Long flights leave many of us feeling irritable and bad-tempered. But you don’t need to enrol in the nearest meditation or yoga class as soon as you land after your next trip!
Here are seven of my favourite ways to beat jet-lag blues and make your next flight more comfortable.
Travel Tip #1: Choose A Morning Flight
As a general rule, air traffic volume typically reduces significantly at night. Flights are often delayed due to the knock-on effects of late arrivals and departures throughout the day.
So, choosing an early morning flight or one with fewer connections may reduce the chance you’ll be delayed on your next flight.
There will be some exceptions to the rule. You may not be as lucky if you’re leaving from an airport that regularly experiences early morning fog.
Travel Tip #2: Choose The Special Menu
One of my favourite travel tips is free and simple! Order a special meal when you next fly.
Special meals are often served first! And they’re made by hand, rather than mass produced by machines, and they are relatively fresh.
Make sure you reserve your special meal at least the day before you fly.
Travel Tip #3: Choose Seat Wisely
Quite often, service can be better at the back of the plane. Sitting in the front rows will mean you’re first to disembark and chow down on your preferred meal option.
But flight crews openly admit they run the gauntlet of passengers wanting extra pillows, blankets or bottles of wine.
If you choose a seat nearer the back, flight attendants can quietly slip you another bottle of Shiraz or the only spare blanket left on the plane.
Travel Tip #4: Choose Your Drinks Wisely
Avoid coffee and tea like the plague when flying. The water used to make it often comes from the plane’s tap water supplies rather than from bottles.
Flight attendants won’t touch the stuff, so why would you? Studies have identified E.coli and other bacteria lurking in the water.
For those of you travelling with babies, think twice before filling their bottle with the airline’s tap water. Ask for bottled water instead.
Travel Tip #5: Never Use The Seat Pockets
Tray tables and seat pockets are a cesspools of germs. They are cleared of rubbish but are very rarely cleaned thoroughly.
Flight attendants, I’ve met, regularly find used handkerchiefs, underwear and worn socks, used sick bags, apple cores, and many other disgusting items. You have permission to scream!
Yes, I know a filthy plane isn’t going to stop you from flying. But think twice before before squeezing your expensive new iPad in someone else’s rubbish tip.
Travel Tip #6: Dress For All Seasons
It might be tempting to look like a gym-bunnie or wear your new holiday shorts and jandals (flip-flops) on your next long-haul flight to Fiji, The Caribbean, or some other exotic destination.
But we all know that pilots take great pleasure in cranking up the air-conditioning to antarctic levels.
Dress like grandma on the plane! Use sensible loose fitting layers that you can add or peel off when required.
It’s worth noting that some airlines and countries have strict dress codes for passengers. They may refuse to board you and your two piece bathing costume.
Travel Tip #7: Chillax!
Remember, flying is part of the adventure! Not everything will go according to schedule. That’s what makes travelling exciting!
So sit back and relax, interact with your neighbour in the middle seat. Grab a wine, tune into the film you’ve chosen and enjoy the trip! You’ll have landed before you even know it!