The idea of vacationing in some faraway exotic country is exciting; the trip there, well, less so. Even if you're flying first-class, the long-haul journey is exhausting. A little planning in advanced and these smart tips can make it easier.
1. Plan your best route
The best routes are direct flights, of course, but if they're unavailable, try to split your journey into one long flight and one short flight, rather than two average-timed flights. This way, you're more likely to clock in some sleep without being interrupted by a stopover half-way.
2. Be in your best shape
Prepping yourself physically begins hours prior to your flight. The night before, make sure you get a really good rest. Also start loading up on fluids several hours before the trip -- drink plenty of water and cut back on caffeinated drinks.
3. Dress comfortably and pack a toiletry kit
Making yourself feel as comfy as possible on the plane is an important rule that cannot be emphasized enough. Wear something light and relaxed -- that means those skin-tight jeans, snug dresses and heeled platforms, trendy as they may be, should be left at home. Your best bet: Go for layers in lightweight cotton or jersey. Another must-have: A mini toiletry kit. Freshening up makes a world of difference while you're on long-haul, so remember to tote essentials such as cleansing wipes, toothbrush and deodorant in your hand-carry.
4. Hydrate and eat your meals
Water, water, water should be your mantra on board. Sip fluids regularly to stay hydrated in flight -- plain ol' H2O is best; and alcohols and caffeinated beverages should be limited. You're also encouraged to eat the in-flight meals served, or at least bring your own packed meals.
5. Move around
To avoid the risk of deep vein thrombosis, frequently get up to stretch your legs and pace around. When you're not on your feet, you're recommended to do some in-seat exercises to keep your blood circulation going:
- Lift and lower your heels
- Lift and lower the balls of your feet
- Rotate your ankles as your lift and straighten your leg
- Stretch your back, shoulders and neck
6. Get enough rest
If you're a light sleeper, try to avoid seats near the toilets as other passengers will be accessing these regularly. You can also ask the flight attendant for a sleeping mask to shield out the light.
7. Stay entertained
You know Einstein's famous quip on time and relativity? Time seems to drag on when you're bored, so occupy yourself with entertainment when you're awake. In-flight audio and movies are obvious choices, but the selections aren't always awesome. It's a good idea to bring along your own novel, iPod, magazine, puzzle book or video game -- just in case.
Comment below: Share your tips for surviving a long-haul flight.