March 19, 2014
The flight is the first and last impression of international travel. Prepare to enjoy!
10 tips to improve the long haul flight experience
- Consider airline selection carefully. Better service, cleaner planes, and less baggage issues all make a difference to entire travel experience. Consider convenience, on time performance, and happy crews when selecting the airline and flights.
- Pack the carry-on for potential in-flight needs. Consider hunger, thirst, sleep, comfort, entertainment and illness.
- Acknowledge physical effects of air travel; adjust packing and activity. Gas expands in gut, middle ear comfort relies on functioning Eustachian tube, dry cabin air and travel dehydrate, blood pools and can clot in cramped and immobile legs.
- Prepare for physical effects. Avoid carbonated beverages and burritos, help Eustachian tube open by swallowing or yawning periodically on descent, avoid caffeine and alcohol and hydrate with bottled water often, wear compression travel socks and move legs/ankles at least once an hour.
- Avoid destination illness caused by airplane germ exposure. Pack and use hand sanitizer instead of touching the germ filled lavatory sinks. Avoid touching lavatory door handle. Avoid touching eyes, mouth, and nose with fingers. Wipe down tray table and armrests with sanitizing wipe. Place an imaginary "bubble" around yourself and ignore the coughing or sneezing from those around you.
- Personalize seat area for comfort. Improve your view by taping a photo of the destination on the seatback in front of you, cuddle up in your own good-smelling, clean blanket and pillow, block out the snoring, loud talking passengers or crying children by listen to soothing music with noise canceling headphones, and relax those feet in comfy socks instead of travel shoes.
- Always wear shoes in the lavatory. The floor is not wet from water.
- Consider stinky planes when packing. Pack essential oil packets or a nice smelling cloth to inhale when the stale, nasty, and gassy air starts invading your space.
- Improve the mood of those around you. Pack chocolate, a kind cheery note, and a smile for flight crew. Appreciate what they deal with on an international flight. Respect fellow passengers space and lighten the mood with a smile or eye contact.
- Enjoy the fascinating aspect of air travel. A full 2 days of international trips are spent in air travel and transit, why not enjoy the experience?