For our cruisers who have to embark upon a lengthy plane ride to get to your cruise embark location, this one’s for you!
The frequent traveler will usually have their set tips and tricks to try to make a long flight bearable, but this post is more of a “how to”. Meaning, how to not just tolerate it, but to survive. Even further, how to survive in economy. With no in-seat entertainment. No extra leg room. And no power outlets.
To begin with sheer honesty, you must know that it’s not going to be perfect. You might sleep, but restlessly. You might find a comfy position, but your muscles will ache. Your skin will feel dry, your insides dehydrated, and you will probably feel yucky all over as as you deplane. But you can and will make it! And here’s how:
1. Prep your Electronics! CHARGE up ALL your devices before heading to the airport. Don’t say you’ll do it once you’re at the gate, and don’t depend on having outlets on-board. Save yourself the possibility of forgetting once you arrive at your gate, or the disappointment of having nowhere to plug-in once on the plane. Download your favorite movies or seasons of TV shows, or books on your e-readers. If you like to keep it traditional, stock up on paper books, newspapers, or magazines. INVEST IN A QUALITY PAIR OF HEADPHONES. Noise cancellation headphones are a phenomenal thing. And don’t count on getting work accomplished on your laptop. Elbow room doesn’t exist.
2. Get Comfy! Dress to de-stress, NOT to impress. Wear comfortable clothing on-board the flight. From sweatpants to leggings, a cotton tank top or t-shirt, a long-sleeved tee, a lightweight sweatshirt, zip-up hoody, or cardigan, and compression socks. Layers. Layers. Layers. Extras to throw in your carry on include cashmere socks if you get cold feet (very common for those in the window seat), and a large scarf to use as a blanket.
3. How You Can Actually Sleep. A glass of wine or a cocktail can make your sleep worse on a lengthy flight. Don’t. Do it. Chamomile tea can be quite helpful in lulling one to sleep. Combine that with a comfortable eye mask and neck pillow and you’re in business! If the airline provides you a pillow, use that one as lower back support. Use your own neck pillow to cradle your head, and take those steeped chamomile teabags wrapped in tissues, and use them as compresses on your eyes before slipping the eye mask on top. Because the skin under your eyes is one of the most delicate on your person, this will significantly help keep them hydrated.
4. Don’t Stay Thirsty, my Friends. Hydration. Is. Everything! Purchase the largest bottle of water you can before getting on the flight, and then have the flight attendants refill it in-flight. Try to avoid heavy foods or high sodium content snacks… bread, rice, meat, chips, pretzels, etc. They will only dehydrate you more! They also won’t help your “girlish figure” as you won’t be burning many calories while sitting for hours on end. Pre-ordering of the vegetarian meal is clutch. It’s usually pretty decent tasting and vegetable-rich (which is hydrating thanks to the high water content in veggies), and is served before everyone else receives their meals. As for snacks, go with vegetable sticks, nuts (preferably raw and unsalted) and fresh fruit (with the exception of bananas… the smell is too strong and may bother others).
5. Stay Healthy. Airplanes=incubators for sicknesses. Prevention in the way! Bring along sanitizing wipes, and rub down your arm rests, seat belt, seat belt fastener, tray table, window pull, the wall next to your seat, AND ANYTHING YOU PLAN TO TOUCH! Diligence with your vitamin intake leading up to your flight is key for boosting your immune system. And always, ALWAYS use a tissue or paper towel when touching anything in the bathrooms.
6. Pack this: An in-flight toiletry case is essential to any flight longer than 5 hours. It should include these basics: toothbrush and toothpaste, eyeglasses or a spare set of contacts if you need them, face wash and face lotion, eye cream, facial spray, lip balm, and hand cream. Whether you use a canvas toiletry bag, a waterproof-lined bag, or even a Ziploc baggie, make one of these! (But keep liquid regulations in mind). And ladies, throwing in some makeup essentials doesn’t hurt either… concealer, powder, eyeliner, mascara, and a brow pencil. Keep this kit in the seat back pocket in front of you for easy access.
IF YOU DON’T READ ANYTHING ELSE, READ THIS! Keep a pre-packed, reusable grocery tote rolled up inside of your travel bag. Prior to boarding the plane, put everything you’ll need during the flight inside of it – your in-flight entertainment (tablet, e-reader, books, etc.), your headphones, snacks, water, in-flight toiletry kit, neck pillow, and eye mask, and place this bag under the seat in front of you. All other bags can go in the overhead bin. This will yield more leg room, and easy access to all of your necessities. To prevent items from rolling out, tie the tote closed with your scarf. Also, lying a magazine flat at the bottom of it will help to ensure that it remains upright. Not many things are worse than rummaging through your bag, looking for something that’s wedged at the very bottom, and jabbing your neighbor all the while. Except for a middle seat.
Any tips to add? Leave us a comment!!