Long flights can sometimes drain your energy levels and leave you feeling sore and frustrated upon landing. But there are some things you can do to combat these problems. Over the years, Paul Landini has learned some tricks for making the best of these long flights and shares with us his Top 3 Tips for getting through them so you can spend less time stressing, and more time enjoying the experience:
The world is full of many beautiful places, and with today’s advanced network of airline partnerships, getting to your dream destination is easier than ever before. But for many, the idea of sitting in a 767 for 10 hours plus is enough to keep them home. Long-haul plane travel can be tiring, expensive and, worst of all, exceptionally dull. However, with a little bit of pre-flight preparation, even a flight from Toronto to Sydney can pass by pleasantly.
1. Choose Your Airline Carefully
For many travellers, when choosing which airline to fly with, one simple criteria becomes the deciding factor: price. It’s true that prices between carriers can vary dramatically, the cheapest isn’t always the best. What you want to focus on is value, or who delivers the most bang for your buck. For example, Air Canada may sometimes be more expensive than some of the low-cost carriers, but what they deliver in terms of extra amenities is well worth the additional dollars. A few years ago I flew Air Canada to Shanghai via Vancouver; 23 hours of flight time total. Initially this schedule filled me with dread, but that changed once I boarded the plane in Vancouver. The seats were comfortable and roomy, and each one had its own personal television, complete with dozens of free movies, on-demand shows and music stations. Not only that, there was complimentary beverage service throughout the entire flight. I could have saved a few hundred dollars by choosing a different carrier, but Iwouldn’t have had nearly as pleasant a flight. Keep this in mind when you’re picking an airline, and remember: time flies faster when you’re watching HBO marathons and sipping on a Sleeman.
2. Pack Wisely
Just about every single airline will allow passengers to carry on a personal bag as well as one to be stored in the overhead compartment. When traveling long distances, it’s a good idea to use a portion of this allowance to pack creature comforts for the flight. Bring your own headphones for the movie, because the complimentary set provided by the airline will most likely be terrible. If you plan on sleeping, an inflatable neck pillow will spare your spine from painful cramps, and ear plugs will block out wails of any grumpy on-board babies. Toiletries – a toothbrush and toothpaste especially – are essential, as are snacks and books. Not a big reader? That’s what magazines are for. You don’t want to be stuck on a 12 hour flight with nothing to do but stare at the head rest in front of you (unless, of course, you followed the advice above and have a library of movies on your seat-front TV to keep you entertained).
3. Get Up!
Unless you’ve landed yourself a seat in business class, sitting stationary for the duration of your flight is never agood idea. Even the most ergonomically designed seat can leave your spine feeling twisted and your legs feeling numb. The best way to combat this is to simply get up and walk around. Obviously on a plane there aren’t awhole lot of destinations to stroll to, but even a simple walk up and down the aisle from time to time helps. Also, there are many books and web sites that teach simple yoga-style stretches that can be performed easily in your seat. These are great for de-stressing, as well as getting the circulation flowing in your limbs.