August 31, 2014

Tips to Cope with Long-Haul Flights



Jetting off to a long-haul destination is an exciting prospect, or at least the prospect of arriving and enjoying your time away is. The flight itself, however, can be uncomfortable and boring, so it’s a good idea to think about coping strategies before embarking on your travels.


When it comes to booking your flight, spend some time looking at what level of comfort is available, as there are differences between the airlines. While the amount of legroom provided may be of little consequence for short haul flights, it is of much greater importance for long haul destinations.


Make sure to book a good seat if possible so you don’t end up in the last row of coach. Many airlines now give you the chance to select your seat in advance. Seats at the emergency exit rows are popular, although you may have to pay extra and aisle seats or window seats are also a popular choice.


It can make sense to avoid peak time flights. A quieter aircraft with fewer other passengers will give you more room and will result in higher standards of service.


If you can afford it, why not upgrade for one leg of your journey? It can make sense to do this if you will be traveling on a night flight, as you will have a better chance of sleep or, at the very least, have a greater level of comfort.


If you are intending to sleep on a night flight, then come prepared. Make sure that you are wearing loose fitting clothes and bring a good book to help you relax. You may even want to try a travel pillow, for extra comfort.


If you are flying on an early morning flight, most airports have hotels nearby where you can stay the night before. This can be a great way of eliminating worries about transport problems on the day and allows you to relax and start your travels early.


If possible, break up your journey. If your flight will be more than 12 hours, there will generally be a stop where you will have to disembark while the plane refuels, or you may even change planes. There is usually little or no difference in cost to break your journey and take in the sights of destinations such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Miami or Hawaii.


Make sure to move around during the flight. This is especially important on long haul flights, as there is an increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is thought to be caused by underlying medical issues, immobility and dehydration. Many airlines give you guidance on simple exercises that you can do during your flight to minimize the risk.


Also make sure that you drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. This is important in reducing the risk of DVT but also helps to combat the dry air on board the aircraft, which can leave you feeling dehydrated. Drink water and use eye drops, nasal spray or lip balm in order to keep as comfortable as possible.


Relieve boredom by bringing some entertainment with you. The onboard entertainment is not available immediately and it can be some time before the movies come on. Bring newspapers, magazines, books, crosswords, or even your iPod to ensure that you have plenty to keep you occupied.


Many people believe that avoiding alcohol and caffeine during a flight can help combat jet lag. Help prepare yourself so that you increase your chances of sleeping by reading a book, blocking out noise with headphones or light with eyeshades.


Once at your destination, try to get as much sleep in a 24 hour period as you would normally, even if this means taking a nap each day until you adjust.


Whatever your reason for taking a long-haul flight, whether it is for business or pleasure, by taking a little time to think about how you will cope with the flight in advance, you will be able to make your journey as safe and pleasurable as possible.


This is a guest post by



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