Making Long Flights More Comfortable

tips for long flights

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, you might be planning to hop on a plane and visit your relatives on the other side of the country (or even the world). After over a year of pandemic restrictions, most people can struggle with the effects of a long journey on the body. Indeed, traveling is exhausting at the best of times. However, the pandemic has forced us to reduce travel and commute distances. Therefore, if this is your first long-haul flight in a post-pandemic environment, it could be uncomfortable. Squished for several hours in an airplane seat can significantly aggravate back pain and leg pain. It can be a good idea to get up and walk every couple of hours onboard the plane. It can help stretch your legs and reduce bodily pains. Wearing compression socks will also reduce leg discomfort, as they actively support blood flow. You can find compression socks and tights in most stores. If you haven’t been on a plane since the pandemic, they are an indispensable part of your safe flying kit to reduce the risks of clotting and leg fatigue.

Unfortunately, reducing health risks is not synonymous with flying comfort. Therefore, you need to plan ahead to make sure your long-haul flight can be as comfortable as possible. 

tips for a long flight

Arrange for Food Ahead of Your Flight

There’s a reason all long-haul flights arrange for meals for their passengers. Serving food throughout the journey can help break down the trip into mealtimes. If the airline has a food menu, it can be a good idea to opt-in as you book your flight. However, airplane food can lack diversity and options, as most companies need to account for budget, food management, and dietary requirements. So, if you can’t find anything to your taste at the time of booking, you might want to pack some snacks with you. Homemade sausage rolls are a delicious and nutritious alternative to the typical sandwich. They are wonderful served hot, but they taste great cold too. Alternatively, you can ask to use the onboard microwave oven if you prefer to eat them hot. Ideally, on a plane, you want to bring food that isn’t messy. Rolls are self-contained. Similarly, fruit bars, sandwich wraps, protein balls, and arancini are easy finger food for the journey. Besides, if you are crossing several time zones, you can use your meals to adjust your body to the new time.

Sleep to Rest Your Body

When you travel on a plane, your body is constantly subjected to motions and pressures. It is an exhausting experience, so even if you are not faced with jetlag fatigue, you’re likely to feel exhausted at the end of the trip. Therefore, sleeping on a plane can help relax and reduce tiredness. It can be uncomfortable to sleep in a tight seat, but you can use effective science-backed strategies to trick your body into falling asleep. Indeed, most plane cabins are kept between 71 and 75 degrees. However, optimal sleep temperature lies between 60 and 67 degrees. Using light and removable layers of clothes can help you reach the right temperature. An eye mask will also create a quiet environment. Blocking the light out tricks your brain into thinking it’s nighttime. The process can help adjust your circadian rhythm to a new time zone. 

Take Your Mind Off the Journey

Boredom has a unique effect on time. The more you experience boredom, the slower time passes. Unfortunately, it can be tough to find long-haul flights entertaining. But, if you don’t distract your mind, it can become painfully sensitive to your position, which increases the sensation of discomfort. On the other hand, bringing a book or a crossword puzzle with you can help keep your mind occupied. Time passes quickly when you have fun! Traveling alone? Download offline games on your phone or tablet when boredom hits. Have a travel buddy? Buy miniature magnetized board games to play in between movies. Do you have a subscription to a streaming service? Then download movies and series at home before getting to the airport. You can keep boredom at bay in so many ways. For me personally, I organize my trip while reading travel books on the best place to visit.

Getting Dressed for A Long Flight

What is the most comfortable outfit for a plane journey? Dressing for air travel is all about controlling temperature fluctuations and the lack of mobility. Wearing multiple layers can help adjust to micro changes inside the cabin. The temperature inside a plane can fluctuate by up to 50 degrees during the flight; therefore, you want to add or remove layers easily. Breathable fabrics can reduce sweat odors as they allow air circulation. Cotton, silk, linen, bamboo, and merino wool are some of the favorite natural fabrics. But you can also opt for moisture-wicking athletic wear fabrics, which will keep you fresh. Remember to wear comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off for when your feet are tired and you need to stretch or roll your ankles in your seat. But, please keep them off the seats in front of you.

Additionally, plane outfits also need to be stylish enough. Airline staff is more likely to grant your seat upgrade if you are well-dressed. Besides, airports are often buzzing with activities. As a long-haul flight also includes a lot of airport time, you want to make sure you are presentable. 

woman in comfortable clothes for long haul flights

Nobody enjoys sitting in a closed space with strangers for multiple hours. However, preparing for your long flight can help make the journey more tolerable. From your choice of outfit, choice of meals, to helping your body rest on board, these little tips will keep you fresh and relaxed on landing! 

What tips do you have to make traveling for long periods more comfortable? I’d love to hear your input in the comments. Let’s discuss!

Until our next rendezvous…



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