For many travelers, a long flight gone awry can immediately spoil the prospect of a pleasurable vacation or productive business trip. While nothing can guarantee sunny skies (figuratively speaking), here are a few tips on how to make even the longest of plane rides less stressful. From feeling great, to sleeping well, and looking good right off the plane -- we have you covered.
Pack Smart: Preparing for a comfortable plane ride begins at home. Think of the restrictions placed on carry-on liquids as working in your favor, as you can easily stock up on travel-sized versions of many medicines and toiletries at your local drugstore. Don't forget to pack them in clear plastic bags, and make sure to tuck them away in your carry-on luggage (see the Transportation Security Administration's carry-on guidelines here.)
Be sure to bring along any prescription medicines, as it may be hard to secure them at your final destination. Basics such as a hydrating lip balm, dual-use hand and facial moisturizer, travel-sized deodorant, breath mints, saline solution (for contact lens wearers), and medicinal eye drops are all items which can go a long way in making extended plane travel more comfortable.
Bring the Essentials: Be sure to bring a few medicines to specifically ward off the most common physical concerns which can arise when traveling. The essentials include baby aspirin for the prevention of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots caused by physical inactivity; anti-indigestion medication in pill form (no need to elaborate on this point.), Dramamine to ward off nausea and dizziness, and Cyproflaxin, which can treat the onset of any bacterial infections. Bringing these treatments on board with you will insure easy access to them when you may need them most.
Reserve the Type of Seat that Works Best for You: Whether you'd like first class, an exit row, or that last aisle window seat, be sure to make the appropriate arrangements when booking your trip. Don't forget to make use of online tools like SeatGuru to guide you in selecting the best seats, and be sure to take advantage of early check-in, when you can inquire about the availability of preferred seats and possibly securing an upgrade.
Eat Up: Let's be honest: most of the food served on flights leaves much to be desired. Treat yourself to a large meal before flying (do your best to stick to healthier, light options) and make sure to pack enough snacks for the ride. Granola bars, roasted nuts, dried fruit and whole-grain crackers are great snacks that won't be confiscated at security. Your tummy (and wallet) will thank you once you've checked out the unhealthy and overpriced snacks being offered on board. An additional tip: take advantage of airport deli kiosks and purchase a large bottle of water in preparation for your flight -- remember, staying hydrated on long flights should be a foremost priority.