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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.

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            Chris Haigh

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

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            Last Updated on March 15, 2019

            How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

            How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

            When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

            Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

            In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

            What Makes a Leader Fail?

            A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

            If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

            And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

            What Is Effective Leadership?

            Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

            Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

            Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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            “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

            How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

            To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

            1. Courage

            The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

            “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

            Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

            For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

            In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

            It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

            Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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            2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

            If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

            The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

            To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

            3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

            Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

            Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

            4. Likability

            Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

            When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

            Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

            So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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            5. Vulnerability

            Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

            When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

            6. Authenticity

            Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

            Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

            7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

            Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

            Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

            Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

            Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

            As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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            “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

            8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

            Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

            This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

            9. A Passion for Continual Learning

            Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

            These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

            Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

            The Bottom Line

            No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

            Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

            More Resources About Effective Leadership

            Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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