Flying first class is the best way to arrive at your destination well rested. For most of us, though, that simply isn’t feasible. For the rest of us who are packed like sardines in coach, here are some simple and clever tips for arriving at your destination refreshed, even after that 18-hour ultra-long-haul flight to Singapore.
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Arrive at the airport relaxed
Nothing will stress you out more than running to catch a flight. Make sure that you arrive at the airport early. The idea is that you should be able to have some time to relax, do some shopping, or get a bite to eat before boarding your flight. Plan to arrive at the airport two hours before your flight, three hours for an international flight. Showing up early will give you time to deal with any unexpected issues during check-in or going through security.
Getting to the airport in a timely manner will require that you plan accordingly. Pack the night before and have your bags ready to go in the morning. Make sure that your transportation is arranged the day before as well. If you plan to drive yourself to the airport, make sure that you have enough gas to get there. It’s a good idea to arrange transportation at a set time so that you don’t run the risk of leaving too late.
These days in economy class, the provided in-flight amenities have dwindled down to nothing. Depending on the flight, the only thing you might be provided is an in-flight magazine. Bring your own supplies to make your flight more comfortable. For sleeping, bring a pair of earplugs and an eye shade as well as a travel pillow and small blanket (make sure it’s not too bulky!).
Bring whatever entertainment you will need on the flight, such as magazines, movies, or music. Pack important items, such as your passport, cash, and travel itinerary, somewhere that is convenient and secure. Always pack an extra pair of clothes in your carry-on bag as well as any prescriptions so that if your bag is mishandled or if you get stuck somewhere, you’ll have everything you need and won’t have to spend money on unexpected expenses.
During the flight
Board as early as you can so that you don’t have to worry about finding space for your carry-on bag and so you can settle into your seat and get comfortable.
On a long international flight, meals are usually provided. You should eat every meal that is provided by the flight attendants. Most meals are served at the beginning, middle, and end of the flight, depending on how long the flight is.
Ask your flight attendant to wake you for meals. Between meals, take naps or relax by reading a book or watching a movie.
Make sure that you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. If you bring an empty bottle, the flight attendants will usually refill it for you.
Bring lotion and lip balm to keep your skin hydrated.
Make sure that you get up a few times during the flight to stretch out.
It is sometimes recommended to get up every two hours; however, this is not always feasible on large planes with lots of people. Try to get up every three hours, at least.
Sleeping on an airplane
For many people, sleeping on an airplane is a nearly impossible endeavor. If you are one of those people, try using earplugs and an eye shade. These really do make a big difference, although it may take you a couple times to get used to having something over your eyes.
One or two alcoholic beverages will also help you sleep; however, remember that the affects of alcohol are amplified at high altitudes.
Recently, a trend has emerged where passengers self-medicate to sleep on long flights. This is not advisable. Prescription sleep aids should only be taken as directed by a physician and over-the-counter sleep aids should only be taken as directed on the box.
Never take more than the recommended dosage and unless your idea of arriving relaxed is a complimentary ambulance pick-up at the gate, you should never take sleep aids with alcohol.
By following these simple tips, you will arrive at your destination refreshed and well rested, ready to tackle that business meeting or city tour. Give yourself lots of time to get to the airport. Make sure you pack everything you’ll need for your flight, and remember to stay hydrated, well fed, and well rested on your flight.
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