It doesn’t matter how many times you travel the world as there is one part which never gets better – the flight. Maybe you hate boarding a plane and your knuckles clutch at the hand rest out of habit. Or, perhaps the boredom ruins the pre-journey excitement. Whatever it is, a long haul flight is never enjoyable even if it isn’t horrible.

While the average traveler grins and bears it and accepts it is an occupational hazard, you don’t have to do the same. Long haul flights might be a hassle now, but they don’t have to be as long as you take the right precautions. ‘Seriously, my fear of flying or boredom never has to get in the way again?’ Yep, that is the case with the following tips.

Here are the things you can do to prevent a long haul flight being a pain in the ass.

Get Over Your Fears

Flying will always be one of the worst parts of traveling until you get over the fear. Okay, so it is acceptable to be afraid of a flying metal machine which reaches heights of 35,000 feet. But, one way to stop the fear taking over is to remember that air travel is safer than driving. On average, nearly 1.3 million people die per year due to a road accident, which comes to more than 3,000 deaths a day. The number of jet liner accidents, however, is 1,525 from 1959 to 2015, which is 27 deaths a year. If the stats don’t ease your nerves, there are other ways such as sleeping. After all, if you are asleep, you won’t know if you are scared or not. Or, you can immerse yourself in meditation or talk to a fellow passenger. When you meditate or talk, you forget about your fears and they aren’t as strong.

Upgrade

Are you a person who never has any luck? If you are, the idea of an upgrade to first or business class is laughable. But, the thing with luck is that you make your own in this life. People like to imagine it happens to those of us with a three-leaf clover or leprechaun gold, yet that isn’t the case. Anyone who wants an upgrade has to ask at the desk. Here is how the conversation goes. ‘Excuse, me – do you have any better seats available?’ ‘Of course, sir/madam, let me see what I can do.’ Even if you aren’t lucky, the worst they can say is no and you move onto the next coping mechanism. Of course, you can buy a first-class ticket if you feel flush or fancy a taste of the good life.

Cathay_Pacific_77W_business_class_seat

Wikipedia

Go Hollywood

The best thing about flying on an international flight is the entertainment. A quick glance at the package on qatarairways.com and you will understand why. Whatever you do, don’t neglect the headset, even if the selection isn’t up to your standards. Yes, you might have watched the films once or twice before, or the movies might not appeal. Still, there is no better way to waste time than to immerse yourself in the Hollywood experience. Let’s face it – we have all sat through movies we didn’t love. But, it was worth it as the film was watchable and did the job. This is the case on long haul flights. A tip: look through the whole collection and not just the featured titles. If you are lucky, you can find something which you have never seen or a guilty pleasure which you will watch again.

Pack Extra Entertainment Essentials

What you don’t want to do is leave the entertainment down to the gods in Universal Studios. Sometimes, it pays off and you get to spend the entire flight watching movies you love. However, this is pure happenstance and the opposite could happen just as easily. With a variety of devices in your carry-on, you know the entertainment is guaranteed for the duration of the journey. Do you have a tablet device like an iPad? Good, fill it up with films, TV series and music and pack it just in case. Even your phone will come in handy thanks to the App Store or Google Play. As long as you are proactive, you can buy or rent entertainment and download it onto your cell. And, with DontPayFull.com it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. One thing to keep in mind is the charger. No one wants to settle into a long flight only to find their devices are flat. Plus, the majority of airlines have plug sockets or USB ports onboard.

Do Your Work

Are you traveling for work purposes? If you are, your laptop is your best friend. With it by your side, you can get stuck into the files and spreadsheets which have been cluttering the storage. Yes, working on a flight is not the best way to spend 10 hours. In fact, the thought is enough to send shivers down any sane person’s spine. Still, it is better than staring out of the window or trying to sleep. Even if you aren’t on a business trip, it doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. For all you travelers, the odds are high you have a blog. So, don’t be afraid to whip out your device and fix any bugs or issues it might have. The savvy individuals will think, ‘how can I work when I am 35,000 feet in the sky?’ Well, airlines like Etihad and Emirates both have internet connections onboard. Anyway, it is possible to work these days without being online. It is hard, but it isn’t impossible.

Pack Strategically

There is an art to packing for a long flight. Throwing as much gear into a bag as possible is a mistake, first and foremost. Not only will it potentially cost more if the bag gets checked, but it might not fit in the lockers above your head. Any bags which don’t fit have to go under the seat, and this will impact your leg room. Airplanes are notorious for being cramped, so don’t make it worse by being the enemy. However, there are things which will make the journey easier. You already know about additional entertainment, but there is extra comfort like a neck rest or pillow. Also, you might need a jacket or a blanket in case you get cold during the night. The key is to list what you need, might need and want. Anything you need should go into the rucksack, while the others need deliberating. As a rule, only take the things you want if there is enough space. Otherwise, they must stay at home until you get back. Don’t worry; you can say goodbye before you leave.

Don’t Try And Catch Up On Sleep

Does this statement sound familiar? ‘At least I can sleep on the plane?’ It should because the majority of fliers think this way when dealing with a long trip. As a result, the idea of boarding the plane tied might appeal. It shouldn’t interest you as sleeping on a plane is an art. For one thing, you have to sit upright with no neck or head support. Also, they might be two strangers either side who don’t appreciate being a makeshift stand. Then, there is the noise and the temperature to deal with as planes are loud and surprisingly cool. Quite simply, many reasons could prevent you from sleeping the whole way. If you are already tired, this could put you in a world of trouble as soon as the plane leaves the tarmac. Instead, get a good night’s sleep and try and nap intermittently throughout. That way, you can waste time without relying on fall asleep for 12 hours.

Take Care Of Your Health

Because flights can last upwards of 20 hours, there are some serious health concerns. Dehydration is a great example. Yes, there are lots of fluids onboard and they are free. But, as the airline doesn’t charge for drinks, it is easy to go overboard, metaphorically speaking. Instead of drinking water, lots of people decide to have alcohol and take advantage of the free bar. On a normal ten-hour flight, a man can lose 2lts of water while a woman can shed 1.4lts. So, from London to Sydney, it is possible to lose 8% of your bodily water. Thanks to alcohol, you can double the amount. The best option is to stay away from beer and wine and stick to water. If you want to take the edge off, try and keep a bottle close by to replace the fluids. Dehydration is one health concern, but there are others like deep vein thrombosis, the flu or a cold. For more information, onhealth.com has tips which are worth considering.

Flying is a contradiction – no one wants to do it, yet you do anyway. After all, it is not possible to see the world if you won’t soar the skies. With the tips above, there is no reason to let a long journey bother you again. Indeed, you might even enjoy the experience.