In March, the world’s longest nonstop flight was completed. The route took passengers from Dubai to New Zealand. That’s 8,823 miles …17 hours and 15 minutes to be precise. Imagine spending more than 17 hours on a plane. The mere thought of it can cause legs to cramp. Luckily, the average traveler only spends a few hours a time in the air, but regardless of your flight duration, it’s important to be comfortable.
Follow our tips below for the best flight possible:
- Ensuring a comfortable flight begins the moment you book it. To make sure your time in the air is as pleasant as possible, be sure to select your seat when you make the reservation.
- If you book a flight with tight connection, choose a seat as close to the front exit as possible. The worst thing is getting stuck in the back of the plane with only 20 minutes to make a connection if the flight is delayed.
- If you do have a delayed flight or missed connection, never stand in line at the counter to rebook. Always call the help desk. It’s faster and those folks have more access (unless the booking is closed because the flight is boarding).
- Bring sandwich-sized plastic bags to keep important items like phones and passports dry and organized.
- Plan ahead for airport security by wearing easily removable shoes and pants that don’t need a belt.
- Carry on a shoulder bag that you can put at your feet under the seat in front of you. It’s easier to keep things with you rather than accessing the overhead every time you need something.
- A scarf can be useful for wearing or as a blanket on a cold flight — plus it can be put on a dirty seat if you need somewhere to sit.
- Never pack your car keys or house keys in a checked bag.
- While onboard, don’t forget to take care of your health. Dehydration during air travel is common and can leave you feeling fatigued.
- Always drink water (without sugar) BEFORE the long flights to hydrate. If you wait until flying to drink, it’s too late.
- The air on a plane is extremely dry, so take care of your skin by putting on plenty of moisturizer and lip balm to avoid chapped hands and lips.
- Travel with snacks that will leave you feeling full. This way you can eat when you need to, not when they give you an option (especially on long flights).
- Choose an aisle seat to have access to bathrooms and use the bulkhead wall to stretch hamstrings.
- To mitigate the risk of leg cramps, or worse, a blood clot, get up to stretch and walk around. On a long flight, it’s recommended to walk once every two hours. This will keep your blood flowing and will help you feel more comfortable. While sitting, simply flex and point your feet to increase circulation.
- A hot towel treatment and disposable mini toothbrush can go a long way to making you feel human again.
- Putting on headphones or using earbuds is the international nonverbal signal for “I don’t want to talk to you.” If you have a chatty seatmate, that can help you get some quiet time. Don’t forget noise cancelling headphones to drown out any unwanted sounds.
- Never exchange money at the currency booths. Always take currency from an ATM at an international destination.
- Be nice to the flight attendants. They can give you more peanuts if they like you.
Once you get comfortable, sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. You’ll be at your destination in no time.