With summer well underway, many of us are eagerly counting down the days until we can laze around in the sun, sand and sea. Maybe your next vacation will take you to a beach in France, or a roadtrip down the coast of California. Wherever you are heading frequent fliers may find their plane journeys a breeze, with limited space to move around and dry air, while others may find the voyage a little less thrilling.
Travel expert Ann Evison, Sun-hat Villas and Resorts, specialists in luxury Algarve villas, has put together a list of handy travel tips to make your flight as relaxing as possible.
1. Sensible Seating
Many people looking for extra legroom opt for front row exit seats, but often these aren’t reclinable. So, if you’re hoping for a more relaxed seat position during your flight, they are best avoided. Why not plump for the row behind – you are guaranteed not to have someone reclining in front of you, which increases the sense of space.
Bulkhead seats are also popular for legroom, but with the absence of a seat pocket and under seat storage in front of you, it can be quite frustrating not having immediate access to your in-flight essentials. A window seat will help you avoid having to keep getting up if your neighbour is a frequent toilet visitor. On the other hand, if this happens to be you, others will thank you for choosing an aisle seat.
If you find there are plenty of empty seats on your chosen flight, mention to the cabin crew you’d like to move somewhere else to stretch out and go for a nap, they’re usually more than happy to let you do this.
2. Choose Wisely
The beauty of flying these days is that usually all airlines list their in-flight meal and entertainment options online. Access to this kind of information is great if you have any special requirements such as a vegan meal or food intolerances like gluten or dairy. Be sure to let the airline know about this as far in advance as you can and pack a few snacks in case the food isn’t to your taste or you find yourself feeling peckish between meals. It’s also useful for those travelling with children, as they can load their iPad’s with any extra films and games if needed to make sure their little ones are kept well entertained.
3. Fresh Faced and Comfy
Wearing loose, cosy clothing is essential for a restful journey, particularly for long haul and night flights. Removing your make-up and contact lenses (if you wear them) and applying a generous amount of body lotion helps too, as your skin can become quite dry and dehydrated from the recycled air.
Travel sized toiletries, such as make-up remover and face cream are ideal to use in the air and their smaller size of under 100ml will ensure you get past security. An inflatable footrest aids circulation, reduces swelling and makes for a far comfier flight.
4. Be Prepared
Take two small plastic bags with you in your carry-on luggage. You’ll need one of them for any liquids you have packed of course, but once you are past security, take five minutes to pack the other with your go-to bag of flight essentials such as chewing gum, book, water bottle and hand cream. When you get on the plane, pop this bag on your seat and your carry-on in the overhead locker in one swift movement, rather than holding up the plane whilst scrabbling for the items separately in your bag.
5. On The Move
There’s not much room or distance to cover whilst on-board, so it’s important to keep your circulation going by walking and standing up in the aisle as much as possible. Familiarise yourself with some stretching exercises so that you can flex and loosen the muscles in your shoulders, neck, arms and feet, which will also help to prevent chronic deep vein thrombosis.
6. Get Acclimatised
If practical, try and adjust your body clock to your upcoming destination a couple of days ahead of time, this way you won’t suffer as much from the usual jet-lag and insomnia symptoms when you land. For example, when flying east from the Caribbean set your watch to the time back at home and go for a snooze on the plane. When you wake up, your body will be fooled into thinking it’s had the right amount of sleep, so you won’t be feeling as tired.
7. Turn Out The Lights
If possible, switch any electronic devices to ‘night mode’ or also know as the ‘blue light filter’ before you’re about to go to sleep. This will aid you to have a calming journey, as the blue light on the screen mimics daylight, which tells your brain to stay awake.
8. Stay Hydrated
We all know that airplanes are huge culprits when it comes to dehydration, but did you know that it is recommended that you drink as much as half a litre of fluid for every hour you are on board?
If you do find yourself feeling extremely thirsty once you get off your flight, a recent study has shown that one commonly available drink is even better at rehydrating the body than water – milk! We’re not sure if it works as well when blended into a white Russian cocktail, unfortunately…