Air Travel Tips Coping with Long Haul Flights

As a frequent flyer I am always amazed at how washed out and tired some people look when we reach our destination after a long haul flight. It is obviously the case that some people find the whole experience of flying more stressful than others but there are, nonetheless, some basic techniques that all of us can apply in order to minimise the effect of ‘flying fatigue’.

Arrive at the airport in good time: Nothing is as stressful as having to race through immigration and security knowing that there is a possibility that you can get offloaded. The residual stress from such an experience can very easily turn you into a totally stressed out passenger when (if?) you finally make it onto the plane. Make sure that you avoid situations like this by budgeting more than enough time for your trip to the airport.

Get the best seats possible: Study the configuration of the aircraft you will be travelling on before you travel (there are several websites where you can do this). It may be that there are certain seats with more legroom that you can request when checking in or that you can even reserve online.

Dress comfortably: You are going to have to sit in one position for a long time, the least you can do is to make sure that your clothes and shoes don’t make that harder than it already is. If you need to be smartly turned out at arrival you can always carry a change of clothes in your hand luggage.

Eat and drink in moderation: Sitting still in a confined space is cannot be termed ‘optimum operating conditions’ for your digestive system. You should also be aware of the fact that the effects of alcohol are more severe in a pressurised environment like that of an aircraft at cruising altitude. The obvious implication is that you should be very careful about what you eat and drink on a plane.

Avoid dehydration: If you do want to drink: drink water! The inside of a plane is very dry due to the air being re-circulated. You can counteract the effect of this by drinking lots of water.

Walk the aisles: People often find that they are stiff, sore and bloated after long haul flights. One of the reasons for this is the fact that our muscles do not react very well to not being used. Even just a few walks down the length of the plane will leave your muscles much happier!

Invest in some noise cancelling headphones: I recently bought a good pair of noise cancelling headphones and I can’t think how I ever flew without them. The technology used does not only enhance the sound quality of whatever you are listening to, but also actively filters out other sounds. The difference that having your own ‘sound bubble’ on long haul flights can make to your state of mind is absolutely phenomenal.

I am not suggesting, with this article, that air travel can be totally stress free or that you can arrive ‘fresh as a daisy’ every time you fly. I am suggesting, however, that following these simple steps can make the difference between being ready to take on your destination and only being ready to take on your hotel bed!