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5 Essential Tips To Make The Most Out Of Long-Haul Flights

5 Essential Tips To Make The Most Out Of Long-Haul Flights

Most of the world travels by plane these days and while advancements are being made all the time in the world of technology, it seems that for the past decade or so, the way we travel via the air has remained the same. The same kind of in-flight movies and entertainment, the same methods used in airports, and the same rigmarole we have to go through in order to survive a long-haul flight.

Long-haul flights are one of the trickiest things a person can put themselves through in order to enjoy a holiday or a meeting in a far-flung destination, and with most airlines offering to traverse the world, it’s never been easier for globetrotting. However, it can be especially hard to deal with everything that is manageable on a short flight, with extra duration – screaming kids, cramped legroom, being bored out of your mind, and shocking sleeping patterns to name but a few. It doesn’t make a nice start for what is hopefully a wonderful journey.

So if you’re looking for some top tips for long-haul flights, then look no further. Check out our guide to surviving long haul flights down below…

1. Get an aisle seat.

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lifehack-longhaulflight-seat
    Popular Mechanics

    One of the best tips for long-haul flights is to look at where you’re seated and to work out a plan. If possible, try and book an aisle seat in the middle trio of seats that usually make up the cabin layout for most airplanes and flights. These particular seats not only allow you the chance to stretch your legs out, but halve the chance of the person in the middle seat asking you to move so they can use the bathroom. Aisle seats in general are a good idea; they minimize the hassle and time it takes to reach the bathroom.

    Your seat on the plane can also help you out a lot. Most flights will offer the chance to pay for extra legroom and it’s worth taking them up on it if you’re a tall person and it is a flight longer than a couple of hours. Extra legroom means that you will probably seated closer to the front of the plane, with more room, which helps you feel more like a passenger and less like cattle.

    2. Prepare to be bored.

    lifehack-longhaulflight-bored
      WikiHow

      One of the most prevalent problems to dealing with on a long-haul flight is that you will need to be entertained (unless you are one of those extremely rare people who have such a rich inner life that you never have the need for entertainment). Most flights have at least some element of entertainment built into their flights, whether it is an in-flight movie or a more comprehensive movie, music and television system as offered on some major airlines. However, it’s always best to make sure you have your own entertainment.

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      Remember that flights do allow some electronic devices – such as music players and games consoles, as well as tablets, laptops and cell phones as along as the WiFi is turned off – so feel free to pack a couple of them. It’s also worth bringing a book or two, a couple of magazines for variety, and even a travel sized game if you’re travelling with children. Most importantly, remember to pack stuff that will not bore you to tears within half an hour or so; even if you have in-flight entertainment, there will be times when you want to do something else.

      3. Try to eat well, stay hydrated and stay healthy.

      lifehack-longhaulflight-healthy
        Small Steps 2 Health

        Most people assume that it’s absolutely safe and healthy and fine to be travelling on planes – and they’re right. However, there’s no accounting for how many kinds of germs and bugs can be circulating around, thanks to people being stuck together in a metal tube for several hours together. In order to minimise your chance of falling ill with a flu or cold, always make sure you have plenty of Emergen-C in your bag as well as santising wipes and cleansers for your hands, face, and your seat as well to ensure no germs get transferred.

        One of the most useful tips for long-haul flights concerns the food served on airplanes; if it’s possible, when booking, make sure you order a kosher, halal or a vegetarian meal if they are available. These meals are at a much higher chance of being prepared fresh and therefore not only will probably taste better, but also be fresher and healthier. Another useful tip is to keep your fluid intake; if you can buy big bottles of water at the airport duty-free before you board, do so as it’ll not only save you a bit of money, keeping hydrated helps keep stuff like headaches and the chance of colds and flu at bay. It also helps keep your kidneys healthy and to flush your body’s toxins.

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        4. Make sure you keep moving.

        lifehack-longhaulflight-active
          Yahoo

          One of the biggest threats to people on planes is a lack of movement and exercise. Deep-vein thrombosis is a horrible, potentially life-threatening condition that mostly develops on planes due to blood clots developing in the veins of legs of people who stay in their seats for hours and hours at a time – hence the prominence of them on plane passengers. Fortunately, however, you can severely minimize your risk to developing DVT by following one of the best tips for long haul flights and ensuring that every thirty minutes, you get up for a walk around the plane. Take your shoes off and walk around the cabin in your padded feet to help normal circulation return to your legs.

          Another good way to exercise on a plane – if there’s room, that is – is to do some stretches every hour or so. Simple back bends, leg stretches, toe touches, calf exercises and twists, are all effective ways to keep your body active, limber, and comfortable during a long-haul flight, as well as being free to view on health websites ahead of your flight. You might get some odd looks from fellow passengers on the flight, but you’ll feel better and infinitely healthier when you touch down.

          5. Get plenty of sleep.

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          lifehack-longhaulflight-sleep
            Huffington Post, Facebook

            The most important advice to give and impart, and one of the most useful tips for long-haul flights: get plenty of sleep. Getting as much sleep as you can not only makes you feel a lot better, it’ll also fill in those empty hours and give your body a chance to recover from the internal stresses of crossing time zones, helping to eliminate jet lag somewhat. Make sure you pack plenty of home comforts – a neck pillow for those awkward sleeping positions, some sleeping tablets or Advil to help combat any pain that is inhabiting your chances of a good forty winks.

            Sleeping on a plane can also be aided by loading up specialized playlists onto your music player of choice; ambient music, lullabies, or whatever music is most conducive to your most relaxed, sleeping state, should be essential and always to hand. Your airline will plenty of blankets and pillows for long haul flights, and while we can’t promise there won’t be a snorer next to you, you can at least arm yourselves with the best tools to make sure you’re prepared for everything your long haul flight can throw at you.

            More by this author

            Chris Haigh

            Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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            Last Updated on April 22, 2021

            How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

            How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

            Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

            Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

            In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

            One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

            “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

            Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

            Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

            Motivation Is Not the Answer

            How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

            If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

            We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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            Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

            Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

            How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

            Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

            1. Define What a Win Looks Like

            In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

            Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

            Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

            When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

            4 Steps to Define a Win
            • Know the outcome you desire.
            • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
            • Write the outcome down.
            • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

            Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

            As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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            Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

            2. Evaluate Your Activity

            Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

            Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

            Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

            Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

            • Do now
            • Plan to do it later
            • Delegate to someone else
            • Delete it

            Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

            • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
            • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
            • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
            • Does this activity have to be done at all?

            Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

            3. Prioritize Your Calendar

            If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

            First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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            It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

            “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

            Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

            “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

            Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

            It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

            4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

            We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

            Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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            Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

              But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

              “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

              Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

              Use these questions to reflect on your day:

              • What went well?
              • What didn’t go well?
              • What can I change?
              • What do I need to start doing?
              • What do I need to stop doing?

              The Bottom Line

              Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

              Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

              “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

              Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

              That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

              More on Creating Healthy Routines

              Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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