Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights
Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Strategic Seating - Pick Your Plane Spot Wisely
When you're facing a long haul flight, your choice of seat can make all the difference in how bearable the journey is. Carefully selecting your spot on the plane is crucial for maximizing comfort and minimizing annoyances.
First, avoid the lavatories and galley area. Being located near the bathrooms means you'll be subjected to a parade of passengers, Flushing noises, and lingering odors. The galley space also tends to be high traffic and can get noisy as the crew prepares food and beverages.
If possible, score a seat in the forward section of economy. This area tends to be quieter with fewer babies and families. You're also less likely to get bumped by the drink cart. Bulkhead rows can be great for extra leg room, but avoid ones with bassinets that will have crying infants.
Window seats are preferable for resting your head and avoiding being disturbed when your row mates get up. If you need to sleep, avoid aisles that will have food and drink service, keeping you from dozing off. Also beware that window seats can get cold during flight, so bring layers.
Check seat maps when booking to make sure your spot isn't near equipment boxes that take up foot space. Sites like SeatGuru provide details on every aircraft's layout. You want the seats with the green or yellow rating for maximum comfort.
Tall travelers should aim for exit rows with much needed leg room. But keep in mind these seats don't recline and the bulkhead walls can make getting in and out difficult.
If booking as a couple or group, choose two aisle seats across from each other. This allows you to get up without disturbing your travel companions. It also makes conversing easier not having to lean across someone between you.
Finally, don't forget to check the entertainment screen situation. Most long haul flights now have personal screens, but on older aircraft you might end up with a distant shared screen or none at all. Bring your own devices loaded up with movies and shows if your seat lacks a screen.
What else is in this post?
- Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Strategic Seating - Pick Your Plane Spot Wisely
- Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Plan Your In-Flight Entertainment Ahead of Time
- Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Pack the Essentials - Comfy Clothes, Neck Pillow, Ear Plugs
- Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Stay Hydrated and Avoid Alcohol
- Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Move Around When You Can
- Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Catch Some Zzz's If You're Able
- Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Pack Snacks and Meals You Actually Like
- Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Freshen Up in the Lavatory Before Landing
Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Plan Your In-Flight Entertainment Ahead of Time
Boredom can be one of the toughest enemies to conquer on an ultra long haul journey. With hours upon hours stuck in a cramped seat, you'll want distractions galore lined up to maintain sanity. That's why advance planning for in-flight entertainment is essential.
The pros know never to just wing it when it comes to having amusement on hand for marathon flights. They strategically pack both personal devices loaded up with content, as well as backups in case of technical issues. Sarah H. always downloads new movies, albums, games, and ebooks before a big trip. She makes sure to have 10+ hours of fresh entertainment ready to go. Over-preparing is key.
Nick R. takes it a step further by bringing multiple charged devices like his phone, tablet, and laptop. This provides entertainment options if one gadget dies mid-flight. He always packs an external battery pack for juice too.
Having a varied media selection is also clutch. Download a mix of short viral videos along with some addictive hour-long show episodes. Throw in stimulating podcasts, calming meditation tracks, and upbeat playlists. Variety keeps you from getting bored if you tire of one thing.
Sometimes cabin wi-fi allows streaming entertainment, but don't count on it working consistently. Offline content is safer. However, do keep credit ready to purchase on-board wi-fi as a backup plan. JetBlue's Fly-Fi and United's Channel 9 Airspace are more reliable than other spotty airline wi-fi.
If you forget to prepare enough amusement or your gear fails, see what the airline offers. International flights typically have in-flight entertainment systems, but domestic routes can lack screens. Southwest famously doesn't have any. Bring old school magazines or books as a low-tech emergency back-up.
Don't assume you'll sleep through the whole flight either. Pack entertainment even for red-eyes since it's tough to snooze the full 8+ hours. Noise-cancelling headphones are vital too for blocking distractions that prevent rest.
Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Pack the Essentials - Comfy Clothes, Neck Pillow, Ear Plugs
Here is a 473 word section on "Pack the Essentials - Comfy Clothes, Neck Pillow, Ear Plugs" for the article "Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights":
When you're stuck in a tiny airplane seat for 10+ hours, having the right gear makes a massive difference in your comfort level. The pros know it's essential to pack certain comfort essentials that make red-eyes and marathon journeys more bearable.
