Today's blog is by Blue Sea Vacations travel specialist, Nicole Bernier. Nicole has been on a number of long haul flights, and is an expert on how to handle them!
Sometimes your dream vacation destination is a world away and if so, chances are you’ll have to take a long haul flight to get there. I consider these flights to be anything longer than 10 hours and bound for international destinations. Over the years, my desire to explore the world and see new places has landed me on more and more of these flights - some good, some not so good. And so, I want share my personal tips that have helped me survive the long haul journey.
#1 - Rest
Plan in advance to get a lot of rest or sleep before your flight. Sleeping on the flight may sound good since you’ll have plenty of time confined to your seat, but in reality it’s a bad idea. Be rested for your flight and if you can catch a quick nap you’ll be better off when you reach your destination.
#2 - Hydrate
It’s so important to drink water. Be sure that you’re hydrating before your flight by avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Try to drink water and electrolyte infused drinks. If you must grab some caffeine, try drinking green tea. It’s important to be hydrated before the flight and maintain through the duration. This will help you feel comfortable on the ride as well as help any muscle fatigue post arrival.
#3 - Every Inch of Space Matters!
You may be tempted to bring a large carryon full of gear and books to keep you occupied during the flight. Just remember that everything you bring takes up space and ultimately can affect your comfort during the flight. Pack items that do double duty such as an iPad to watch movies on or catch up on your book. You can also download games like Scrabble or cross-word puzzle that you can pass back and forth if you’re traveling with someone.
#4 - Aim for the Aisle, Not an Exit Row
In my experience on a long haul flight, the exit row has a lot of foot traffic. At some point during the flight, passengers will want to get up, walk around and stretch. With limited space on the plane, many times the exit row will coincide with a walk way. The exit door may also affect the level of noise and encroach on your space.
#5 - Use Credit Card Points or Miles to Upgrade
I highly recommend looking into, or having a travel agent do the leg work for you to upgrade your seat if possible using credit card miles/points. This is really the best option if you have available points. Your travel agent will gladly help you even if decide mid-trip that you want to upgrade for the return flight.
#6 - Use a Timer
I like setting a timer on my phone for the duration of the flight. It’s nice knowing exactly how much time has gone by and the approximate time before descent. It keeps me motivated and reminds me to get up and get some water instead of calling the attendant over.
#7 - Be Active
Get up and stretch. Walk a couple of laps on the plane after the first hour or two and see if there’s an open space where you can squat, lunge, and do some toe touches after the lights dim and everyone settles in.
#8 - Arrange Transportation
Ask your travel agent to arrange transportation to your hotel from the airport. Taking a taxi or ride share will cost about the same in most big cities, but I recommend hiring a car to take you. You’ll be tired, you may not have access to data on your phone, you’ll have to think about exchanging money to pay for the taxi…Just have your transportation arranged in advance for a stress-free experience. Kick back, relax…you’re on vacation after all!
Thinking about your next trip to a far off destination? Even if you already have your destination in mind, ask us to review your itinerary to ensure you’re on the best flight and to hear about our personal recommendations.
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