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When you think of long flights, do you immediately envision crying babies, cramped seats, and annoying seatmates? Unfortunately, that’s what you get many times. But, it is possible to have a pleasant flight, no matter how long it is. These tips will show you how to actually enjoy long flights.
How long is a long flight?
There is no standard definition as to what qualifies as a long flight (otherwise known as a long haul flight). Some people say it is any flight over 6 hours. Others believe a long flight is at least 11 hours.
Personally, I think any flight that last 4 or more hours is long. This is especially true if you are flying with kids.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter what you consider long. While these tips are geared towards longer flights, they will make your flight of any length more enjoyable.
How do I know these tips will work?
So, how do I know these tips will work for you? I am confident they will work for you because my husband and I use them ourselves. And they work for us.
My husband used to be terrible on airplanes. It was as if he was hit with a bout of ADHD every time we flew. He would always get fidgety 30 minutes into a 2 hour flight. It drove me crazy!
So, I dreaded the first long flight we took. It was 8 hours in the air from Houston, TX to Honolulu, HI. Yet, surprisingly, my husband did remarkably well, thanks to these tips.
Tip #1: Embrace it for what it is
The best tip I can give you when you are learning how to enjoy long flights is to embrace them for what they are.
Go into the flight knowing that it is going to take a long time. Many times, simply embracing the task ahead can go a long way to making it a better experience.
And the fact of the matter is, you can’t make your flight go any faster, so you might as well accept it for what it is and just relax.
This is the tip that helped my husband more than any other. Once he wrapped his head around the fact that he was going to be on a plane for a large chunk of the day, he was able to sit back and relax.
Tip #2: Focus on your comfort
The next step in learning how to enjoy long flights is to focus on your comfort. Because the more comfortable you are, the more enjoyable your flight will be.
Airplane seats, in general, are uncomfortable. But, there are some things you can do to make your flight more relaxing.
You can make your flight more comfortable by:
- wearing comfy clothes
- dressing in layers
- bringing your travel pillow
- wearing loose fitting shoes
- having good quality headphones
For more comfort tips, see how to maximize your comfort on long flights.
Tip #3: Prepare for common annoyances
Another way to make your long flights better is to prepare for the annoying situations you are most likely to encounter on a plane. These include crying babies, loud talkers, and people encroaching on your space.
To block out irritating noises, invest in a good pair of noise canceling headphones for your flight.
For me, the biggest annoyance is people creeping into my space. To prevent this, think about paying a little extra to pick your seat.
Sitting in the bulkhead seats will give you a bit more leg room. This will also eliminate the possibility of the person in front of you reclining their seat.
Hate airplane snacks? Bring your own to curb those midflight hunger pains.
Tend to get chilly on airplanes? Pack a sweater or small blanket in your carryon.
If sitting for long periods of time cause aches and pains, bring along a small bottle of pain reliever and try to get up and stretch every hour or so during the flight.
Tip #4: Expect the unexpected
Many times, flights become long and miserable because of unexpected delays. You can prevent this by expecting and preparing for these delays.
When you prepare for delays, they won’t spoil your flight.
Some ways to prepare for unexpected delays are:
- pack extra snacks for yourself and your kids
- don’t book tight connections
- give yourself plenty of time between your scheduled arrival time and your first activity or reservation
- take more entertainment than you think you will need
- make sure to keep any needed medications in your carryon bag
- if you are traveling with a baby, pack more diapers and food than you think you will need
- take a change of clothes for your kids, just in case
Tip #5: Indulge in your guilty pleasures
The last way you can enjoy long flights is to indulge in your guilty pleasures.
One of the best parts about being stuck on a plane for hours at a time is that there’s not much you can do. Therefore, take advantage of this and use it as a chance to catch up on your guilty pleasures.
It doesn’t matter whether that is sleeping, reading romance novels, listening to podcasts, or watching reality television. Use the flight as an excuse to sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Even if you have to do some work during your flight, you should still have plenty of time on long flights to devote to your favorite guilty pleasure.
Enduring long flights can be miserable. But, these tips will teach you how to enjoy long flights so you can have more fun traveling.
For help planning your next trip, see how to plan an epic family vacation.
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