Long flights can be incredibly daunting, but with a little preparation you can ensure that you will be as comfortable as possible. Firstly, reserve a seat. If you’re going to be on a plane for hours, you might as well be sitting somewhere comfortable. Aisle seats have ample leg space and easy bathroom access, while the window seat has a view and no one shuffling past you to get to the bathroom. Choose wisely. Believe me, an extra fee is a small price to pay for being able to choose your own seat on a 13-hour flight.
Wear comfortable clothing. There is no room for making fashion statements here; you’re going to be on that plane for a long time, which means you’re going to be in these clothes for a long time, so you might as well be wearing something you feel comfortable in.
Keep yourself entertained
Make use of the in-flight entertainment system. Long flights usually provide some form of entertainment to pass the time. If you’re lucky, each passenger will have an individual screen with a selection of media to enjoy. Cheaper airlines may not have this luxury, but at the very least you’ll be provided with a headset and a variety of radio stations, and there’s usually an in-flight movie or two on the big, communal screens. Even if they play a bad movie, watching it will help pass the time. At the very least, you can spend the entire movie making snarky comments about it. Who doesn’t love doing that?
If leaving your entertainment options up to the airline doesn’t appeal to you, you can always bring your own entertainment. Bring a book (or e-reader), load up an iPod (or device of your choice) with your own movies, television shows and music, or take along a portable gaming device if you have one.
Make sure all the things you need are immediately available to you. Disturbing the person next to you every few minutes to get yet another thing from your bag in the overhead compartment will most likely make them angry. Trust me, you do not want to be sitting next to an angry person for hours on end. Plan beforehand what you want to do, and make one trip to the overhead compartment bringing all the things you need down with you.
Keep a small carry on
Try and keep your carry-on bag as small as possible, because then you can keep it under your chair, and don’t even need to bother with getting up at all, or stress out about finding space in the overhead compartment.
Get up and move around
Move around regularly. This is to stop poor circulation and prevent your body from aching. Sometimes airlines will suggest some exercises you can do in your seat; wiggle your toes a bit, and try and do some arm and back stretches. If you can, take a short stroll up and down the aisle. Your body will thank you for it.
Guest Post by Sarah:
Sarah Paige is a travel expert currently living in Vale, in Western Australia, until her next intrepid adventure.