Hands up if you love vacations but hates traveling? Twice The Baggage is with you on that.
Experiencing the culture, food, people and atmosphere of a different city or country is one of life's great joys, but getting there can make you exhausted before your vacation even begins.
We get many questions about what we do on long flights to keep us entertained and fresh so we are ready to explore once we land, so we've put together these 10 tips on how to make it through a lengthy journey.
1. Noise-canceling headphones are your friend
Want to shut out the engine noise and screaming babies? You will want to invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones for those 8+ hour flights. Combine a pair with Spotify, or the in-seat entertainment screen, and you should have plenty to distract you for the majority of the journey.
2. Get Up Every Hour
Ok so we realize you'll want to sleep on your journey, but if you're awake you should get up from your seat with regularity, just like you're advised to do at work.
Have a stretch/walk around once per hour. This may seem like a lot, but trust us, you will feel so much better.
3. Do some yoga!
One of the top things to do while standing up and walking is to do some simple yoga. This was something TTB just picked up on a few international flights ago. Usually, I will get up and head to the bathroom, and this is where there will be a little corner, usually just big enough to do some poses. Try to stretch: back, hamstrings, calves, chest, and hips. These body parts will take most of the beating during the flight. (Warning: You might get some bemused looks.)
4. Stay hydrated & snack
When you're flying at over 30,000 feet, dehydration is a common complaint among travelers, so no matter what, just hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
A pro TTB tip that not all travelers know about: when flight attendants come through for refreshments, you are allowed to get more than one drink. Make one of those drinks water. Another pro TTB tip? Bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up past security. That way you're not paying or wasting plastic by buying a disposable bottle in the departure lounge
Secondly, bring your own snacks! Unless you are familiar with the airline, I highly recommend that you bring what you like and enjoy at home. Try and bring healthy snacks as flights in general are draining to your body, so you will want to stay as healthy as possible all around.
5. Get some sleep ... maybe.
We highly recommend you get sleep, as this will keep you refreshed right as you step off the tarmac and start your vacation.
However, there are some situations where it's best to stay awake, namely if you're flying back to the U.S. from Europe. If you're traveling to Europe, sleep as much as you can on the way out, but sleep less on the way back so you can get back on central time as quickly as possible.
If you struggle to doze off, Travel and Leisure says the basic 3 needs for sleeping on a plane is getting the temperature comfortable, minimizing the noise (that's where headphones come in) and reducing your light exposure.
6. Distract yourself
If sleep is hard to come by, take advantage of the myriad of entertainment options on seat-back screens. If there are no screens, bring your own gadgets or books, or strike up a conversation with the person next to you.
7. Choose your seats wisely
This is a big tip in advance of the flight. We will often book our flights months in advance, and always try to book a seat configuration that has the same amount of seats as your traveling party.
In a 2-3-2 or 2-4-2 plane, for example, we'll book a window seat and the aisle next to it so we don't have to bother a stranger every time we want to get up to walk, yoga, or go to the bathroom.
We've also heard of, but not tried, booking the window and aisle in a row of 3 when there's just two of you traveling, as it is unlikely someone will want to book in between you. This allows you to potentially have the whole row, and if it is booked, you simply ask to switch in order to sit together!
8. Use your time wisely
Try to plan out your flight. Know when you want to read, sleep, watch etc. This can come in handy if you know when the food will be coming (usually shortly after you hit cruising altitude). In that case, food will be yet another distraction from the flight, and you won’t miss it because you are sleeping. We also suggest purchasing WiFi on longer flights and use that time to better research/plan what you’ll do once you arrive at your destination (though WiFi can be expensive).
9. Freshen up!
No-one likes how they feel when they get off a long flight, so bring a toothbrush, wipes, deodorant, floss and even another pair of socks and underwear if you want.
An hour before landing, pop into the bathroom and freshen yourself up, so you're ready to start your next adventure.