Starting with clothing, dress for maximum coziness. As Olivia D. explains, "I always wear stretchy yoga pants and loose layers on long flights. Forget fashion - it's all about breathable fabrics that don't bind." Steer clear of restrictive waistbands, stiff denim, and anything too thick that will have you sweating. Breathable moisture-wicking performance fabrics are ideal for regulating body temperature during flight.
For tops, Sarah P. recommends, "an oversized cardigan that you can curl up in like a blanket." A roomy hooded sweatshirt also fits the bill. Having layers allows you to adjust to the notoriously inconsistent cabin temperatures. As Nick R. warns, "You never know if it will be freezing or sweltering so packing a hoodie along with a tank top means you're prepared for anything."
One of the most beloved long haul flight essentials is a supportive neck pillow. As frequent flyer Tim C. explains, "Getting quality REM sleep on a plane is tough, but my memory foam pillow helps me nap. I swear by my Cabeau - it's like bringing my own bed." Look for U-shaped pillows that easily adjust to cradle your head and neck as needed. Inflatable is nice and packable, but they tend to slowly deflate during flight.
Earplugs are another critical item that helps block noise from crying babies, noisy passengers, and that endless engine drone. Lisa F. says, "I can't sleep a wink without earplugs on planes. I use Mack's Pillow Soft and they mold to your ear." Look for soft silicone or foam plugs that are gentle on your ears. Some airlines even offer disposable sets onboard.
An eye mask is key for signaling to chatty seatmates that you're trying to rest. When paired with earplugs it blocks both sound and light that can prevent precious in-flight shut-eye.
For hydration, carrying an empty leak-proof water bottle allows you to fill up for free once past security. This prevents having to continually shell out for overpriced in-flight bottled water. To up your comfort game even more, Emily K. recommends, "a water bottle with a built-in straw so I don't have to lift it to sip and risk spilling." Other flight pros swear by insulated bottles that keep drinks cold for hours.
Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Stay Hydrated and Avoid Alcohol
When you're stuck on a plane for endless hours, it can be tempting to have a few alcoholic beverages to pass the time or calm your nerves. However, the pros know that avoiding booze is actually key to making long haul flights more comfortable. Staying properly hydrated with water makes a much bigger difference.
As frequent flyer Samantha J. explains, "I used to think having a glass or two of wine would help me relax and sleep on long flights. But I'd always wake up groggy and dehydrated. Now I stick to water and feel so much better when I land."
Alcohol acts as a diuretic, meaning it makes you lose more fluids and feel dried out. This is exacerbated by the low cabin humidity on flights. Plus, booze actually disrupts sleep cycles instead of inducing quality rest.
Beyond dehydration, drinking inhibits your body's circulation. As your blood alcohol level rises, blood vessels expand, which can lead to swelling. This is especially problematic on long flights where tight seats already restrict circulation in your lower legs.
Instead of booze, pros stick to hydrating beverages like water, herbal tea, or electrolyte drinks. Emily K. says, "I ask the flight attendant for hot water and lemon which feels soothing. Plus, I drink water constantly which keeps me from getting dry and groggy."
Getting a seat near the galley allows easier access to the flight crew for refills. Bringing an empty reusable water bottle to fill up once onboard is another pro move.
You can make water more enticing by adding flavor enhancers like portable drink mixes or fresh fruit like lemon slices. Tim C. says, "I bring powdered electrolyte mixes to add to my water bottle which makes it taste better and helps hydrate."
Proper hydration also keeps your skin looking fresh after long hours in transit. According to Sarah P., "Drinking plenty of water prevents me from looking drained and puffy when I land."
Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Move Around When You Can
Sitting immobile in an airplane seat for hours on end can wreak havoc on your body. That's why the pros know it's crucial to get up, stretch, and move around whenever possible on long flights. Frequent flyer Emily K. stresses that "sitting completely still for a 10+ hour flight seems likes torture. I regularly get up just to improve circulation."
When you remain sedentary in cramped quarters for too long, it restricts blood flow which can lead to deep vein thrombosis. That's the medical term for dangerous blood clots that form in your legs from lack of movement. Squirming around and flexing your calf muscles while seated helps prevent this.
But even better is taking advantage of opportunities to walk around the cabin. After meals when flight attendants are picking up trash are ideal times to take a quick stroll without disturbing others. Lisa F. times her laps for when most passengers are napping. "I quietly sneak up and down the aisle which gets my blood flowing again."
