Pack those bags! Whether you are skipping across the pond to Europe or venturing on a quest to Australia, preparing for long-haul flights can be a daunting task.
Cramped spaces, rude passengers, and rough turbulence can all make your flight a brutal experience. Many of us are on pins and needles to make the journey a smooth one.
Relieve some of the stress and follow these tips on your next journey to a far-away land!
Do Not Forget Your Passport!
This should be a given, but nothing spells disaster like realizing you have forgotten your passport after maneuvering through rush hour traffic to reach the airport.
Always have a handy location for your passport to avoid unwanted airport drama!
The Carry-On Requirements of Your Airline
Every airline has their own size and weight regulations for carry-ons in the cabin. Are you flying on a traditional airline or a low-cost carrier? This needs to be taken into consideration when going on a long journey.
Regardless of the type of airline you decide to use, one carry-on bag will usually get the green light. The specifications can vary ever so slightly and it is crucial to review your airline’s policies.
Not only do you want to inspect the dimensions, but the weight of your carry-on luggage is equally as important. Speaking from personal experience, it is a bummer when your carry-on bag fits just right but soars past the weight threshold.
Avoid unwanted baggage fees and pack your luggage accordingly.
A big bonus if your airline allows you to bring a personal item (briefcase, purse, etc.)!
What’s the plan to get you through that torturous flight? Do you plan on snoozing? How about a little in-flight entertainment? A nice book to pass the time? You need a game plan or else it will be a boring ride.
If sleep is on the agenda, then have your pillow or neck cushion handy. Falling asleep while sitting upright is not always as easy as it seems. Your neighbor may encroach your space or the little kid behind you may kick the seat.
We haven’t even mentioned the comfort level of the seats. If you are riding in economy, finding that snooze position that is just right is like finding a needle in a haystack. Sleeping aids are an additional boost to help knock you out for 6+ hours until it’s time for travel fun.
Headphones! That is another way to help you temporarily block out the world. Enjoy a Hollywood flick or listen to your favorite jams to pass the time.
A long-haul flight cruising at a high altitude above the Atlantic or Pacific can leave you severely dehydrated. Replenish your fluid intake by drinking plenty of water before you board your flight.
It is recommended to drink eight glasses of water per day on a regular basis. Scratch that when you plan on spending the day at 30,000+ feet. When you are flying, up your water intake to eight glasses every hour. Your body will thank you later!
An extra tip for staying hydrated – Make sure to have your thermos with you. You may have to empty it when you go through security, but you can refill it once you reach your gate. Fill it to the top when you board your plane.
Protect Your Health
Germs spread like wild fire on airplanes! Due to the lack of humidity on board an aircraft, your immune system is severely weakened. You are over 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight. Since your immune system won’t be as efficient, time for Plan B!
Anti-bacterial wipes and Germ-X are your best friend! They should be squarely inside your toiletry bag ready to use as you take your seat. Wipe down those surface areas and kill 99.99 percent of germs to avoid a nasty sickness.
It is easy for all of us to have our guard up when using the lavatory, but that is not the place where the most germs can be spotted. The trays right in front of you are a breeding ground for all sorts of nasty viruses. You are susceptible to cold viruses, MRSA, and others unless you take precautionary measures.
If you want to enjoy that complimentary drink and snack, then wipe down your tray or do not bother lowering it at all. Seatbelts, lavatories, armrests, and air vents are other germ hot spots to wipe down before use.
Before your flight, it is not a bad idea to boost your immune system by taking a multi-vitamin or loading up on vitamin C, but it never hurts to have a solid back up.
Deep Vein Thrombosis is no laughing matter! Developing a blood clot is one of the worst things that can ruin your vacation. Keep your body moving as best you can while in the air to loosen your joints and get your blood flowing.
When that seat belt light is turned off, take advantage of it while it lasts. Standing up, reaching for the sky, running in place, walking up and down the aisle, and pulling your knees to the chest are just a handful of ways to stay loose.
If there is heavy turbulence that prevents you from getting up, stretch your limbs frequently.
Refresh After Landing
More goodies to store in your toiletry bag! After a lengthy flight, your breath and body odor might turn some heads. Arriving at your destination early in the morning without a shower is not a pleasant feeling.
Neatly organize your travel bag with a mini deodorant stick, portable/disposable toothbrushes, and floss sticks. If it is too early to check into the hotel, your refresher kit on the go will save the day!
Fly the Blue Skies
Now that all the essentials are packed, it is time for take-off! Make your long-haul flight a breeze and get ready for a trip of a lifetime!