Initially, an overseas flight produces excitement and anticipation, as you’re mere hours away from heading into an exotic location that may just be the trip of a lifetime. However, being confined to a compact seat, having to stay in cramped quarters with strangers and staying entertained when the average human attention span is a mere eight seconds proves challenging.
Don’t let the stress of a long flight ruin your trip before you touch down. Head onto the plane prepared, and you might have such a great experience that you actually look forward to your return trip home. Here are some tips:
Maximize Your Connectivity
Airplane mode doesn’t have to mean turned off when you have Wi-Fi and in-flight texting capabilities. Some smart phone providers offer users the ability to head online and chat depending on the flight.
For example, T-Mobile provides customers with an hour of free Wi-Fi and unlimited in-flight picture messaging, texting and visual voicemail on flights that are Gogo-equipped. You can spend an hour catching up on work projects or social media and talk with friends or coworkers whenever you want throughout the flight.
If you’re planning on sleeping on the flight, you'll want to don the most comfortable, yet appropriate, garments you can. Some flights will provide you with sleepwear to change into depending on your seat, but to be safe, wear fabrics that are soft and breathable, like cotton and wool. Linen is another option worth considering, since the already-wrinkled look means you won’t look worn-in when you disembark.
Bring an extra layer or two. While you can usually control the temperature from your seat, you won’t always be able to guarantee an overall plane temp you love. A pashmina can work as a scarf or a blanket if you get cold. To feel more refreshed when you land, take a cue from celebrities, who often change into new T-shirts or whole wardrobes before they leave to shake off that stale feeling.
Whether you want to groove to your latest music playlist or hear every word of the television series you plan on binge-watching on your tablet, noise-canceling headphones ensure your entertainment experience is crystal-clear. The Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones top TechRadar’s 2017 list of best noise-canceling headphones available, and they feature more than 25 hours of battery life for long flights and layovers. If you want to watch your screen without viewing distractions, a headset like the Daydream View allows you to watch VR cinema and play games.
You may not be able to exercise much during your flight, but be sure to move around regularly when you’re awake. Remaining sedentary for prolonged periods of time increases your risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart attack, according to the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability. Making sure a wearable device like a Fitbit is charged can help remind you to get up every hour to get in some steps and stretch, which helps you avoid conditions like blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, too.
Rest And Relax
If you plan on getting accustomed to time differences quickly once you land, you'll want to get sleep on the right schedule. The Woolip can help. This travel pillow was inspired by a massage face cradle, and adapts to any sleep position you crave — on the side, on the window or even in front of you. It’s inflatable and takes up the space and weight of a smartphone when not in use, making it easy to stick in your purse or pocket and carry on.
You’ll also want a great sleep mask to shut out any lights. Travel and Leisure recommends the Milk Makeup Sleep Mask + Cooling Insert Set, which includes a gel cooling pack that can be inserted to cut down on puffy eyes. A melatonin supplement can help you snooze. There are even topical sprays containing melatonin like Sprayable Sleep that don’t require ingesting pills.
To increase your satisfaction throughout the flight, listen to your body and be sure to take care of it nutrition-and hydration-wise. Drink plenty of water, eat when you're hungry and use the bathroom when you need to. Be respectful of other people's space like you expect your own to be. Don’t be afraid to approach a flight attendant for help with getting more at ease, since they might be able to give you an extra blanket or snacks. Overseas flights are long and can be expensive, so heading in prepared and taking advantage of the resources you have available can help make it more pleasant.