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How to Survive Your Long Flight: A Guide to Flying

Just thinking of a long flight from London to Australia or New York to Singapore makes you shudder? Well, it’s perfectly understandable even if you are someone who loves travelling. But if you need to fly the long routes every month or every week for business purposes, you can’t always just accept flight discomfort.

There are several ways to survive your long haul with the least discomfort and in the most convenient manner. Check out these 5 key hacks to maximising your inflight comfort.


1. Health Is Wealth

Staying hydrated on your flight is essential. During air travel the risk of dehydration is significantly elevated, in short this comes down to air circulation and how oxygen is supplied on board an aircraft. Most of us who have ever hiked or lived in mountainous areas are aware that the higher the altitude the thinner the air and the lower the humidity becomes, and this is only exacerbated to an extreme on an airplane flying thousands of feet above the ground. The higher you move up the dryer the air becomes!

At 35 000 feet, the average cruising altitude of a commercial plane, the air has a humidity level of only 10% – 20% in contrast to the 40 to 70% the human body is accustomed to in normal conditions. This means that simply by breathing we already end up getting less moisture than we normally would. To add insult to injury, the low humidity atmosphere and subsequent dry air on board an aircraft is attracted by the moisture molecules in your throat, nose, and eyes and causes you to lose more moisture, adding to your dehydration! And hydration becomes even more important from a longer-term perspective when you consider the fact that the hair like structures in your throat and nose need to be moist in order to filter the air you breathe, eradicating irritants and pathogens. When your throat and nose isn’t properly hydrated, the chances of catching a nasty bug are significantly heightened.

A clever trick you could try to help you breathe in more moisture is to place a wet handkerchief over your mouth and nose to add moisture to the air that you breathe.

Doctors say that when you are on a long flight, you should drink 250ml of water every hour to keep yourself hydrated. The secret is to drink small amounts frequently and not to wait until you feel thirsty before you drink some water.  Water isn’t the only way to keep your body from shrivelling up into a dried husk, it’s also a good idea to invest in a hydration supplement to bring in your bag They usually come as small dissolvable tablets which can be mixed in your bottle of water and contain essential vitamins, minerals and electrolytes to ensure you stay energised and prevent symptoms which might arise from dehydration such as stomach cramps, severe headaches and heightened anxiety, which aren’t what you want, right? The market leader in hydration tablets can be found here: https://www.scienceinsport.com/shop-by-need/hydration/go-hydro-hydration-tablets

In the end remember, hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate!

2. Eat Properly

Unless you are flying in first class, you probably aren’t going to be served with a beautiful smile and some tasty food. Airline food offerings tend to be miserable, so it’s best to pack your bag with pre made meals as a better option. Be sure to include lean protein foods such as boneless, skinless chicken; turkey breast; hard-boiled egg whites; and lean fish such as tuna (consider using a freezer pack to keep the food cool and prevent it perishing). Consuming foods high in protein will give you lots of energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer, avoid fatty foods which will make you feel tired and groggy.

It’s also a good idea to pack some unsalted snacks (avoid salt as it will only add to the risk of dehydration) like unsalted nuts, fruits and vegetables with you. Fruit and vegetables are full of water (for that all-important hydration), and fruit contains healthy sugars to boost your energy levels. If you didn’t raid your local supermarket for fresh produce before leaving for the airport, you can find healthy options in most shops at major airports. With respect to nuts its best to pack walnuts or almonds, which are low in salt, be sure to seperate them into small portions as they’re pretty high in calories!


3. Get Some Much-Needed Sleep

Between the sound of the roaring engines and screaming babies, if you can fall asleep on your long haul then it’s undoubtedly the best thing to pass the time. There’s nothing worse than settling in for a long-haul international flight across the vast oceans, only to sit there wide-awake for hours on end. Whilst the anxiety and uncertainty of flying can make it difficult to sleep on a jittery plane, there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort and get yourself that much needed shut eye.

