Travelling long distances on an airplane can be a real nightmare (regardless of whether you are lucky enough to fly First Class, Business or even Economy). However, there are some things you can do to make the trip a little bit more comfortable in general. To start with, although it might seem obvious, make sure you invest a little time and effort in choosing a good airline and a direct flight if you can. The difference between companies can be quite evident in numerous ways, including seat size, snacks, entertainment and even cleanliness. Although of course, these two decisions might come at a price, sometimes a much steeper one, it will make it worth your while if the difference is limited and you save time, avoid getting stressed or excessively tired.
Once you have done all your research and chosen an ideal route, you may want to select a preferred seat by taking into account which one fits your specific needs. The aisle will allow you to walk around at any given time, to stretch your legs or go to the bathroom as you please. On the other hand, it can be quite uncomfortable as the other passengers might ask you to stand and it is much harder find a good position to rest. The middle seat is by most standards the worse one of the three, so there’s no need to discuss it. Choosing might ultimately depend on the total flight time and maybe on whether it’s a day or night trip – the window seat definitely allows you to sleep better.
To make the journey smoother and more pleasant, opt for a selection of gadgets and accessories. If you can pack light, a cabin duffle bag or even just a “duo totepack” (it transforms to be either backpack or tote bag depending on your needs) and an iPad case are all you really need as carry-ons. Also, having a travel wallet or pouch along with a passport sleeve will give you easy access to the essentials on the way to your gate. For the flight itself, invest in the gadgets that will work for you: a travel pillow, proper headphones, earplugs, large warm socks, a toiletry bag (to freshen up before and after you land) or even a packed lunch with your favourite treats. Having said this, don’t forget that the space on board is limited so don’t overindulge in what you carry-on or it could limit your legroom considerably (something you definitely don’t want to happen).
Once you are sitting comfortably (or uncomfortably) in your seat, take the opportunity to talk to the people next to you. This can be a new and interesting way to spend your time on board – you never know who you might meet and what interesting stories they might have to tell. If instead, you are more of an introvert, long-distance flights can be convenient to work with fewer interruptions, as you rarely have the chance to disconnect completely and fall off the digital map – with a good excuse that is. On the other hand, you might want to take the time to forget about pending projects and binge on your favourite TV shows or catch up on the latest movies.
All these measures will definitely help you have a more pleasant journey and hopefully arrive at your destination feeling calm and ready to start your much-deserved vacation or energised for a work trip. Also: remember to stay hydrated, to walk around occasionally and most importantly to sit down, relax and enjoy your flight.