We've all been there. You've made it through the airport and you're now sat in your seat on the aeroplane, waiting for take off. Your seatbelt sign is still on so you're unable to move, and then it dawns on you that you've got five, ten, or even fifteen hours up in the air with a bunch of strangers. Long-haul plane flights can range from tedious to downright awful if you don't prepare properly, which is why our Holidays By Design team have come up with 10 tricks that you can do to make that flight a little easier. Get these noted down, and thank us later. Happy flying!
1. Can't deal with turbulence? Book a morning flight.
Thunderstorms, bumpy air flows and all turbulence-causing weather tends to occur during the afternoon, due to the ground heating up throughout the day. By booking yourself on a morning flight, you can board the plane safe in the knowledge that you'll be less likely to get thrown about in your seat.
2. Meet noise-cancelling headphones - your new best friends.
Nothing ruins a flight like the screaming sounds of babies crying and the snoring of the guy in the seat in front of you. Noises like these can be ignored entirely with a good pair of headphones. Simply pop them on your head, queue up a bunch of your favourite tracks to listen to, and take the time to relax.
3. Bring something productive to do that you wouldn't normally get round to.
Whether it's that novel you've been meaning to pen for years now, the album you never got round to listening to, or that book that's been sat on your windowsill since Christmas, chances are you'll have a few things that you've been intending to get on with when you finally get the time. What better opportunity than hours and hours on a flight? Channel that time into something self-indulgent and you'll land at your destination feeling satisfied with what you achieved.
4. Bring an extra power pack.
Nowadays we're all glued to our devices 24/7, and so it's not ideal to run out of battery before you land. Pop a power pack into your bag in preparation and you can enjoy the extra juice when your device runs low.
5. Keep moving.
You might feel a little silly twirling your feet and rolling your shoulders every hour or so, but small in-flight exercises are a great way to keep your blood flowing and also pass the time. Try rolling your neck, bending your knees and pointing your feet up and down to stop you from being in the same position for too long. A quick stroll up and down the aisle is also recommended to ensure that you get off your flight feeling fresher and ready for your destination.
6. Get a list together.
Whether you're flying for a work commitment or jetting off on your holidays, putting together a list of all the things you'd like to get done or visit when you land is a good way of getting organised so that you make the most of your time when you finally touch down.
7. Get talking.
We know, we know, the idea of talking to strangers when you're British is about as appealing as pulling teeth. But if you're sat with someone who looks like they might be interesting and you've got plenty of hours to kill, why not strike up a conversation? You are both headed for the same destination, after all. Chances are you'll never see them again, so introduce yourself and see what happens. You might have a new friend or useful contact by the time you land.
8. Download plenty of podcasts.
Whilst watching film after film has the potential to quickly drain your battery, podcasts are great as they use a lot less energy but tend to be more distracting than music alone. Make sure that you've got a good mixture of comedy, TED talks and interviews with your favourite celebrities lined up, and you can easily sit through a few more hours of your flight.
Not many people consider it, but an aeroplane is actually a great place to calm and centre your mind with a spot of meditation. Not only are you already sat in a still, quiet environment, you also have little else to get on with! Particularly useful for those who suffer with fears of flying, taking a moment to close your eyes and practise mindful breathing can get you in a much more positive mindset. A little self-love and care can go an awfully long way.
And finally, most international flights serve free alcohol, so make sure to take FULL advantage. Cheers!