How to Survive Long Haul Flights

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Those of us who are planning long, intercontinental, trans-time zone flights are starting to figure out where we want to go for the spring and summer. We scan databases for cheap tickets, scour travel magazines for destination ideas and re-check the bank account to see what we can afford. Then we look at the flight manifesto for our desired trip: 11 hours to Istanbul?! Can planes even stay up in the air for that long? Well they can, and they do, and your experience, even with cheap airline tickets, on one of the long haul flights doesn’t have to be torturous. The tips below can help you rest easy, and maybe not even notice how many kilometres you’re covering on your flight.

1. Upgrade your seats

Save your frequent flier points for this trip, because they’ll be your best friend. The difference between economy and business class is the difference between restlessness and relaxation. Use every trick to build your frequent flier miles you can throughout the year, saving for this trip, you’ll be thankful in the end, turning cheap flights into great experiences.

2. Be rested prior to the flight

This might seem counter-intuitive, because if you stay up all night the night before, you’re sure to sleep onboard, right? Well, if you don’t get an upgrade, and you’re a taller person who opted for cheap tickets, sleep might-or will-be elusive, then you’ll really hate the journey when you land without meaningful sleep in 36 hours. Be rested and if you’re comfortable on that 11-hour flight, you’ll find some sleep at some point.

3. Bring your must-have distractions with you

If you’re normally a light traveller, or don’t bother bringing much of a carry-on, break that habit for the long-haul flight. Neck pillow, eye-mask, noise cancelling headphones, ear plugs, sleep aide…bring them all. Eleven hours of crying children, or encroaching neighbors will be torture if you try and go it au naturel.

4. Watch your health

The most clear and present issues on a long-haul flight are hydration and deep vein thrombosis. Drink as much water as you can on that long flight, or bring electrolyte solutions such as Gatorade onboard with you. According to the National Institute of Health, the probability of Deep Vein Thrombosis-which is the formation of blood clots in deep veins-is much greater for flights over four hours. Wear loose clothes, drink plenty of fluids and get up to go to the washroom at every hint of the urge in order to stretch your legs out.

For that dream flight booking to the other side of the planet, the long haul flight is a necessary evil, until Star Trek technology is a reality.  Using the above tips can make the journey bearable, and leave you less dreadful of the return trip, while letting you enjoy the destination free of anxiety. So, book your dream vacation on our search engine, for the best prices you will see anywhere on the flights you want to take this spring and summer!

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