I have been staying far away from my home town for more than a decade now. Thus, I am stuck with an annoying tag, “frequent-flyer” which is more fatal than an irksome boyfriend. But, of late I suddenly realized that I finally started to fall in love with flying. I realized my flying time is the most special and perfect “me-time”, bringing the best creative side out of me. I can absolutely be worry free without annoying email notifications, WhatsApp notifications, App notifications, No one screaming or debating in the idiot box and the count goes on. In-fact I really look forward to taking flights these days, how much ever small the travel time is.
Naturally, I make the most out of my long haul flights. 22 hour long flight from Mumbai to Quito via Amsterdam and 15 hour long flight from New Delhi to New York via Abu Dhabi are some of my longest flights till date. Even though it is impossible to avoid the mandatory physical stress during these kind of long-haul flights, I try my best to enjoy them and avoid boredom as much as possible.
These are my few tips to survive long haul flights. You can also give a try and thank me later 🙂
1. I Keep myself calm, de-stress and avoid last minute packing before the flight
I treat international flights similar to final exams. No revision or no last minute packing. Previous day I make sure to rest properly, do little bit of yoga and stretching. On the day of departure after a hearty meal, I lazy around a bit with a soothing music in the background till my cab arrives.
If you think that keeping yourself awake for a long time before the flight so that you can sleep in the flight is a mistake. Long flights are very tiring and can stress your body to the maximum. Avoid doing that.
2. Make sure to check-in pretty early
I am not punctual by nature and I have some bitter experiences of missing domestic flights. However, when it comes to international flights, I take extra precautions. I make sure I reach the airport at least 3 hours prior to departure. This helps in avoiding unnecessary panic and keep myself calm while I pave way towards the boarding gates through a big rush. It also provides me with sufficient time to figure out solutions if I have any issues like extra baggage, immigration issues, and check-in issues etc.
3. My tickets are booked very early
Apart from saving huge bucks, booking international tickets earlier gives better chances of attaining better seat.
4. My travel essentials check
- Headphones are provided by most airlines during international flight. However, most of the time they are not of good quality or noise cancelling headphones. Thus, always make sure to carry your own decent pair of headphone.
- Pillow is one of the most important essentials. Some of the airlines like Ethihad does provide with decent pillow but, if you don’t carry one there is a high chances of having a cramp in the neck and shoulders at the end of the flight.
- Book, notepad and a pen is my another set of best friends during my travel.
- Keeping your favourite extra snacks and not depending completely on the foods provided by the airlines always helps.
- Chargers and USB cables are also must.
- Fully charged phone (Read: your choice of electronic gadget)
Apart from these, some of my other essentials are petroleum jelly (Your hands and lips get too dry), body lotion, Hand sanitizer, Eye mask (Sometimes airlines provide) and Toothbrush and toothpaste off-course.
Note: Make sure the carry-ons are simple and adequate. Example: One unread book is enough and carrying too many electronics is a burden.
5. I prefer comfortable yet stylish dressing
Dressing style is everyone’s personal choice. However, dressing comfortably for a flight is a universally accepted dressing style for the obvious reason. I personally don’t prefer dressing like a boorish person even during travel for the heck of dressing comfortably. Therefore, sleeping pajamas are a big no-no for me. Good looking loose jersey dress or a warm stylish pajamas with a pair of comfortable shoes is my typical travel attire. Make sure to keep a separate jacket. You never know the blanket provided by the airlines might not be sufficient sometimes. Additionally, if you are highly allergic to cold, make sure to carry an extra scarf or muffler.
6. Set your watch to the destination time
Many airlines now a days use advance technology to live track your travel route and keep you updated with the travel time and time remaining to reach the destination. However, it is always very convenient to set up your watch according to your destination time and keep track of the expected landing time.
7. I drink lots of water and make frequent trips to the washroom
It sounds pretty inconvenient and ridiculous. But believe me dehydration is extremely severe during flight. You feel annoyingly dry and exhausted all the time. Make sure to keep a bottle filled with water beside you. I also try my best to have the aisle seat.
8. Keep walking around the cabin, stand in the open space near the washrooms and try to stretch as much as possible
Continuously sitting in one position for long hours is bad for health. I very frequently take a trip to the open space near the wash room and try to socialize with other fellow travelers. It is a nice exercise indeed.
9. Strictly no alcohol and reduce the caffeine intake
Some people actually prefer to get drunk a little bit and make their long flight journeys a bit adventurous. But I personally don’t prefer to have alcohol during flight journeys. Alcohols can add to the dehydration process and can make your skin annoyingly dry. I prefer to keep myself away from such discomfort.
I am a huge tea coffee lover. However, I make sure to reduce the intake of caffeine so that it doesn’t restrict me from getting adequate sleep.
10. Last but not the least.
I enjoy the moment, get creative and productive, write random musings, funny stories, indulge in some of my favorite hobbies like watching movies, reading books, listening to music and day dreaming.
- Make sure to load your electronic devices with additional movies, music, sitcoms, e-books etc. You never know, you might end up watching pretty women in loop from the airline’s collection otherwise.
- Make sure to carry a notepad and a pen. Alternatively, you can also install a few good “writing and editing” applications in your phone. Creative minds are at best while flying thousands of kilometers above the ground.
- Enjoy your flight to the fullest