International flights can be exhausting. It might seem counterintuitive — how could you be so tired when all you did was sit for 12 hours? However, anyone who has been on an international flight knows that more often than not, you leave that flight feeling groggy, gross, and braindead. While long flights are unavoidable when you travel internationally for work, they don’t have to be completely miserable. In this blog, we will go over some tips of how you can make the most of your international flight with some simple preparation.
Mind Your Meals
Depending on the airline you have selected, you may or may not receive a meal on your international flight. Make sure that you know this and plan ahead, because one very easy way to make yourself miserable is to not eat for more than 12 hours. Regardless of whether or not you are supplied with a meal, consider packing your own food. While many airlines provide quality meals, others will not, and just because something is put in front of you, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. While you cannot bring liquids on board, you can bring solid food, so packing something that you know won’t upset your stomach is wise. It is very common for people to experience intestinal distress when flying because the higher in elevation we go, the more the gas in our intestines expand. You don’t need to put your digestive system through any more by forcing it to work over time digesting fatty foods, carbonated drinks, or very large meals. Pack a small, healthy meal for yourself of fruits, veggies, and lean protein.
Because the air inside planes is much drier than we are used to at sea level, it’s common to experience dehydration while flying. This can be part of the rest why you feel so poorly after an international flight. You have just spent the last several houses dehydrated, and this may manifest in a headache, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, and eventually, more serious health issues. Avoid this by making sure to drink plenty of water once you’re on board the plane. In addition, abstain from drinking alcohol, as this further dehydrates the body.
To make sure you don’t have to wait around for a refill, bring a refillable water bottle on your flight. You can fill it up in the terminal before you board, or ask your flight attendant to fill it at the beginning of the flight. This way, as they are running around helping other passengers, you can rest assured you have plenty of water to tide you over.
Flying comes with some little discomforts that might make flying a more miserable experience for you. For example, many people experience ear pain during landing. If this is the case for you, make a point to wake up an hour before landing. When you are asleep, the tubes responsible for air pressure in your middle ear close slightly; when you’re aware, they are fully open. You can also chew gum, suck on a hard candy, or swallow to help open the tubes.
Other people also experience motion sickness in flight. If you have this problem, try to get a window seat over the wings. In addition, you can try sucking on a ginger hard candy, or consuming powdered ginger, which is supposed to help with nausea. If your motion sickness is very severe, talk to your doctor about prescribing an antiemetic drug before you fly.
If your issue is that flying makes you anxious, try bringing a pair of earplugs to make it easier for you to take a nap on board. Alternatively, you could use a white noise app and headphones to reduce the impact of the noisiness of the flight on your nerves. You may also try meditation to relax you.
Get Up and Move Around
Your discomfort after flying may be due to the fact you have sat still for too long. In fact, sitting for long periods of time can lead to blood clots in the legs. Make a point to get up and move around once and awhile. If you’re drinking as much water as you should, an added bonus is that you will have to get up and use the lavatory more often.
Bring the Right Entertainment
If you are sitting there, staring at the blank screen in front of you for the whole flight, it is no wonder that you’re miserable. Alternatively, you may have brought a book or magazine, but find that it just can’t hold your attention. The key to the right in-flight entertainment is that it has to be something that is going to make the time pass quicker, which means it needs to grab your attention. Whether you download the entirety of Games of Thrones to binge watch or you find a mystery novel that you just can’t put down, make sure your in-flight entertainment is such that you will hardly mind the hours passing you by.
Unfortunately, another part of what makes long flights tough is unavoidable: the people. Spending hours cramped up like sardines can be taxing, and you might be feeling less than warm and fuzzy about your fellow passengers. When you feel your patience being tested, keep in mind that no one is entirely comfortable on an international flight, especially if they are not as prepared as you. Make a point to be nice to others, and you will find that you can be a lot of relaxed on the flight with positive energy surrounding you.
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