It may not be the most rock and roll start to your trip but studies show that the day before you fly should be alcohol free and culminate in a good night’s sleep. Whilst it may not be practical for those with early morning flights, this combination allows you to feel properly rested and prepares your body for the draining experience of a long flight.
This is one of those tips that is obvious once you have thought about it, but many of us do not. The later you check in, the quicker your bag will make it to baggage reclaim in arrivals, perfect if you are in a hurry to start your holiday. Another bonus is that your bag will also likely be at the top of the pile of luggage in the hold, and therefore less likely to have the contents crushed and broken.
Of course, do not leave it so late that you miss your plane!
We have all been there, the gate number flicks up on the board and everyone starts running to ensure they are there first, only to find that they are queuing for another half hour. Standing in line to get on the plane will not make you get on any quicker, and likewise sitting on the plane waiting for everyone else to board will not make the plane take off any faster. Relax, amuse yourself in the nearby shops, and make use of the proper toilets. Let’s face it who actually prefers sitting in a tin can over having space to wander around a little longer.
Everyone wants to be sat in that sweet spot that is not too close to the toilets that you have a queue of people blocking you in, but close enough to the galley that you get the hottest meals and first dibs on the drinks. Most people believe that you will never know whether you have a good seat until you board, but this is wrong, website Seat Guru shows you the layout of the plane you will be on, and suggests the best available seats for you. With this information you will be in the best situation to book fantastic seats in advance.
So you have made it through check in only to be disappointed that they weren’t able to upgrade you. It is a little known fact that you can get upgraded once you are on the plane. Unfortunately upgrades are usually only given in exceptional circumstances as the cabin crew need to check that there is a meal available for you in the upgraded class and there are usually additional forms for them to complete setting out why you deserve to fly in anything other than cattle class. If you are well dressed, exceptionally beautiful, a friend of the cabin crew or pregnant then your chances of an upgrade are boosted.
In flight entertainment
A great tip; keep everything that you need for the duration of the flight in a small bag which you can pull out from your hand luggage so you do not need to keep fishing items out mid flight. This way you don’t need to hold up everyone else trying to file their way down the aisle and stow their bags in the lockers or irritate your fellow travellers if you are not sat in the aisle seat or your hand luggage is not immediately above you. Things to include; moisturiser (see below), headphones, pen, notebook, reading book, lip salve.
Do not drink water from the plane unless it comes from a bottle. This includes Tea and Coffee as although it is boiled it will not be filtered and there may be ‘sediment’ you will not want to swallow. As many as 1 in 4 planes do not meet the minimum American requirements for water quality when tested. This is mostly likely because the water input is only a couple of feet away from the sewage outlet pipe, both are usually serviced by the same person.
Make sure you request all your water to be served in a bottle. Why not pick up a large bottle once through security if you are flying long-haul, and also chewing gum as this releases saliva; helping to relieve the feeling of dehydration.
The atmosphere on planes is very drying for skin, we take in all the oxygen, and breath out carbon dioxide, so external air is pumped in, but at this height it contains very little moisture. A quick spritz of moisturising spray will keep your skin fresh, and for those who like to wear makeup on the plane get the best of both worlds and use tinted moisturiser or BB cream.
Carry around face or antibacterial wipes with you. Ordinarily I would not recommend them but on long flights they are perfect to help to freshen yourself when you cannot shower, clean up any accidental spills and most perhaps most importantly; wipe your tray! The fold down trays are only cleaned on night stopovers, and even then they are rarely properly disinfected, despite being regularly used for nappy changes so you may want to given them a little clean before you eat your dinner from them.
Bring a Blanket
Bring your own blanket, scarf or wrap. Something that is clearly not advertised by airlines is that the blankets that are provided for your comfort are about as hygienic as the fold down trays. If they have been folded and left in the back of your seat you can pretty much guarantee that at least 5 other people have used it since it was last cleaned, and even the blankets that come in plastic packaging cannot be guaranteed as clean. There have been reports of hair and baby sick found on them despite being fresh out of the packet.
No I am not trying to make you look stupid, jiggling about in your seat about really does help counter turbulence; lessening how much you feel the plane moving. You may feel like others around you will be judging you, but in truth they will likely be preoccupied by the turbulence and not notice. I am not suggesting that you should thrash about like you are having a fit; this will likely draw quite a bit of attention, but instead just wriggle about. Sitting over the wings of the plane will also afford you the smoothest ride.
We have all been there, the air crew come down the aisle dishing out trays of cold, nondescript mush, made all the more worse because everyone else on the plane has already chosen the chicken and you are left with whatever else is left. I am not guarantee gourmet cuisine by any means, but it is often the less popular vegetarian option of non western food is made in much smaller batches, is served first, and is usually less stodgy (which apparently helps lessen the effects of jet lag).
It is not all about planning what you will wear once you are on holiday, it is important to plan your plane outfit too. It is surprising how trying to stay comfortable for hours in a cramped space will make you want to re-arrange your underwear every five minutes or or tear off your favourite jeans so plan to wear something comfortable.
Planes can be cold so layering up allows you to find the most comfortable option, and wearing heavier clothes also saves on baggage weight. If you do get too warm then rolled up jumpers make for great pillows or back supports. The blankets provided are often too thin to keep you warm, and in any event you may not want to use them given their lack of cleanliness.
You have spent the last week hiking up mountains, you sit down on the plane and the first thing you do is kick off your shoes and peel off your socks. The stench of sweaty, dirty feet fills the cabin and everyone looks at you in disgust. While you may be aching to let your feet relax, make sure that if you are going to take your shoes off that you have clean feet and a clean pair of socks to wear. No one wants someone else’s smelly disgusting feet curled up on the seat next to them, or pressing into the seat in front.
You may be restricted by liquids but you are allowed to bring dried food on the plane with you. If you are flying with a budget airline on a four hour flight without free refreshments, you will be glad you packed those biscuits in your hand luggage. If you are looking for a sensible snack dried, unsalted, peanuts are a great choice as the protein in them keeps you feeling full.
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