Being trapped in an airplane for long hours can take a toll even on the most experienced traveler. Below, we share tips on how you can plan ahead and make your long-haul flight more bearable.
1. Choose the right airline
When booking a long flight, there are two different options you’re bound to consider: comfort and price. Going for the price doesn’t necessarily mean you should pick the cheapest flight and suffer for eight hours! Sometimes even the world’s best airlines, like Singapore Airlines or Emirates, come out inexpensive if you time your booking well.
2. Check reviews online
There’s nothing like hearing feedback from other travelers: they’ve been there and they have the wisdom to share. Websites like airlinequality.com or seatguru.com offer details and reviews about the quality of seat and service offered by airlines. These websites will often show you interactive seating plans, highlighting the good seats and flagging the ones you should avoid.
3. Pick off-peak
Less crowded flights mean more time for flight attendants to pay attention to your needs. It also means more space and a better chance of bagging that perfect seat (maybe even a free upgrade, while you’re at it!). Avoid weekends and Mondays if you can, as these are the busiest days in terms of flying.
4. Squeeze in a stopover
Hit two birds with one stone: get some rest and an extended holiday rolled into one. A stopover will not only make the trip more bearable, it will also help enrich your trip with more holiday experiences. Some airlines, like KLM or Turkish Airlines, even offer a tour for free if you have a long layover at their home airport.
A flight with a stopover will also come out cheaper than a direct flight, so it’s also another note consider!
5. Go for the upgrade
If flying First Class isn’t something within your budget, you can shell out for the next best affordable thing: Premium Economy. It’s a step up from Regular Economy, with benefits like extra legroom and priority check-in. If this is still not within your budget, you’ve got nothing to lose by asking the check-in desk nicely and politely if they can accommodate you in a better space.
6. De-stress before the flight
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Treat yourself to a nice breakfast, do some light shopping, go to the spa or burn off extra energy at the gym. Make sure you’re at the airport on time, enough to check in early so that you wouldn’t be panicking and stressing over the possibility of you missing your flight.
7. Bring your essentials
We have personal ways to cope with a flight. Some prefer to medicate so they can get a better sleep, while others prefer to pack their own snacks and drinks than pay up for cabin service. You can also load up on entertainment if that’s more your thing: powered up devices with your chosen movies or TV shows, books or magazines that have been sitting on your reading list for ages. Choose what will make you most comfortable and reap the benefits while flying. And most importantly, choose a bag that will bring all these essentials with you. We find that The Travel Club’s selection of bags never fails.
8. Get some rest
You might as well get some zzz’s while flying! Make sure you arm yourself with a good travel pillow, an eye mask, and noise-canceling headphones to block out the noise and sounds.
9. Stay hydrated and hygienic
Avoid caffeine and load up on water to fight off dehydration. Stretch or walk around the cabin to avoid deep-vein thrombosis. Skip alcohol if you can, as this will not only dehydrate you, but mess up your sleeping patterns as well. Brush your teeth after meals, change your clothes to something comfy during the flight then back to something more respectable before landing, wipe your hands with anti-bacterial wipes after your bathroom break.
10. Fight off jet lag
Just because you’ve disembarked from the plane means your flight is over. Jet lag will kick in post-flight, so give yourself a day or two to adjust to your new time zone if you can. We’ve got more tips here to help you combat jet lag!