Traveling by plane is not always pleasant and comfortable, and for most people it turns out to be just a necessary evil. Based on my personal experience and expert recommendations, here are some suggestions to help minimize this discomfort and ensure maximum safety on board an aircraft.
Appropriate clothing and footwear
When traveling by plane, the ideal is to wear light, loose-fitting clothes that cover your arms and legs, as the air conditioning is almost always very cold, and wear loose shoes or ballet flats. On long-haul flights, taking off your shoes and putting on warm socks will greatly increase your comfort level.
Food and Drinks
Eating light, healthy meals before traveling reduces the risk of something “going wrong” and making your trip uncomfortable. Before and during the flight, you should drink water frequently, try to avoid fizzy drinks and especially alcohol. Some companies distribute water bottles to passengers on long-haul flights. Always accept!
Medicines and hygiene and wellness items
Don’t forget to pack the usual medications you need to take in your carry-on luggage. The air inside planes is quite dry and, on long-haul flights, it can start to be uncomfortable for those wearing contact lenses. If you usually suffer from this condition, don’t forget to take a small bottle with the lens liquid (maximum 100 ml) and, why not, a little moisturizing cream for the skin. On long flights, especially at night, it will feel good to take a toothbrush and toothpaste!
Economy Class Syndrome
Wrongly known as such, it is a disease caused by the formation of clots inside the veins that can occur during or after flights and, ultimately, lead to deep vein thrombosis. Inside planes, the air contains less oxygen and is drier than usual, which contributes to thickening the blood. The reduced space on the planes (hence the name of Economy Class Syndrome), the lack of mobility of passengers and the duration of the flight are factors that aggravate the chances of risk. The elderly, obese, smokers, hypertensives, heart patients and pregnant women are included in the highest risk groups, but any passenger can be a victim of long-haul travel. Thus, in this type of trip, the following preventive measures are recommended:
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes.
- Consider using special elastic stockings for air travel.
- Drink water, tea or fruit juices frequently. Alcoholic beverages cause the blood vessels to dilate and represent an extra risk factor.
- Avoid crossing your legs when sitting.
- Getting up frequently. If possible, walk around the aisles of the plane and do some simple neck, shoulder, arm, leg, and ankle movement exercises.
- Chronic patients with specific pathologies should mention the problem to their doctor, as some medication may be advised.
Selection of seat inside the plane
I always make a point of choosing the place in advance. On short flights, I usually prefer to go to the window so, if visibility allows, I can distract myself from seeing the sights. On long flights, I prefer aisle seats to make it easier to get up without disturbing other passengers. I always try to go as far ahead as possible, as it tends to be quieter and you feel less turbulence and noise from the engines, but only from the second row onwards! Economy class front row seats often have less legroom and are slightly narrower because the table has to fit over the arm of the chair. Most airlines allow seat selection at the time of purchase or check-in, but when this is not possible, a message or a phone call to customer service will usually do the trick.
Seat belt tight
You must keep your seat belt fastened throughout your journey and whenever you are seated, even if the “fasten seat belt” lights are off. On the one hand, because there may be a sudden severe turbulence situation and your body may be “thrown into the air”. It’s very rare, but there are reports of some incidents and people who get seriously hurt. On the other hand, because if, in fact, the “fasten seat belt” lights come on, the crew will check passenger by passenger, and if you are sleeping without your seat belt fastened, they will wake you up to ask you to fasten it and ruin the your rest.
Fear of riding a plane
It is estimated that 10% to 40% of the adult population is afraid of flying. And others alike will probably feel some anxiety or discomfort. Whatever the case, it may be necessary to seek medical help in order to minimize this discomfort, namely through tranquilizers or relaxants. It is always a good idea to discuss this topic with the doctor and it is also a good idea to inform the crew about our condition. It’s no shame at all, and often a simple word or smile at the right moment can make us feel calmer and more at ease. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about! 🙂 Some airlines have specific programs to help their customers to lose those fears and start having a more pleasant flying experience.
Some people feel the effects of jetlag more than others. Some feel more when they fly west, others when they fly east. But almost everyone ends up feeling the effects of crossing several time zones during a journey of a few hours. Some common advice to reduce these symptoms are:
- Rest well before departure and during the flight.
- Drink lots of water or fruit juices during the flight and after arriving
- Eat light meals and do not drink alcohol during the flight.
- Adopt the destination schedule quickly, except for very short stays, when it is generally preferable to try to keep pace with the country of origin.
- Upon arrival, ensure that the body is exposed to sunlight.
Everyone already knows or should know, but it never hurts to remember! It is mandatory to always respect an interval of at least 24 hours before and after flying to scuba dive. Decompression problems caused by the difference in atmospheric pressure can be fatal. that it is so important to double check all the details of your travel documents , whether these are airline tickets, apartments rentals or hotel reservations for example
With these tips, we hope you always have safe and happy air travels.