While the thought of being on a plane for 10+ hours may sound like an uncomfortable experience, long-haul flights can actually be relaxing and enjoyable. As an international traveling salesman, Hussain al Nowais has a great deal of experience with long-haul flights. He’s flown from North America to the UAE, South Africa, China and Australia countless times. Here’s his advice for having a pleasant long-haul flight:
- Dress comfortably – You’re going to be sitting on the plane for a long time, so make sure you dress comfortably. If you don’t want to be caught in your loungewear at the airport, pack a set of comfortable sweats in your carry on and put them on during the flight. You can change back into your original outfit before you land.
- Stay hydrated – The lack of humidity in the air cabin can lead to dehydration, which can result in discomfort and fatigue. Be sure to drink plenty of water the day of your trip, and take frequent sips of water throughout the flight to keep hydrated. While you can’t bring a bottle of water through security, you can bring an empty water bottle and fill it up once you’ve passed the security checkpoint. Also avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol or caffeine (or keep it to a minimum), as they promote dehydration.
- Stretch – Sitting for many hours without stretching can lead to muscle cramping and pain. Every few hours, get up and stretch and take a walk to the rest room. At times when you need to remain seated, you can do stretches in your chair. Occasionally stretch your arms and legs, twist your torso and do neck rolls.
- Bring entertainment – Many long international flights have a small TV on the back of the seat in front of you for you to watch movies and TV shows, play games and listen to music. However, not all flights offer this so be sure to bring your own entertainment. Consider bringing a book or two and a charged iPod and tablet. Don’t forget to bring portable chargers and cables to ensure your electronics don’t die and leave you hanging during the flight.
- Pack light – Most international flights allow one carry-on per person. Bring a carry-on that’s roomy enough to fit all your traveling essentials, but small enough to be stored under the seat. This way you’re your belongings are easily accessible during the flight, and you don’t have to keep turning to the overhead compartment.
What tips do you recommend for surviving a long-haul flight?