Traveling to a new country is an exciting opportunity that you’ll look forward to for months ahead of time. However, before your international adventures can get started, you must first board a long flight across the world. Being unprepared for these long-haul flights can negatively impact your entire vacation. Start your trip off right by following these five tips to survive your next international flight like a pro:
After nine hours in a stuffy airplane, you’ll find that changing clothes can do wonders to refresh your mind and body. Even if you’re flying in the dog days of summer, make sure to pack at least one pair of socks and a sweater. Airplanes will be cold, even if your overhead vent is turned off. For your in-flight outfit, compression gear is a good choice to keep your blood flowing and also keep you warm. About an hour before landing, change into your destination outfit so you’re fresh and energized once the plane lands.
Water is the key to a successful long flight. It’s essential to drink plenty of water the day before, the day of and after your international flight. Staying hydrated while flying also means avoiding alcohol. In fact, drinking on a long flight will only serve to make the experience less comfortable for you by dehydrating your body and messing with your sleep. Pass up on the Jack and Coke and get a glass of ice water each time the flight attendant comes around. All that water you're drinking will mean more bathroom breaks, giving you the added bonus of more opportunities to stretch your legs.
Most international flights offer in-flight entertainment in the back of the seat in front of you. Watching the newest comedy or action blockbuster is a great way to pass the hours, but that can only happen if you have a set of headphones. To fully immerse yourself in the movie and forget your cramped, noisy surroundings, opt for a pair of noise-canceling headphones. That way, the screaming of the baby eight rows back doesn’t work its way into the movie’s main action sequence.
In-flight food often tastes more like a frozen TV dinner than most people prefer, but avoiding food entirely for international flights will only make you hangry (hungry + angry) when you land at your destination. Even if you plan to eat the meals provided by the airlines, pack some healthy snacks for the time between meals. Fruits and nuts make excellent, fiber-rich snacking that will keep your digestive system happy. Try to avoid packing food that is heavy in carbs to avoid adding to the bloatedness that already comes from flying.
Most people’s major complaint after an international flight is how poorly they slept. Before you get to the airport, purchase an eye mask and pack of soft earplugs. Although the pilot will likely dim the overhead lights when you should be sleeping, people are still going to have their overhead lights on and windows open. An eye mask will block out the light and help you zone out of your surroundings. Ear plugs silence the various noises around you and keep you from waking up every time someone hits the flight attendant call button.