Long flights are the very bane of our existence and for those of us in economy class (AKA every college student), it’s way worse. It’s no surprise that everyone dreads being on a flight that eats up your whole day. So, instead of sitting in your tiny, cramped seat thinking of ways to kill the kid kicking the back of your chair, follow these survival tips and make your flight a little less grueling.
1. Shower before you board
With the air in the plane constantly recycled, chances are you’re not going to have the opportunity to stay the cleanest. So try to take a shower before flying to ensure you feel the freshest throughout your flight.
2. Prepare a list
You need a list; we all do. Lists are essential in keeping yourself coordinated and remembering everything you need to have with you. This is especially the case when you’re going to be tired out and unable to recall where you left your passport. With so many apps to choose from for your phone or tablets, there’s no excuse not to stay organized.
3. Have a folder for documents
Just like how you have them for all your assignments and notes, having a folder for your travel documents including visas, travel itinerary, and boarding pass, will keep you organized and orientated for your long-haul flight. This is especially helpful if your planning on doing a couple of stopovers.
4. Know your time zones
If you’re travelling across different time zones, ensure your clocks on all your devices are synced with the local time zone. If not, just take note of the different zones so you won’t have to panic frantically and rush to your next boarding gate.
5. Check on your luggage
Ensure your luggage doesn’t need to be taken out and re-checked in beforehand. Nothing is worse than arriving at your final destination and finding out your luggage didn’t make it. Not a great start to the vacation.
6. Comfort is key
Don’t tire yourself out on that long flight with uncomfortable clothes. Instead, break out your most comfortable sweatpants and hoodie or pajamas for that long flight. Don’t worry about judgement – everyone else is just too tired to care.
7. Pack some toiletries
Bring your own mini travel-friendly toiletries to keep you feeling refreshed and less icky. Recommended toiletries to bring on board include lip balm, toothpaste and toothbrush, body lotion and a face wipe. Just remember, each liquid you bring on-board has to be 100ml or less packed in one quart-sized resealable plastic bag.
8. Moisturise and Hydrate
Recycled air in the plane makes your skin extremely dry. That’s why you should constantly be hydrating yourself. Drink as much water as possible and try to avoid the free booze and caffeine which can also dehydrate you. If you feel like pampering yourself 24,000 ft in the air with your self-prepared spa kit, do it. You might seem a little crazy but rest assured, you’ll feel like a million bucks once you step off that plane.
9. Prepare entertainment
Bring a book and fill up your electronic devices with games, movies, and TV series to binge-watch. Even bring an assignment or two if you’re travelling for a short break and work the hours away. You’ll feel accomplished when you land and are ahead of your work.
10. Charge all your devices
Don’t forget to charge your devices before flying. You don’t want to lose out on your entertainment half-way in the air. If it’s possible, bring your own power bank to allow for extra power-up if your device’s battery runs low.
11. Bring good earphones
To compliment your visual entertainment, you’ll need really good noise cancelling head/ear phones to drown out the crying baby sounds and cabin noise. I recommend earphones because they’re tiny and easy to travel with. The cabin crew with also make you use earbuds during takeoff and landing so you might as well just keep them in the whole flight.
12. Prepare a sleeping kit
Planning on sleeping the whole time? Bring your trusty eye mask and inflatable neck pillow. Eye masks allow you to block out any light and neck pillows provide comfy support for your neck on the support-less plane seats and prevent aching. Inflatable neck pillows are great as they can be deflated when you’re not using them which saves space in your carry-on bag.
13. Do some light exercises
If you’re not planning on sleeping, why not do some light body-weight exercises? You’ll want to be moving around not only to prevent your butt from hurting but also to prevent your muscles from becoming stiff as a result of the decreased cabin pressure. Don’t worry, they don’t include full-on cardio. It’s just minor stretching such as knee lifts, neck roll, and ankle circles.