Whether you have an upcoming trip planned for the summer or are getting your coins together for a vacation later in the year, taking an international trip can be an exciting experience — from the moment you decide where you’re going, to the first day you get to explore a new city. Before you get to that part, though, you have to get through a long flight that might be the most time you’ve spent on a plane at one time.
There are some basics that go without saying, like taking the time to charge all of your devices to full capacity before you go and packing your own snacks so you don’t try to survive on dry pretzels and chalky cookies. You should also make sure that you have vital items in your carry-on bag, including all of your travel documents and valuables (jewelry, camera, etc.) and a travel-sized toothbrush, face wipes, and deodorant to freshen up post-flight.
Once you have the fundamentals covered, you can get into the details of how to make a long flight seem like a breeze. Need some help? Check out these suggestions to get your started:
Though it’s tempting to pull out your newest fits, an international flight is really not the time to stunt. It’s in your best interest to wear something loose and relaxed that will still be comfortable hours later. This doesn’t mean you can’t wear jeans or your new kicks, but this is actually the ideal time to bust out a fresh pair of sweats, a stylish hoodie and a cushy pair of shoes with some plush socks, especially since it’s always a little chilly on the plane. You don’t have to look like you’re about to go to bed, but if you could match that level of comfort, you’ll thank yourself later.
Sitting still for 8+ hours can make you feel stiff and sore once you get off the plane, which isn’t ideal if you have plans to get into something as soon as you touch down. Even if you intend to sleep for most of the flight, it will make the trip less stressful on your body if you get up to stretch and take a short walk up and down the aisles. If you don’t want to be too obvious, you can just increase your bathroom trips to give your legs a chance to stretch out.
Don’t Over-Do It on the Alcohol
It might sound like fun to take full advantage of the complimentary alcohol provided on international flights but it’s not really a good idea to overindulge. When you’re up in the air drinking, you may feel more intoxicated than normal because the pressurized air in the plane has less oxygen than we’re used to on the ground. The results of one too many glasses of win may increase motion sickness, make you feel dizzy, or have you way too lit once you make it off the plane. If you want to sip, that’s cool, but don’t go on until you’re at your destination.
Pick the Right Seat
There are a few things to consider when you’re booking your ticket to that dream destination. Depending on your flying style, you may find that sitting near the window or in the aisle seat might be better suited for you. If you don’t really get up very much or plan to sleep with just a couple necessary trips to the bathroom, then sit by the window so you won’t be disturbed. If you’re the antsy type that wants to be able to move around without disturbing the people in your row, then go for the aisle seat.
Bring Your Own Entertainment
Once on a 16-hour flight, the entertainment system and internet spontaneously stopped working less than an hour into the flight and everyone was left to their own devices — literally and figuratively. For that reason, it’s essential to make sure you re-up on apps and games you can access offline. Also have a few movies downloaded to keep you occupied, and bring a book for when you get tired of looking at screens.