10 tips for preparing for long flights

Bien preparer un long voyage en avion


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Travel tips & advice

If you want to travel these days, you can get to practically anywhere. All you need is a plane ticket. But beware! A weekend flight to london is not the same as a long-haul flight to new zealand. Whether it is an organized trip or individual vacation: to reach your dream destination, you may have to fly for hours and hours.

In an ideal world, everyone could travel comfortably in "business class". However, the majority of travelers travel in "economy class". To make the trip as pleasant as possible, it is important to prepare for a long flight. The longer the trip, the better the preparation must be. That's why we've put together 10 tips for you to make your air travel as comfortable as possible, so you arrive at your destination well-rested.

1. Drink enough water

If you're in for a long flight, your body needs to be well hydrated. Ideally, you should start hydrating 48 hours before your trip. Here's how to thin your blood and make sure your body has enough water to drink. Keep your body hydrated even during the flight and drink at least half a liter of water every three hours.

Adequate hydration reduces the risk of phlebitis and other thromboses. You also prevent the eyes and skin from drying out. If you don't feel like drinking water, green tea is a good alternative. Beer and all other alcoholic beverages as well as caffeine are not recommended as they promote dehydration.


2. Eat light meals

Light food is one of the easiest measures for a comfortable air travel. Choose salads as well as white meat and be cautious with sauces and cheese. If you are worried about being hungry on board, have a small snack before boarding. If possible, stick to your usual meal times to ease the strain on your digestive system. You can also take fruit in your hand luggage. This way you will always have a light and digestible snack with you.

Remember that gases expand at high altitudes. That's why it's best for your digestion to consciously choose your meals before and during the flight. By doing this, you are taking care of your own well being, but also the well being of the other guests…

Diet plays an important role in blood circulation. Foods rich in vitamin K promote blood thickening. Conversely, foods rich in salicylate have a positive effect on blood thinning. Therefore, prefer raisins, oranges and cranberries for your snack.

3. Put on comfortable clothes

If you go outside in cold weather, dress warmly. In hot weather choose light clothing. The right clothing is also needed when flying. The dry air on the plane alternates between hot and cold. Space is limited and the body is on a roller coaster ride because of atmospheric pressure, which can also swell the stomach. These are all factors to consider when traveling.

If you are prone to circulatory problems, bring socks or support stockings, for example. Remember that these tools are not just for the elderly: circulatory problems affect all age groups. For those who value a stylish appearance, nowadays there are support stockings in a "business look". They are discreet and indistinguishable from classic socks. It may be necessary to consult a doctor to ensure that you receive the appropriate model. Special socks or support stockings also prevent swelling of the ankles and feet.

Tight pants and shirts are uncomfortable at high altitudes. Take loose fitting clothes with you. Choose thermally flexible fabrics. A light but useful jacket that can be opened or closed depending on the temperature is ideal. Nothing is more annoying than going back and forth to the luggage compartment. You can also wear a hooded jacket. It helps against drafts, protects you from noise and allows you to isolate yourself from other passengers on the plane. So immerse yourself in a soft and comfortable cocoon where you will find your rest.

4. Support your neck

A good quality neck support pillow is one of the most important for a comfortable flight. English speakers call this accessory a "game changer" – a trump card that makes a real difference.

There are different types of support pillows to avoid stiffening your neck. Some are inflatable, others are foam. Choose a model that fits snugly around the neck and also supports the atlas (the first cervical vertebra). The risk of a stiff neck or a migraine can be reduced in this way.

The cold drafts in the airplane cabin are another challenge. A warm, fluffy scarf can help here. The cloth can also serve as a support for the neck. Your neck will thank you.

Un bon tour de coup pour un long voyage en avion

5. Get up and move around

Regular standing is an important measure to promote blood circulation and thus reduce the risk of thrombosis and phlebitis. In addition, it also increases your sense of well-being when you exercise. If you change positions frequently, you will feel better about your body.

