If you are like me, and travel internationally from time to time, then you know that this is a love – hate relationship. Traveling is never something that we enjoy, and the only reason we truly enjoy it is because of the destination. If you want a pleasant and almost first class experience in economy, then keep reading.
1. Airlines & aircrafts
Make sure that you choose an airline that you are comfortable with and that you know. If you are a first time traveler, search online for feedback on people’s experience with that airline company. Make sure to read at least 30 positive, neutral and negative feedbacks to get a realistic picture what to expect. For example, some airlines offer more legroom than others. Also, choose your seat wisely. I always recommend aisle seats and sitting on the wings. Make sure to check seatguru to see which seats are better and some of those seats might cost you more.
2. Consult with your doctor
If you have any health issues and need to take medication with you, you will need a slip from your doctor. Make sure to consult with your doctor about your health and care during long trips. The last thing you want to do is be in pain for 12 hours. If you have a hard time falling asleep, consult with your doctor on some sleeping pills. If you are taking sleeping pills, make sure to consult with your doctor. If you are planning on sitting through the entire flight, then it’s recommended to take a low dose of aspirin to thin your blood to avoid blood clots (this is what I read online, I am not a physician so please make sure to consult with your doctor if you can or should take aspirin before a long flight).
Also, most flight offer special meals for people with special diets due to lifestyle, health or religious reasons. Some flights offer that you can book it when booking a ticket, while others require your book your special meal 24 – 48 hours before your flight.
3. Being comfortable
After your last layover before your long 8 – 12 hour trip, make sure to take some addition comfortable clothes with you in your carry on luggage. In business class, you get what I like to call “goodie bag” with a cotton pyjama and some essential skin care products. Instead of a pyjama, take a thin cotton summer tracksuit, clean cotton socks, and some thin summer sneakers or slippers. Change in the bathroom and get comfy. The last thing you want to do is travel in tight clothes and be uncomfortable.
You can also buy those neck pillows at the airport after check in to sleep more comfortable in a sitting position. Also, keep in mind that some airplanes have warmer and colder section of the cabin. I do recommend something like a hoody so that you can keep warm if necessary. If you aren’t going to use any of that material in the seat pocket, take it and store it in the overhead locker. It will give you more legroom.
4. Online entertainment
You can now check online what entertainment is offered on international flights. You can see which movies will be shown, TV shows, kid entertainment, games, education videos, music…etc. Make sure to skip those movies and watch them on flight. You can also bring a book with you or buy one on the airport right before your international trip. I am more of a book person, so I know I will be reading on flight. You can also bring your own movies, TV shows…etc on your iPod.
5. Personal hygiene
Make sure to take a shower before your long trip and apply a light scented or cotton scent deodorant, stay fresh and smell fresh. Do NOT apply any fragrances! Perfumes and fragrances can cause allergic reaction in some and might be nasally so aggressive that your traveling companion wants to vomit or even everyone sitting behind you. For example, my friend is allergic to lavender, the scent of lavender makes her get an allergic reaction and she vomits from the smell.
Make sure to wear cotton socks and cotton sneakers or real leather shoes. Everyone’s gets sweaty! If you have a foot odor problem, you can buy products to help control your feet odor. If you are going to change shoes in the airplane, make sure to you have an extra pair of clean socks and a zip lock bag. Store your old dirty socks in a ziplock bag to keep the scent in and away from you and everyone else.
If you sweat a lot, take an extra clean cotton shirt and change in the bathroom. What I recommend is just taking water and soap and washing yourself under your armpits and spray on some new deodorant and then put on a new shirt. The last thing you want is to be that person on the plane that has zero personal hygiene. We dislike those people; they make everyone’s flight less pleasant.
Make sure to wear some shoes in the lavatory (bathroom). It’s a shaky airplane, image all the pee that’s on the floor. It’s germ heaven. Call me a germaphobe, but it’s a fact not everyone has the same standards of personal hygiene. Antibacterial hand sanitizers are your friend. After you use the lavatory and before meals use it! Also, take some travel friendly personal hygiene wipes; you never know if you might need them.
An extra pair of underwear is also a good idea. If you want to truly feel refreshed after a long flight, change your undies.
6. Skin care
Make sure to buy more water after you pass all the checkpoints. You only get about 600 ml of water on an international flight. The humidity is around 10% what means that you will dehydrate fast and your jet lag will kick in harder when you land. Also, don’t forget to get a really good face and body cream to keep your skin hydrated. Avoid caffeine drinks (unless you are like 2 hours away from your destination), salty food and alcohol. Such things will advance dehydration and make your experience less enjoyable. If you want to wear makeup, I do recommend wearing a very hydrating BB or CC cream only. Got wrinkles or a very dry under eye area? Bring your most hydrating eye cream.
Since the humidity is very low you might get nosebleeds, like I do as soon as humidity hits below 30%. Make sure to buy a small travel friendly saline nasal spray.
If you wear contact, make sure to take your glasses and eye drops to keep your eyes hydrated. I do recommend taking off your contact lenses and wearing your glasses the entire flight; your eyes will thank you later.
Lip balm is also another product, which people tend to forget, you will get chapped lips if you for get your lip balm.
7. Noise and light reduction
Overseas flights are loud. The plane makes noises (people snore and machines make noises), which can be scary and annoying if you are trying to fall asleep. So, make sure to buy some noise cancelling earplugs and an eye mask.
Search Google for some in flight stretches and make sure to walk around a bit to get your blood flowing, to avoid getting stiff or anything worse.
9. Positive attitude
We are all in this together, no arguing or bad behavior. Remember to stay calm and polite you are not going anywhere for 12 hours so be an adult and a good neighbor. Make sure the person behind you isn’t eating when you want to lower your seat. Don’t be that douche that spills coffee on someone because you were too lazy or selfish to turn around and warn the person you were lowering your seat.
Make sure to check back soon, I will be showing you what I carry on my trips.