The world is full of people who love to get away from their home country and see the world, but absolutely hate flying. We’re not talking about a phobia of flying here – more the fluctuating pressure, the cold, recycled air, the constant growl of engines and the universally terrible food. Crying babies go without saying. If you love the destinations you visit but hate the process of getting to them, there are certain things you can do to take some of the stress and discomfort out of air travel. Here’s a guide to making that next dreaded flight a breeze.
Dress for the Occasion
If you want to sleep for as much of the flight as possible, wear clothes that are as close to jammies as practically possible. As far as we know, no one’s been forcibly ejected from a plane for turning up in pyjamas, but United Airlines have shown that there’s a first time for everything! Go for loose shirts, comfortable jeans or tracksuit bottoms, tennis shoes or flats, and a snuggly hoodie. You don’t want anything that will be pressing on your skin, and you certainly don’t want anything that’s going to constrict your blood vessels and cause your legs to start swelling. You may not look exactly glamorous, but none of your fellow passengers are going to care!
Block Out the Noise
If you’re always bothered by the noise of an engine during long flights, some noise-cancelling headphones can be an absolute godsend. Once you get the okay to switch on electronic devices, turn your headset on, sit back, and enjoy the ride without being disturbed by the engines or all the other irritating noises that can characterise plane journeys. If you don’t think it’s worth investing in noise-cancelling headphones just for this, a good set of earplugs are the next best thing.
Obviously, there are dangers to taking too much medication for every little discomfort you experience. However, if you don’t fly all that often, and when you do it’s a living hell, there are various medicines that can help make the whole experience more comfortable. Motion sickness can be treated effectively with Dramamine and Bonine, which can usually be picked up at the airport. If you’re due for a long flight and find it near impossible to sleep with all the noise and the cramped seats, then sleeping medication can also be a good idea. Just be sure to buy these in advance, and try them out at home before you decide to use them for the flight, as different bodies will react to these in different ways. Norethisterone tablets are used to delay a period, and can be a godsend if you’ve booked your flight for the wrong time of the month. Regular painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin can also be very handy. On the subject of headaches, make sure you’re drinking a lot more water than you usually would.
Fuel Up with Green Juice
A lot of people find that flying saps their energy like nothing else, but you can get around this issue by fuelling up at the airport with a big cup of fresh, green juice. With everyone so focussed on healthy eating these days, modern airports are full of juice bars, so head over to one and get a drink that’s both tasty and great for your body. If you’re flying from a small airport and can’t find a juice bar, a lot of newsstand-type places sell green juices and smoothies in their fridges. Always read the label – the more veggies you get in you before the flight, the better you’ll feel.
Plan your Time Wisely
If you’re a diehard movie buff, and want to watch three movies on a nine-hour transAtlantic flight, then that’s great; go ahead! On the other hand, if you tend to do this just because you’ve got nothing else to do, you might have a more pleasant flight by planning your time out more wisely. If you tend to experience nausea when you’re on a plane, don’t pull out your tablet and force yourself to catch up on work. Instead, plan for some kind of soothing, relaxing activity to pass the time. Download an album you’ve been meaning to listen to, or pick up a novel or magazine. If it’s practical, plan to make a start on some kind of personal project which you never seem to have the time for. This, believe it or not, can actually make you look forward to flying!
Get a Good Seat
Provided the airline you’re going with doesn’t charge extortionate amounts for a choice of seating, picking your seat in advance can make your flight much more enjoyable. Do you like to ease travel sickness by looking out the window, or rest your head against the wall so you can sleep? If so, get a window seat. Do you hate being cramped in those seats and like to walk up and down the aisles? Get an aisle seat. Do you like being squeezed between two people for hours on end because you’re crazy? Get one in the middle! When you’re doing something that you don’t enjoy, little changes like this can make all the difference to your mood and overall comfort.
Obviously, there isn’t much you can do to feel good about something you know you never enjoy. However, psyching yourself out for that long and arduous flight can go a long way in helping you feel a little better about the situation. When the gate opens and people start filing on, don’t think about the long wait and all the discomfort ahead of you. Instead, think about your destination; the friends and family you’ll reunite with, or the new and exciting culture that you’ll be able to sample for the first time. Seen as you’re reading this, you’re probably fretting about your next flight way too much as it is. It’s hard for people who hate flying, but start trying to cheer up! When you look back on all the holidays you’ve had, the unpleasant flights aren’t the details that stick out, are they?