Just how long is long when it comes to flying? It most likely depends on who you ask. For some, it’s a 6-hour coast-to-coast trek across America. For others, it may be that transatlantic flight to destinations that seem worlds apart. Ask someone traveling with young children and it could be much shorter.
So, if you have a long flight scheduled in the future, here are 5 mistakes to avoid before boarding your plane.
1. Choosing the wrong travel outfit
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference, and dressing for your flight is no different. Think layers, for the Goldilocks of comfort. Not too hot, not too cold… when you dress in comfortable layers you can keep adjusting til you’re just right. And while you’re at it, make sure you wear comfortable shoes, since even a hike through the airport can add up to a lot steps.
2. Not splurging on extra legroom or moving about the cabin
We get the urge to skimp on first-class and use that hard earned money on your vacation instead. However, even opting for Business Economy over Coach can get you more leg room, which can prevent stiffness, aches and pains.
Whether or not you can get extra legroom, you will want to stand up and walk around the cabin when it’s safe to do so. And not just for long plane rides. Did you know deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (potentially fatal blood clotting in the lower extremities) can occur during any type of travel?
3. Over-packing your carry ons
In most cases you can have 1 carry on and 1 personal item like a small purse or backpack. Check with your airline for specific size and weight guidelines. When packing carry ons, pack large electronics last (so you can reach them first) as well as your bag of liquids so you can access them easily on the plane or when you’re going through airport screening.
4. Splurging on the bad stuff
No, we’re not talking about expensive snacks, drinks, and souvenirs found at the airport. In this case, we’re talking about rich, high-fat foods and alcohol. Remember, moderation is key, and for a long flight where dehydration and bloating are known culprits this is even more important to helping you feel your best.
5. Not packing the essentials
So, what are the essentials? Snacks, entertainment like movies, books, and games, as well as extra comforts like a gum, an eye mask, noise cancelling headphones, travel pillow, tissues, and medication. While you’re at it, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant will help you feel refreshed once you land too.
While this list certainly doesn’t cover everything—after all— a smooth flight actually starts before you leave your house. Giving yourself ample time to get to the airport, find parking, and get through security will help you start your trip less stressed before you even step foot on the plane.