Packing for a new destination is nerve-wracking (What should I wear? What meds should I bring? What cosmetics will I need?), but packing for a 14-hour flight will guarantee that your time on the airplane will be as comfortable as humanly possible.
Most air travelers know cramped spaces are waiting for them when they get on a plane. If you are like my husband, he brings accessories that help him zone out. His routine begins by first plugging into his tablet the minute the airplane reaches device-compliant altitude. He then puts on his headphones, and finally pulls his baseball cap over his eyes. He’s out for the count!
Now if you are like me who cannot fall asleep sitting essentially upright because that seat doesn’t recline enough in Economy Class, the next 14 hours can become torture. Flying as often as I do, I have gleaned over the years methods that have helped ease those long hours of flight. Maybe my routine may just work for you.
I always bring a sweatshirt or soft comfy jacket because not moving around causes my body to run cold. Slippers or fluffy socks are a must. Shoes simply become uncomfortable for such long periods of travel.
I bring a carry-on that will also work as a footstool. Raising my feet every now and then helps take the pressure off those limbs.
A good book, tablet, iPad, or other electronic device help break up the trip as you read, listen or watch your favorite forms of entertainment.
Bring comfort food, snacks, or a thermos to keep drinks warm. Of course, your thermos has to be empty while going through TSA. But after you’re through, purchasing decaf tea or coffee may be soothing. Caffeine and alcohol exacerbate dehydration which is occurring in your body at 40,000 feet. This will only add to your discomfort, possibly encouraging headaches or muscle cramps.
Walking and stretching should be a must for everyone. Moving around gets your blood circulating. It’s healthy and will help you from cramping up. I can’t tell you how many folks I see finally standing after the plane has landed and cringe as their muscles protest at the sudden movement.
Finally, if you want to sleep, try different head supports. Those soft U-shape neck pillows didn’t work for me. I saw an advertisement online for a crazy contraption called Turtle Pillow. I was hesitant at first but finally bought one. It works for me.
An Upgraded 3D contoured sleep mask that doesn’t press against my eyes completes my sleep time routine.
Treating your space like your room helps ease the long flight. Having favorite things organized and easily accessible helped me to endure those tiring journeys a little more.