4 Great Tips to Get You through a Long-Haul Flight
Hearing my boss talk about his recent grueling 15-hour flight to Melbourne, Australia the other day made me think about my own long-distance haul to Japan a few years back. I don’t do well on planes (something about the idea of crashing into a big mountain), but I was feeling confident and excited. I clearly remember saying, “Four hours down, and six to go. No problem, piece of cake.”
Four long, excruciating hours later, it was a different story. My body and head felt numb. I actually caught myself reading the vomit bag.
I eventually got to Japan, but soon realized I would be back on another long flight. And if I was going to survive the next trek back home, I would to need a plan (or a lot more vomit bags) to get me through the next long journey.
Let’s face it, being imprisoned in a metal tube for hours on end can be not just mentally boring, but also physically draining. However, not all long-haul flights have to be dismal. Here are a few tips to help you stomach, or dare I say enjoy, traveling on lengthy flights.
Time to escape
Hey, you’ve got several hours to kill, so why not make the most of it. Sure, you could bring along some work, but that may actually add to the stress of a long flight. I am not saying you shouldn’t bring any along—honestly, when was the last time you had 12 hours of uninterrupted time to burn through a business proposal. You could, however, also use this time to escape. Think headphones and movies. Rock out (or mellow out) to your favorite tunes or fire up your trusty iPad, crammed with all those Hollywood blockbusters you have been meaning to see.
Come well-rested before you board
If you think a long-haul flight is a great time to catch up on sleep, think again. Coming to the airport exhausted and hoping to snooze through the entire trip sounds great in theory, but your flight is likely to include screaming children, pilot announcements, engine clamour, and cramped seating—you get the picture. My suggestion is to try to board the plane as well-rested as possible. If you do manage to grab a few extra winks on the flight, you will be ahead the game.
Don’t carry on more than you need
Baggage fees are ridiculous these days, so it’s hard to blame you for wanting to bring onboard as much as you can. But cramming stuff under your seat and in front of you is only going to limit your legroom in an already cramped seating area. Don’t box yourself in. Your legs and your fellow passengers will thank you.
Wear compression stockings
If you are like most people, your legs and feet get sore during long flights. A quick and easy way to relieve the symptoms of leg pain and swollen feet and ankles during travel is to wear compression stockings. Wearing these handy socks is also recommended to minimize the risk of developing more serious conditions, including phlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism. Many pilots and flight crew swear by them and wouldn’t dream about leaving the ground without sporting a pair. So, do your legs a favour and wear some compression stockings before you take off.
If you’re going to be stuck inside a metal can for an entire day of flying, come in to meet with our compression stocking fitters today.
For those of you who have used compression stockings during a long-haul flight, share your experience. We want to hear all about it.