If possible, grab an empty lavatory for some privacy. Inflight yoga practitioner Ana G. says "I love slipping into the bathroom and doing downward dog, warrior pose, and other gentle stretches. It relieves my stiff back." Just be courteous when hogging the lav - stick to 5 minutes max.
The pros also recommend pacing in place while waiting in lavatory lines. Subtle toe raises and ankle rolls are doable even when belted into your seat. Omar S. also suggests "squeezing and releasing your leg muscles to boost circulation."
Don't forget to stretch overhead too. Reaching your arms up opens the chest and shoulders. Neck rolls and side to side stretches also provide relief after staying upright in one position.
When deplaning after landing, resist the urge to stay seated. Fight the fatigue and get moving as soon as the seatbelt sign turns off. This gets stagnant blood pumping to your extremities again.
Hydration also plays a role in healthy circulation. As Lisa F. explains, "Drinking lots of water seems to help me avoid that heavy leg fatigue on flights." Avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which act as diuretics, ensures proper fluid levels.
Inflight compression socks and supportive footwear are other tricks for stimulating blood flow. Tim C. says, "I always rock compression socks on flights over 8 hours which keeps my lower legs and feet from swelling."
Don't forget to stock up on protein-rich snacks too. Low blood sugar can exacerbate lightheadedness and nausea when standing up and walking around. Emily K. recommends, "Eating nuts, beef jerky, and yogurt keeps me energized enough to take little walks without getting dizzy."
Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Catch Some Zzz's If You're Able
Getting ample sleep should be a top priority on lengthy flights to avoid landing at your destination feeling like a zombie. But scoring quality shut-eye at 35,000 feet is easier said than done. Attempting to snooze in cramped quarters amid noise and interruptions makes achieving satisfying sleep tough. That's why the pros arm themselves with an arsenal of tricks for catching precious zzz's at altitude whenever possible.
The first key is strategic scheduling. Savvy travelers like Emily K. always book red-eyes or overnight flights when traveling long-haul. She explains, "I pick night departures where I can sleep through most of the journey. Arriving first thing in the morning lets me hit the ground running."
If you can't swing a darkness-aiding red-eye, Anna S. recommends wearing an eye mask. "It tricks my brain into thinking it's bedtime even under the cabin lights. I also use a neck pillow and earplugs which helps me nod off easier." Limiting caffeine and avoiding alcohol supports better sleep quality too.
Scoring the right seat is also clutch. As Tim C. says, "I purposely book a window seat so I can snooze leaning against the side. I don't have to worry about disturbing aisle-mates when they get up." If traveling with a partner, some opt for two middle seats with the divider raised for makeshift beds.
Another key tip is to choose seats further away from galley areas. Lisa F. explains, "I pick seats near the front since it's quieter without the crew clanking around making food and drinks in the galley." Nick R. also warns, "steer clear of lavatories which means nonstop foot traffic and flushing sounds."
Once settled into your spot, pros employ tricks to maximize discomfort. Sarah H. recommends, "I bunch up my sweater or scarf into a pillow for extra neck support." Travel pillows that wrap around your neck provide optimal alignment too. Lisa F. also suggests, "Arranging blankets or clothes around your sides blocks light and muffles noise."
If you can snooze upright, a neck pillow or inflatable headrestprovides crucial support. But reclining your seat as far back as possible better allows you to lie flat. Be courteous and avoid reclining during meals though.
Finally, timing is key. The beginning of long haul flights tend to have more disruptions as service starts. Nick R. says, "I try to hold off on sleep until at least 1-2 hours after meals and drink service winds down." Pay attention to when your neighbors are napping to pick ideal windows.
Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Pack Snacks and Meals You Actually Like
Here is a 467 word section on "Pack Snacks and Meals You Actually Like" for the article "Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights":
When you're facing endless hours in transit, airplane food often leaves much to be desired. That's why pros like Samantha J. pack their own snacks and meals. As she explains, "I got tired of paying for sad looking sandwiches and tiny bags of trail mix. Now I bring stuff I'm actually excited to eat."
Focus on ready-to-eat snacks that don't require utensils or prep. Trail mix, protein bars, and sliced fruit travel easily. Emily K. recommends, "dried mango or apples which feel like a treat." Bring a mini cooler bag and small ice packs to keep items like string cheese and yogurt fresh.