Stretch your legs for a few minutes every three to four hours and do some stretching exercises. Circle your ankles and tilt your feet back and forth. This will give you a feeling of lightness in your lower limbs. It's a welcome change for your body.

6. Do something good for yourself

The atmosphere in an airplane cabin can quickly become uncomfortable because of little things. It's therefore a good idea to increase your comfort with a few aids.

– prevent dry eyes: remember to moisturize your eyes, for example, with an appropriate product such as eye drops. It may sound like a trifle, but if you have sensitive eyes, preventing them from drying out is a big advantage. This way you can comfortably watch a movie or read a good book on board to pass the time.

– calm yourself with pleasant fragrances: take a small vial of an essential oil or an already-made anti-stress blend with you on your trip. Apply the oil on a cotton ball or on the wrist. Scent provides relaxation and masks the unpleasant smells on the plane, such as those that arise after eating.

– take a sleeping mask with you: at the latest when you want to sleep but your neighbor turns on the light to read, a sleep mask is worth its weight in gold. Airlines provide masks to passengers, but they are often of poor quality and provide little coverage. Why not get a comfortable and soft mask that will pleasantly accompany you to the land of dreams?

– ensure silence with earplugs or other soundproofing: noise is the biggest disruptive factor for many people on a long plane trip. Engine noise, turbulent children, crying newborns, loud snoring and many other sources of noise create a restless atmosphere. Isolate yourself from ambient noise and replace it with a pleasant source, such as soothing music or a humorous podcast. Create your personal comfort zone. You can also use earplugs to block out the noise.

– keep your mouth feeling fresh: good oral hygiene is a real source of well-being. A kit with a small toothbrush and toothpaste that can be used after meals or in the morning is part of any long trip – even on a plane.

7. Choose the right seat

Pay attention to airline specifications for seat size and legroom. Even within the same economy class, space between seats can vary depending on location within the plane.

You may also not want to be too close to the toilet? Find the best seats on the seatguru website. Simply enter the name of the airline, the flight number, your destination and the date of travel (if available), and you will get an overview. It may happen that several types of airplanes are indicated, as the airline is not yet 100% sure which one will be used for your long trip. In the overview you will find the dimensions of the seats, the available space and possible restrictions on seat inclination or in-flight entertainment.

Window or aisle? Each choice comes with its own advantages. The window seat gives you a good view and you can lean your head better if you don't have a neck rest. An aisle seat is convenient if you want to get up regularly, but has the disadvantage of waking up every time your seatmate goes to the bathroom.

Choisir ses sèges pour un long voyage en avion

8. Fly at the right time

Stress is a common factor when traveling by air. The stress starts with the traffic jam on the road, continues with the search for a parking space, and drags on to check-in and security screening.

Therefore, the best tip for a pleasant flight is: take enough time!

If you don't want to wait long on uncomfortable seats in the airport, just ask to stay in one of the available lounges. Many assume they are reserved for "business class" passengers, but that is not necessarily the case. For a fee of around 30 francs, you can gain access to these lounges, which are quiet and peaceful, and where the seats are often much more comfortable. Drinks and light meals are included in many places, so spending two to three hours in the lounge doesn't necessarily cost more than a sandwich and a drink in one of the restaurants in your terminal.

9. Take a chewing gum during take-off and landing

If you're suffering from the pressure change and getting an earache, a simple tip can be very effective: chew a piece of gum. This is a very effective measure to avoid this problem. If you don't like to chew, move your jaw by simulating a yawn at regular intervals.

10. Prepare your luggage well

No one likes it when personal items are confiscated and disposed of during security screening.

To avoid this, it is important to read the airline requirements and understand that they are mandatory rules and not recommendations! Be careful what you carry on you, especially liquids and dangerous or flammable items. Pay attention to the specific regulations of the departure and return airports. Zurich airport, for example, prohibits the transport of lithium batteries in the hold (z.B. Power bank). These batteries must be carried in your hand luggage, even if the airline allows them to be transported in the hold.

With these 10 tips you will be well prepared for a long flight and you will enjoy the trip like never before. So, when do you take off?

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