Long flights can leave travellers exhausted – hardly an ideal start to a trip. But planning ahead and keeping a few tips in mind will ensure you touch down on the tarmac in tip-top shape.
1. Pick the right seat
Choosing the right seat during the purchase process or according to what you need is half the battle won. Consider purchasing a seat with extra legroom if you’re tall, while those who enjoy a bird’s-eye view of scenery should opt for a window seat. If you want to be in close proximity to the restroom, be prepared for a queue forming by your seat.
A good idea is to consult websites such as Seat Guru, which lists aircraft seating plans and comfort according to plane models. If you’re willing to upgrade your seat, Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy Class offers more legroom, bigger screens and other fantastic perks.
2. Dress comfortably
Breathability is key. Wear loose-fitting clothes in light fabrics (such as cotton) that allow your skin to breathe. For added comfort, you may also want to bring along a pair of slippers to change into during your flight. Most airlines offer blankets, so unless you’re sensitive to the cold, a jacket may not be necessary. The key is to minimise bulky carry-on items to create more space.
3. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can exacerbate jet lag. While the cabin crew will serve drinks, it may be easier to bring a large water bottle and ask the crew to help you fill it up upon boarding to ensure you have a steady supply of water. Drink caffeine or alcohol in moderation, as both have diuretic effects.
4. Move your body
While the likelihood of developing deep vein thrombosis remains generally low for the average passenger, it is still a good idea to stretch and get some movement in during a long flight. This helps prevent stiff muscles and leaves you feeling more refreshed upon landing. This can range from taking a short walk along the plane’s aisle to simple seat exercises like rotating your ankles.
5. Get proper shut-eye
This can be difficult, especially on a day flight, but there are some items that can help you. Eye masks can block the light, while a good set of noise-cancelling headphones will help you tune out. Light sleepers may consider a small dose of over-the-counter melatonin. This naturally produced hormone helps regulate sleep cycles.
6. Make it a pleasant flight for others and yourself
Courtesy goes a long way, especially on a 13-hour flight. Mind your Ps and Qs, and it would not be remiss to let the person behind you know that you’re about to recline your seat.
7. Use a neck pillow
The pillow and headrest onboard may not be sufficient, so get comfortable with your own. Try the Skysiesta Travel Pillow, which supports both sides of your head, so your neck doesn’t hurt.
8. Slather on lip balm/hand cream
Prevent your lips from getting dry and chapped in the low-humidity plane cabin with The Body Shop’s moisturising Vitamin E Lip Care SPF 15. The best part? It protects your lips from sun damage too. If you prefer a pop of colour, the History of Whoo lip balms add a subtle pink tint while also being deeply moisturising.
9. Wear noise-cancelling earphones
Block out plane noises and stream relaxing music with Bose’s Quietcomfort 35 wireless noise-cancelling headphones. It features microphones both inside and outside the earcups, and can run for up to 20 hours on a single charge.
– TEXT BY HANNAH KOH
PHOTOS: BOSE, SKYSIESTA
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.