Let’s face it, long travel days are not always fun. Some of the glamour of air travel has dissipated, but if you want to see the world, you need to spend the time at each end of your trip in an airplane. Here is how to make the best of it.
It’s probably an abridged list, but some of the things that can ruin a flight are motion sickness, hunger, noise, boredom, and uncomfortable temperatures. For red-eye or international flights you could add lack of sleep.
If you are subject to motion sickness, there are various prescription and non-prescription aides. Most people find them effective. Always consult a physician. Do yourself a favor and prepare in advance if you have a history of motion sickness. When you get to that amazing destination you want to hit the ground running, but not to the restroom.
Next, dress for success, a.k.a. comfort. Wear comfortable, loose fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton or linen. Tight clothing in cramped spaces over long periods can be miserable. Don’t do it!
Minimize jewelry. You don’t want to lose it, and security will be much easier. The airport lost and found has my favorite sunglasses, but I’m not leaving my Swiss watch to the TSA.
Watch your step. Slip on, comfortable shoes can help you speed through security. I also like to wear those breathable tennis shoes. They’re comfortable, and with socks they keep my feet warm. Besides, there is more than once I had to hustle through an airport and these helped get me out of the starting block.
Try not to smell bad, but avoid smelling too good. Yes, no one wants to spend hours next too someone with B.O. or bad breathe, but excessive perfume or cologne can be equally troubling. Be considerate of your fellow travelers, some fragrances can really cause issues with their allergies or asthma.
Layer it on! I tend to be cold on flights, but every once in a while I’m on a hot one. Always wear layers so you can start out warm, and remove layers if needed. An International flight where it feels like you’re at the North Pole can be long and miserable.
I get hungry on long flights. That’s why I always travel with Rhonda. She packs snacks for me. You can travel with Rhonda too, but pack your own snacks because she is already carrying mine.
Long flights can be boring. Many now have video monitors where you can be entertained. These are often free on international flights. Some have aps where you can be entertained on your smart phone. I usually bring some magazines, an e-book, or a book on tape downloaded to my smart phone. I don’t like to be saddled with lots of carry on stuff, but if you don’t mind, you can also bring on an old fashioned book.
Get yourself a pair of the noise cancelling headphones if you travel a lot. They are great to listen to music or a book on tape. I love kids, but not when they are crying in the seat behind me on a long flight. Headphones can be a game changer.
We do a fair amount of international travel. As an insomniac I have some sleep aides. If you have them too, I’d consider these essential long flight accessories. Again consult your physician. Get rested, and make that long flight go fast by sleeping thorough the bulk of it. Buy one of those goofy looking travel pillows too, and just give that tiny worthless one back to the flight attendant when you board.
These are a few tips from someone who’s learned from long and frequent flights. See the world, but be comfortable doing it. Those travel days can be just fine, and they are well worth it when you create those amazing memories.