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12 Ways to be Comfortable on a Long Flight

12 Ways to be Comfortable on a Long Flight

If you want to get from A to B, and A and B are far apart, you’ll have to opt for a long flight – something nobody really likes.

Long flights might feel like time spent in limbo. Sometimes you might get nauseous, curse that crying baby, sigh at the sight of the meal, and then try to catch some sleep in vain. But a long flight doesn’t have to equal suffering. When you need to travel a long distance, you might as well sit back, relax and make the best of it.

You can try to turn the unavoidable into the enjoyable and learn to appreciate your in-flight time. After all, being in flight is a special situation, where you can use everything you have to your disposal to your full advantage. You can learn to find the silver lining in being holed up in your seat for many hours.

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Here are 12 ways to be comfortable on a long flight to help you enjoy your trip as much as possible:

1. Wear comfortable clothes

If you want to be able to sleep on the flight, try to wear clothes that are as close to pajamas as possible (not that I’m expecting you to show up in teddy-bear-print on your next Transatlantic!) Loose-fitting shirts, comfortable jeans, flats or tennis shoes, and a hoodie are my in-flight uniform. By all accounts, we want to avoid that anything starts to press into your skin – and you certainly want to avoid the example of Lady Gaga, whose legs started swelling because she tried to rock the plane in an uber-tight outfit and mile-high heels.

2. Escape from the noise

For long flights, noise-canceling headphones are the best thing since sliced bread. Once you are allowed to operate electronic devices, switch on your headset and enjoy a ride without the disturbances of the plane engines and all other noise that comes with too many people in a confined area. If you don’t own noise-canceling headphones and don’t want to invest in them yet, then bring earplugs.

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3. Evade the light

If you want to sleep during the flight, bring a sleeping mask. Simply putting on your headset and sleeping mask can also mentally prepare you to sleep during the flight.

4. Drink enough water

While on the flight, it’s important to hydrate, hydrate and hydrate. Stay clear of alcohol and tea or coffee. Alcohol impairs your ability to sleep, as do caffeinated drinks. Moreover, these beverages dehydrate, while your body will need the exact opposite. So grab a large bottle of water after airport security, and try to finish it by the end of your flight.

5. Hydrate your skin

The air quality in the cabin can be detrimental to your skin. Before you start cracking up everywhere, be gentle with your body and apply some cream on your face, lips, hands – wherever you’d put some extra if you decided to go for a walk on a winter’s day.

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6. Fuel up in the airport with a green juice

Nothing does as many wonders to your energy levels (for so little effort) as the punch-impact of a cup of fresh, green juice. Airports these days are full of juice bars – so give yourself the opportunity to indulge in something delicious that’s good for you. If you can’t find a juice bar, most newspaper stands also sell bottled green juices and/or smoothies. The more veggies, the better!

7. Use your time wisely

If you plan to watch three movies during your flight because you absolutely love movies, that is fine. On the other hand, if you watch them simply because you don’t know what else to do, then you should have planned ahead for the time during your flight. If you get nauseous during the flight, don’t force yourself to try and do actual work. Instead, look for a relaxing and soothing activity that makes your time more enjoyable. I use my in-flight time to read books, something for which I don’t always have enough time, and doing so now actually makes me look forward to flying.

8. Get a good seat

Before you leave, check online to see where your seat will be. Do you prefer a window seat so you can rest your head against the wall while sleeping, or an aisle seat so you can walk around as much as you like? Try to change your seat in advance to suit your fancy. Sometimes you might find two empty spots, which could mean extra space for you. Keep in mind, however, that delays and cancellations can result in those empty seats getting filled up anyway.

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9. Bring socks

What’s worse than getting cold feet during a flight? Bring a pair of socks, and keep your feet warm and cozy. Make sure they are loose enough that you don’t end up with elastic band marks on your legs.

10. Save miles, get an upgrade

If you travel the same itinerary regularly, then stick to one airline and save miles. Not only will you be able to spend these miles eventually, but you will also be building up privileges. It starts with boarding earlier, and it goes up to the point where you’re treated like a VIP, making your long flight way more enjoyable. US residents might even be able to save for miles while using a credit card.

11. Make the best out of the meal

Another sad pasta or dull chicken during your flight? Try to make the best of it instead of feeling sorry for yourself because of the terrible food. Try adding some salt and pepper. Warm your bread and butter by placing them on top of the container of hot food. See what you like, and pick out the best bits.

12. Mindset

Stop fretting about the time lost in travel and use it as an opportunity to enjoy the time you get to yourself. Don’t consider your travel time as a useless vacuum in time and space, but fill it with activities you don’t get to do too often at home. Take some snacks you enjoy, read, meditate, listen to some music, prepare your senses for your next destination – simply shift your mindset and reframe your thoughts so that you can truly appreciate your personal time during the flight.

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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