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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 September 28, 2020

            How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

            How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

            There’s no denying that goals are necessary. After all, they give life meaning and purpose. However, goals don’t simply achieve themselves—you need to write an action plan to help you reach your goals.

            With an action plan, you’ll have a clear idea of how to get where you want to go, what it will take to get there, and how you’ll find the motivation to keep driving forward. Without creating a plan, things have a way of not working out as you waver and get distracted.

            With that in mind, here’s how you can set goals and action plans that will help you achieve any personal goal you’ve set.

            1. Determine Your “Why”

            Here’s a quick experiment for you to try right now: Reflect on the goals you’ve set before. Now, think about the goals you reached and those you didn’t. Hopefully, you’ll notice a common theme here.

            The goals you were successful in achieving had a purpose. Those goals you failed to accomplish did not. In other words, you knew why you put these goals in place, which motivated you to follow through.

            Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Finding Purpose for You and Your Team, explains:

            “Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best. When you can do that, you’ll have a point of reference for everything you do going forward.”

            That, in turn, enables better decision-making and clearer choices.

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            I’ll share with you a recent example of this in my life. Earlier this year, I decided to make my health a bigger priority, specifically losing weight. I set this goal because it gave me more energy at work, improved my sleep, and helped me be a better father—I really didn’t care for all that wheezing every time I played with my kids.

            Those factors all gave me a long-term purpose, not a superficial short-term goal like wanting to look good for an event.

            Before you start creating an action plan, think about why you’re setting a new goal. Doing so will guide you forward on this journey and give you a North Star to point to when things get hard (and they inevitably will).

            2. Write Down Your Goal

            If you really want to know how to create an action plan for goals, it’s time to get your goals out of your head and onto a piece of paper. While you can also do this electronically through an app, research has found that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goal if it’s written down[1].

            This is especially true for business owners. If they don’t schedule their time, it’ll be scheduled for them.[2]

            When you physically write down a goal, you’re accessing the left side of the brain, which is the literal, logical side. As a result, this communicates to your brain that this is something you seriously want to do.

            3. Set a SMART Goal

            A SMART goal pulls on a popular system in business management[3]. That’s because it ensures the goal you’ve set is both realistic and achievable. It can also be used as a reference to guide you through your action plan.

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            Use SMART goals to create a goal action plan.

               

              By establishing a SMART goal, you can begin to brainstorm the steps, tasks, and tools you’ll need to make your actions effective.

              • Specific: You need to have specific ideas about what you want to accomplish. To get started, answer the “W” questions: who, what, where, when, and why.
              • Measurable: To make sure you’re meeting the goal, establish tangible metrics to measure your progress. Identify how you’ll collect the data.
              • Attainable: Think about the tools or skills needed to reach your goal. If you don’t possess them, figure out how you can attain them.
              • Relevant: Why does the goal matter to you? Does it align with other goals? These types of questions can help you determine the goal’s true objective — and whether it’s worth pursuing.
              • Time-bound: Whether it’s a daily, weekly, or monthly target, deadlines can motivate us to take action sooner than later.

              Learn more about setting a SMRT goal here: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

              4. Take One Step at a Time

              Have you ever taken a road trip? You most likely had to use a map to navigate from Point A to Point B. The same idea can be applied to an action plan.

              Like a map, your action plan needs to include step-by-step instructions on how you’ll reach your goal. In other words, these are mini goals that help you get where you need to go.

              For example, if you wanted to lose weight, you’d consider smaller factors like calories consumed and burned, minutes exercised, number of steps walked, and quality of sleep. Each plays a role in weight loss.

              This may seem like a lot of work upfront, but it makes your action plan seem less overwhelming and more manageable. Most importantly, it helps you determine the specific actions you need to take at each stage.

              5. Order Your Tasks by Priority

              With your action steps figured out, you’ll next want to review your list and place your tasks in the order that makes the most sense. This way, you’re kicking things off with the most important step to make the biggest impact, which will ultimately save time.

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              For example, if you have a sedentary job and want to lose weight, the first step should be becoming even a little more active. From there, you can add more time to your workout plan.

              The next step could be changing your diet, like having a salad before dinner to avoid overeating, or replacing soda with sparkling water.

              Learn these tips to prioritize better: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

              6. Schedule Your Tasks

              Setting a deadline for your goal is a must; it prevents you from delaying the start of your action plan. The key, however, is to be realistic. It’s highly unlikely, for example, that you’ll lose 20 pounds within two weeks. It’s even less likely that you’ll keep it off.

              What’s more, you should also assign tasks a start and end date for each action step you’ve created, as well as a timeline for when you’ll complete specific tasks. Adding them to your schedule ensures that you stay focused on these tasks when they need to happen, not letting anything else distract you.

              For example, if you schedule gym time, you won’t plan anything else during that time frame.

              Beware the temptation to double-book yourself—some activities truly can be combined, like a run while talking to a friend, but some can’t. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you can both write and catch up on Netflix simultaneously.

              While you can use a paper calendar or planner, an online calendar may be a better option. You can use it to set deadlines or reminders for when each step needs to be taken, and it can be shared with other people who need to be in the know (like your running buddy or your mentor).

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              7. Stay on Track With Healthy Habits

              Without healthy habits, it’s going to be even more challenging to reach your goal. You could hit the gym five days a week, but if you’re grabbing burgers for lunch every day, you’re undoing all your hard work.

              Let’s say your goal is more career-oriented, like becoming a better public speaker. If you practice your speeches at Toastmasters meetings but avoid situations where you’ll need to be unrehearsed—like networking gatherings or community meetings—you’re not helping yourself.

              You have to think about what will help transform you into the person you want to be, not just what’s easiest or most comfortable.

              8. Check off Items as You Go

              You may think you’ve spent a lot of time creating lists. Not only do they help make your goals a reality, but lists also keep your action plan organized, create urgency, and help track your progress. Because lists provide structure, they reduce anxiety.

              There’s something else special about lists of tasks completed. When you cross off a task in your action plan, your brain releases dopamine[4]. This reward makes you feel good, and you’ll want to repeat this feeling.

              If you crossed out on your calendar the days you went to the gym, you’d want to keep experiencing the satisfaction of each bold “X.” That means more motivation to go the gym consistently.

              9. Review and Reset as Necessary

              Achieving any personal goal is a process. Although it would be great if you could reach a goal overnight, it takes time. Along the way, you may experience setbacks. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, schedule frequent reviews—daily, weekly, or monthly—to see how you’re progressing.

              If you aren’t where you’d hoped to be, you may need to alter your action plan. Rework it so you’re able to reach the goal you’ve set.

              The Bottom Line

              When you want to learn how to set goals and action plans—whether you want to lose weight, learn a new skill, or make more money—you need to create a realistic plan to get you there. It will guide you in establishing realistic steps and time frames to achieve your goal. Best of all, it will keep you on track when you stumble, and we all do.

              More on Goal Action Plans

              Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

              Reference

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