when someone shoots them a “death glare”. Not to mention, this will keep people away from you.
A lot of things can go wrong while traveling. The flight can get delayed, you might be seated next to an annoying person, and more. However, these are things that aren’t in your control. So, the best thing to do is have a good attitude and go with the flow.
Get on the Shorter Line
You might already know this, but most people are right-handed. Well, it turns out that most people will naturally gravitate towards their dominant hand. So, to avoid long lines, stick to the left if there’s a fork.
It is so important to stretch regularly on a long flight! Sitting for such a long period of time will damage the spine. And, you want to make sure you move as much as you can. Stretching is also great for blood flow, which tends to get constricted, especially to your limbs, while flying. Get up from your seat every hour or so and do some basic stretches. Don’t mind the curious onlookers, they’ll most likely join you.
Turn On Alerts
By downloading certain apps, you might get a lot of information about the airport you want. Apps like Trak-a-Line will tell you when a security line gets too long. In addition, you should always have apps for traffic and more to ensure you get to the airport on time.
Even though we already spoke about how important it is to be nice to the staff, we felt the need to mention that this extends to the people on the flight as well. You might be having a bad day or are tired, but you have no idea what other people are dealing with in their lives. It’s better to be respectful to your fellow passengers.
Use a Scarf
We already spoke about the importance of layers while flying, but this is another hack on top of that one. To avoid having horrible hair by the time you land, you can wrap it with a scarf. A lot of women in older movies did this, and it was for this reason. Not to mention, it looks very stylish as well. Long flights can be intimidating, and a lot of us dread spending so many hours on a plane. However, there are ways to make the journey more comfortable. Once you know about them, your flights will be so much easier!
Don’t Join The Security Line
If you want to get through the security line quickly, go for one without any kids in it. The lines with the most ‘suits’ are your safest best – they tend to move more quickly.
If you’re afraid of turbulence in flights, try this. Slightly jiggle your body when you hit some rough air. No one will notice, don’t worry. They’ll all be moved around because of the plane movement. This might sound a little crazy, but when you move, you counteract the airplane’s movement, causing you to feel the turbulence a little less.
Go For Asian-Vegetarian
When you order Asian-vegetarian food on flights, you’ll be served first. Not to mention, it’s best to avoid anything too greasy while flying. On top of that, it seems like the more niche meals are better quality due to the fact that they’re made in smaller batches.
Look Before You Leave
When you get up to leave, no matter where you are, whether it’s at a cafe, an airport, or a bar, always be sure to turn around to ensure you didn’t leave anything behind by mistake.
Always take out travel insurance – don’t rely just on your credit card insurance. This might sound obvious, but plenty of people don’t bother doing so and they end up losing a lot of money if things go wrong.
Bring Anti-Bacterial Wipes
We’re all aware that airplanes are very dirty and full of germs. So, in order to minimize your risk of picking up anything or spreading germs, use some anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down the area of your seats. Everything from the armrests, to the seat belt, and the food tray needs to be cleaned.
Flying isn’t some sort of beauty contest, so don’t bother wearing a lot of makeup. Your skin has a hard time dealing with being up in the air. Instead of wearing makeup, put on some serum and moisturizer to keep your skin healthy and glowy. Just make sure the bottles are small enough to pass through security. In addition, put on some chapstick to keep your lips from drying out.
Brush Your Teeth
If you have a hard time sleeping on flights, we get it. Blocking out all the noise, dealing with the lights going on and off is difficult enough, but getting your body to adjust its sleeping patterns to new timezones takes some serious magic. Here’s a tip: brush your teeth before going to sleep. This is simple, but it will trick your body into thinking it’s bedtime.
Choose Your Food Carefully
One study discovered that carb-rich foods like spaghetti, whole grain bread, and oatmeal make it easier to deal with jet lag. According to this study, higher levels of insulin make it easier to transition from one sleep and eating schedule to another.
According to the famous Web MD, it’s more difficult to digest while flying. Even though it’s okay to eat, it’s not a good idea to be full. Depending on how long your flight is, you might want to eat just before boarding and stick to snacks while on the plane. If you do eat on the plane, keep in mind that warm foods are better than cold since they’re easier to digest.
Bring Extra Support
We can’t understand why airplane seats are designed with the curve they have. Well, the C-shape doesn’t help the human spine since it looks more like an S. This, in turn, causes passengers to have achy backs and necks. Bring an extra pillow to wedge behind your lower back. Even a small blanket works when you roll it up. This will keep your back in its natural shape.
Wear Compression Socks
To avoid what’s known as “economy class syndrome”, wear compression socks. They prevent swollen feet and ankles, leg pain, and even blood clots. All these can happen when you sit for too long.
Sit Near The Plane’s Wing
If you really can’t stand turbulence, make sure you sit by the plane’s wing. Experts have said that the seats by the plane’s wing experience less turbulence seeing as they’re closer to the plane’s center of gravity.
Avoid Certain Seats
To make the most of your flight, make sure to avoid bulkhead seats – they won’t have storage space for your carry-on. In addition, avoid seats in front of the exit rows – they won’t recline.
When do you have time yo sit down for such a long period of time with almost no distractions? Make the most of it while you can! Bring along a notebook, sketchpad, or whatever else you would need to give yourself some creative time.
Adjust Your Watch
Wherever you’re going, it’s important to get yourself used to the new time zone. As soon as you get on the plane, change your watch to the local time of your destination.
Pick A Good Airline
There’s a huge difference between a good airline and a bad one when it comes to long flights. Do some research before booking a ticket and read reviews to see what other passengers think of the airline you want.
Don’t wear contact lenses on a flight, wear your glasses. The dry air on the plane dries out the contacts completely. Just avoid that uncomfortable situation and wear your glasses.
Keep Essentials Together
To make things a little easier for yourself, pack your go-to items all in one place that’s easy to reach. Be sure to check that you can reach these things without having to get out of your seat or rummage through everything.
This little travel hack will make a world of difference. Whenever you need to find a functioning outlet, you’ll be prepared by bringing a splitter so you can charge all your appliances at once.