Sleeping comfortably is of utmost importance. Pack a neck pillow in your carry-on bag, else you will end up with a sleeping arm, pins and needles, a neck ache and a flight which feels like it’s never going to end! In addition, be sure to pack some earplugs or high-quality noise cancelling earphones, an eye mask to block out the light, download a sleeping app on your smartphone that’ll help relax you, put your electronics in night mode to avoid blue light that’ll keep you up, and finally pack a nice warm blanket from home – There’s nothing like the comfort of home to ease you into a sleepy state; not to mention, planes are just plain cold!

Insert the neck pillow, plug in the earplugs, tuck yourself into your snug blanket and slip on the eye mask; ready for that enticing snooze.


4. Entertainment

The thought of sitting on a plane for over ten hours in pure boredom and monotony is a major reason that keeps people from traveling the world. However, if you prepare properly and plan your flight time like you would your travel itinerary, the time will without doubt ‘fly’. For example, your inflight schedule might look something like this:

18:00 – Complete 3 levels of Raid: Shadow Legends
19:00 – Meal time
19:45 – Watch a Movie
22:30 – Have a nap
01:00 – Read up on things to do in your upcoming destination
03:00 – Draft some emails and get unfinished work done.

The trick is having a bunch of things to do that you can choose from and avoid allowing the boredom to creep in. Here are some ideas for curing the boredom on your long haul:

  • Stream that movie on your laptop you’ve been planning on watching for months but the late nights at work didn’t give you the time to do so
  • Pack that quality book, which has been waiting for you to pick it up and read for months. This is the time!
  • Organise your under-seat bag, By the end of a trip your on-board bag is likely a complete mess. A collection of shopping receipts, boarding passes, foreign currency and bags of old snacks. Well, the flight home is the perfect time to go through and organise your bag, separating the trash from the valuable and arranging all the loose papers and wires into a neat and accessible layout. We recommend keeping things in separate zip pouches, Ipow mesh travel pouches are a great option.
  • Draft some emails; get the work and responsibilities out of the way before your adventures begin!
  • Write out some goals for the next 6-12 months on the things you want to achieve or get done, that way you’ll be using the time productively and step off the plane feeling motivated and accomplished.

The key is as long as you have something to spend your time doing, the time will pass without you even realising.


5. The Right Items in The Right Bag

Your carry-on bag is arguably your most prised possession when traveling. It can store vital items to save you from boredom on a long flight aswell as underwear, a change of clothing, a tooth brush and a few critical essentials to prevent you from the despair of wearing the same outfit day after day in the unfortunate event your checked baggage gets lost. Here’s how to pick the perfect bag, what you should pack in it and what you should do with your devices.

Before you start packing it’s a good idea to consider the size and dimensions of the bag you want to use. There aren’t any specific regulations that state exactly how big your carry-on luggage can be, but the general rule is that it must fit under your seat or in the overhead locker compartment. The exact rules on the size of carry-on bag permitted vary from airline to airline so its advisable to check this for your specific carrier beforehand.

If you’re bringing along tech like a laptop or tablet on board with you, your bag will ideally have a padded compartment to protect them. In which case a holdall or duffel bag is probably your best bet. Be sure that these compartments are easily accessible during security checkpoints as you’ll have to take your tech items out and put them in separate containers through the security scanner and the last thing you want is to have to completely tip your entire bag contents out to get to them.

Another key factor is comfort. You’ll be carrying or rolling your bag through security and down long corridors, or perhaps running with it to the gate so you don’t miss your connection! Do you need sturdy padded handles or a cushioned strap? Make sure you check that your holdall bag or backpack meets your comfort needs.

Finally, we recommend you jot down a checklist of important must have items to pack in your in-flight bag, such as snacks, a neck pillow, an eye mask, earplugs, headphones, books, chargers, and various other things.

kingsman leather duffle bag

A Few Other Tips

Do follow these and your long flight is sure to pass by smoothly. 

  • Bring a face mask
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Book your tickets early.
  • Make friends with your seatmates.
  • Pack your bag smartly. You need to keep in mind the purpose you’re travelling for.
  • Do not choose edibles on-board which might upset your stomach as a cramping stomach will be hard to deal with on a long flight.

In order to travel efficiently and pack every essential item, you need a bag that’s fit for your long journey. Keep in mind the purpose of the journey and the time you are going to spend there and choose a bag that is stylish as well as functional.

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