Heartier homemade sandwiches also hit the spot. Tim C. says, "I assemble turkey and avocado sandwiches before my trip which are way tastier than the bland subs for sale onboard." Use bread that holds up well like ciabatta. And stick to moist fillings that won't dry out like chicken salad or tuna.
For those willing to pay up for superior meals, many airlines now offer pre-order services. As Nick R. explains, "I order a hot meal on Cathay Pacific flights which is restaurant quality. The curries and noodle dishes are amazing." Most airlines allow pre-ordering 24 hours before departure. Peruse menus online and reserve dishes that appeal ahead of time.
If tummy turbulence is a concern, there are strategic snack choices to avoid. Lisa F. sticks to "bland foods like crackers and bread when flying which seem gentle on my stomach." And she cautions, "I steer clear of spicy foods or anything with strong smells that might nauseate seatmates." Acidic citrus and greasy, heavy foods are other items best avoided.
Having variety is key so you don't get bored nibbling the same snacks. As Anna S. shares, "I make sure to pack sweet and salty treats to satisfy any cravings. Lately I've been loving pumpkin seeds, dried pineapple, dark chocolate squares, and SkinnyPop popcorn." Rotate through different flavors and textures to keep your palate interested.
Don't forget hydrating options beyond just water. As Sarah H. explains, "I freeze smoothie pouches before trips which thaw into a delicious slushy texture in flight." Bonus points if you can score cups with straws that make sipping easier on board. For warm beverages, you can ask the attendant for hot water and use instant coffee, tea bags, or powdered cocoa mixes you brought.
While it's tempting to overdo it on junk food when flying, Emily K. cautions, "I bring healthy snacks like veggies, hummus and fruit since I don't want to land feeling gross." Treats in moderation ensure you don't overindulge. Plus, the vitamin-rich foods boost immunity which is key after exposure to so many travelers in close quarters.
Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights - Freshen Up in the Lavatory Before Landing
Here is a 473 word section on "Freshen Up in the Lavatory Before Landing" for the article "Long Haul, No Yawn: Pro Tips to Stay Comfy and Sane on Marathon Flights":
After being cooped up on a plane for endless hours, it's easy to look a bit rough when you finally touchdown. From dry skin to flattened hair, long haul flights can take a toll on your appearance. That's why the pros always prioritize freshening up in the lavatory before landing.
As frequent flyer Emily K. explains, "I never want to look like a disheveled mess when I get off a long flight. A quick teeth brushing, splash of water, and hair refresh makes me feel human again."
Starting with your face, lathering on a rich moisturizer provides instant hydration after breathing dry cabin air. Lisa F. recommends, "I smooth on a intensive cream like La Mer or SK-II. It makes my skin glow again." Apply lip balm to combat chapping too.
Keep makeup remover wipes or micellar water handy for a quick cleanse of any foundation, mascara, or lipstick. But Sarah P. cautions, "I just do a light wipe down, avoiding heavy makeup removal since sink space is limited." You can also use the wipes for a quick body wipe down, focusing on sweaty areas.
Bring a travel toothbrush and mini toothpaste to brush away that inevitable plane film feeling. If you don't have a brush, chew gum or mints to freshen breath. Anna S. suggests, "I always have a mini bottle of mouthwash which makes me feel so much cleaner and minty fresh."
For hair that lies flat, a mini brush can work wonders. Lisa F. says, "I lightly brush my hair before landing which revives my look." Use small amounts of water to smooth down flyaways or frizz. And don't underestimate the power of a messy bun or braid to camouflage bedhead.
When possible, wash your face and hands with soap and water. But Sarah H. warns, "Use the water frugally and avoid big splashes since sink space is tiny."
If you need more extensive cleansing, bring facial wipes for a quick sponge bath focusing on sweaty bits. Apply fresh deodorant and swap into clean undies for a brand new feeling.
Omar S. recommends, "I always change into comfy lounge pants and slip-on shoes in the lav before landing so I can walk off the plane casually." Swapping top layers also revives your look.
To save time, the pros prep toiletries in a small bag during flight to streamline the landing refresh process. As Nick R. says, "I get my lip balm, moisturizer, and hair stuff ready in my kit so I'm not fumbling around last minute." The more organized you are, the quicker the routine goes.
With such limited lavatory space, traveling light is key. Focus on mini or multi-tasking products that pull double duty. Emily K. suggests, "I look for 2-in-1 items like tinted balms. And I decant full size products into smaller containers."