“Long-haul flights can definitely be daunting and stressful,” Casey Brogan, consumer travel expert at Tripadvisor, told The Huffington Post. “Airports and security lines can definitely cause anxiety for travelers, especially with new guidelines and changing constraints. But it’s important Remind yourself that the journey to get there isn’t a vacation and relaxation waiting for you. ”
Besides focusing on the positive light at the end of the tunnel, there are many ways to make flying more enjoyable. An easy way is to learn what not to do.
With that in mind, The Huffington Post asked travel experts to share common mistakes travelers make when flying long distances — and their advice for avoiding these pitfalls.
Wearing Uncomfortable Clothes
“The most common mistake people make on long-haul flights is not dressing properly,” says Phil Dengler, co-founder of The Vacationer. “Since you’ll be sitting in the same seat for six hours or more, it’s critical to be as comfortable as possible.”
Avoid heavy and restrictive clothing and instead opt for soft fabrics and stretchy clothing for optimal comfort and comfort. Wearing layers of clothing can help change the cabin temperature. And don’t forget to invest in some compression socks to keep fit and comfortable during a long flight.
Gabby Beckford, founder of travel website Packs Light, said: “While I’m generally a proponent of dressing nicely on flights, on ultra-long-haul flights I’ve seen a lot of people make the mistake of dressing too cute and ending up looking unsightly. Comfortable.” . “I always get Compliments to my flight fit sweatshirt with top and bottom. Or I recommend bringing a comfortable flight suit to change into once you reach cruising altitude. ”
In addition to wearing comfortable, stretchy clothing, you’ll want to avoid tight, restrictive shoes while flying.
“Loosen the laces so you can put them on and take them off for comfort,” advises Brogan. “At the end of the flight, you may find that your feet are swollen. This is normal and another reason to choose comfortable shoes.”
Choosing A Seat By The Restroom
Your seat choice can have a major impact on the quality of your flying experience. If you’re looking for a quieter time, consider choosing a seat that’s not in a high-traffic area.
“Sitting near the restroom sounds convenient, but it’s never fun to sit in that row when there’s a long line outside the restroom,” says Paul Jacobs, general manager and vice president, Kayak North America ( Paul Jacobs) said. “Sit farther away and take a walk to stretch.”
Watching The Clock
As the saying goes “out of sight, out of sight”. Likewise, if you keep staring at the clock, time will seem to run more slowly on a long flight.
“When you’re on the plane, set your watch to the time at your landing location, but try to avoid looking at the watch and counting down,” advises Brogan. “Again, don’t look at the ‘where we are’ map. You’ll be landing soon!”
Forgot to double check upgrade options
Don’t think you can’t afford a seat upgrade on a long-haul flight. Check for upgrade options when checking in online for your flight.
“As long as the option is available, I always try to check in as soon as possible — through the airline app 24 hours before the flight,” Beckford said. “When you do that, you see what seats are available. Often there is a significant cost reduction on the day of the flight upgrade.”
“For example, on my flight from Cape Town to Newark, the original upgrade cost $3,000 — but on the day of the flight, the same upgraded seat cost $700,” she noted. “This small upgrade will definitely make the 14-hour flight a lot more enjoyable.”
Traveling Without Sleep Essentials
“If you’re going to sleep, you should pack good earplugs or noise-canceling headphones,” Dengler says. “Also, a good sleeping mask can make a huge difference. Finally I recommend finding a good neck pillow before flying.”
“Not all neck pillows are created equal,” he notes, so do your research and find the one that’s right for you. “Bring those things that attach to the headrest,” Jacobs said. “It’s a complete game changer.”
Flying Without Entertainment
“Download movies, music or podcasts to devices like your phone, iPad or laptop before your flight, and make sure they’re fully charged before traveling so you’ve got entertainment options guaranteed,” says Brogan. “On a recent flight, my in-flight entertainment system wasn’t working properly, so I It’s nice to be able to download movies to my iPad as a backup for flight time. ”
Your entertainment doesn’t have to involve a screen, either. Bring a book or magazine or do a crossword puzzle for fun.
“On a long flight, you should always have something to do,” Dengler said. “Sometimes it may be sleeping, but I recommend always having access to entertainment.”
Overlooking Seat Options
“Be sure to book your seats well in advance,” says Ravellos, a travel expert and host of “The Gaycation Travel Show.” “You don’t want to be stuck in the middle seat on a long flight. Most airlines don’t charge for an economy seat, but if you can splurge I Say go for comfort plus or economy plus. The extra legroom is key. ”
Paying for business class isn’t an option for most people, but maybe you’ve saved up enough to compromise on a premium economy ticket.
“If you’re going to sleep, choose a window seat,” Dengler says. “If you’re more comfortable with the extra legroom, pay extra for an exit row seat. It really depends on the flight time and whether you plan to sleep.”
Find out which seat you prefer before booking a long-haul flight.
“Windows or aisles—you really need to decide what’s more important to you,” Jacobs said. “You can lean against the window – or feel free to stand up and stretch if you want. I love the aisle every day.”
Boarding Without A Sleep Game Plan
“It’s important to figure out what you’re going to be doing on the fly,” Dengler explained. “Is this a red-eye flight for sleep? Or is it during the day when you need to be busy?”
Try to sleep at night at your destination rather than at your departure point. If you plan to sleep in during the flight, avoid caffeine and try walking around the airport before boarding to tire yourself out.
Jet lag is very real, but there are different strategies to make time changes more manageable, even after an insomnia red-eye.
“Don’t take a nap when you get there,” says Ross. “Electricity syncs your body with the local clock. You’ll be better at adjusting to new time zones.”
But don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t adjust quickly.
“Don’t force yourself to sleep just because you feel like you should,” says Laura Ratliff, senior editorial director at TripSavvy. “I’m a big fan of the ‘espresso nap’ upon arrival—I gulp down a quick espresso and close the curtains to force myself to sleep. 25-30 minutes minute. It helps me get through the day without being bleary-eyed and at night I’m just too tired to sleep. ”
Feel Obliged To Talk The Whole Time
“When traveling with colleagues, you don’t have to sit next to them,” Jacobs said. “Long-haul flights take a long time to make small talk.”
Unless you need to work collaboratively during the flight, choose your own seat on business travel whenever possible and try to leave some space between you and your colleagues. You will have plenty of time at the airport and at your destination.
“And there’s no need for your co-workers to see or hear you sleeping,” Jacobs said. “Sit apart—it’s not rude. They’ll appreciate it, too.”
Relying On Plane Food
Unless you’re sitting in business class, you’re not guaranteed a lot of meal and snack options, so if you’re particularly fancy, it’s best to eat before the flight or prepare your own food.
“I always bring my own snacks on long-haul flights, and I’ve never regretted it,” Dengler said. “Food options may be limited, so this ensures I can eat what I want, when I want.”
Being on a long flight can feel like some kind of alternate reality, where time and rules don’t apply, but it’s still important to take care of yourself and your body as much as possible.
“Get up and move around and stretch every few hours,” says Brogan. “Once you arrive, your legs will thank you!”
Don’t forget to stay hydrated and take any vitamins and medications that are part of your daily routine. You’ll feel a lot better on your trip if you do your best to take care of yourself during your layover.
“On a long flight, I brush my teeth, wash my face and apply lotion about an hour before landing,” says Ratliff. “My favorite lotion is Rose 31 by Le Labo – the fragrance helps lift my mood a bit and it’s become such a habit now that I associate that smell with getting off a plane and exploring new places! ”