As the pandemic restricts around the works are being eased and the 2022 travel season takes off after the holiday break, people are getting back on the flight more often. With the news that the now dominant omicron variant being reported of much less worry, people are expected to travel longer and farther than they have in years. However, much has changed. The ‘now normals’ are still around and governments and authorities are still cautious.
Here are some of the new pro-trips that we have collated based on feedback from people who’ve had the opportunity to travel more frequently during the pandemic years. These are especially helpful for long distance travelers. They will find new requirements including many recommendations and precautions that have come about in the last couple of years to be very stressful, if you’re not prepared enough for the journey.
Long-haul flights are nothing like they once were. The pandemic changed what airlines kept on the planes like the extra pillows, blankets, and other necessities. These were once easily available for travelers who needed them, but not anymore on most flights these days. Anyone who is planning on traveling to travel long distances on an airplane should make sure they have everything they need to make themselves comfortable.
Apart from these new tips from frequent pandemic travelers for surviving a long flights include getting the right face masks, headsets, clothes, travel pillows and more. Let’s start with the face covering, still required on almost all flights.
Choose the right masks
Wearing masks are essential part of traveling safely and comfortably these days. In order for us to get back to traveling without spreading the virus, travelers are expected to behave respectfully and follow all health and safety guidelines. Make sure you get at least a couple of types of comfortable face masks, especial when you are wearing them for long duration. This can help avoid the mask rubbing against your skin creating micro-tears which makes it easier for dirt to enter, clog up our pores, and lead to acne breakout.
You may choose to wear good quality N95 or similar mask during the walk in the terminal and when you’re in queues boarding the flight. But once in your seat you can switch to a more comfortable type that are more gentle on your skin. Remember to carry a few extras sets just in case you drop or dirt yours. It’s also recommended to carry a couple of disposable ones and a mask storage clips/bags to safely store away used masks.
Dress in layers, choose comfort
Dress well, but more importantly dress comfortably for the trip. We recommend that you dress in layers. Expect temperature fluctuations during the flight. The air conditioning may be unpredictable at time in flights and airport terminal. having a few layers of clothes can help you adjust as you go. Tight, binding clothes make it difficult to relax or sleep well. Choose loose comfortable ones. Make sure you have some extra space in your handbag to tuck away what you’re not using.
Get your pillows and blankets
Most flight these days do not provide pillows and blankets for health and hygiene reasons, so you need to bring along you own. But that’s good in a way as it lets you choose what best works for you. Frequent long distance travelers swear by them, so never ever forget them because your airline might not be providing them. Of course you can always ask the airline or your travel agent to confirm, but it’s better to be equipped that realise that rules have changed after you’ve boarded that flight.
Also remember to carry a good – preferably thin but warm blanket that you can easily store away in your handbag. Eye mask are also helpful if you’re someone who prefers less light when you sleep. If you’ve dressed well and are not planning on sleeping much, you can even opt for a good shawl, which can doubles as your blanket.
Headsets and other necessities
There’s also the entertainment thing that you need to take care. It’s easier to pass the time with some entertainment as very often you feel time coming to a standstill, especially when you’re flying long-haul. Noise cancelling headphones have long been a favorite of frequent travelers. Make sure you carry your phone chargers in your handbag.
Most flights today offer a wide range of in-flight entertainment content. But just in case yours didn’t quite make the cut, it’s recommended that you load your iPads and Kindles with some e-books, movies, songs, or whatever you like. Most frequent travelers also recommend getting a good power bank for your devices for your travels.
Special tips for economy class
Not everyone gets to fly Business or First and not all the time. So here are a few tips that can be useful when you travel long-haul on budget. For long distance flight it’s always worth paying for the extra legroom, if your flight offers one. You can spend a little more for a seat in rows that come with extra leg room getting you up to six more inches of legroom. Front rows can also get you boarding with group one, as well as be in the first group off the plane.
You can also try and get an exit row or bulkhead seat, although some airlines do charge for the exit rows now. Every inch of room counts on long-haul flights. Some also suggest booking an aisle seat about four or five rows from the bathrooms. That way, you can grab the toilets when they have been empty for a few minutes. If you’ve got enough miles you could get an upgrade. Some airlines also offer free or cheaper upgrades at the airport. You could also request a free upgrade if you’re on their loyalty program. .
And all the best tips from pre-pandemic days
Keeping your body hydrated is key to beating the jet lag. The dry recycled cabin air, you can get really dehydrated on a long flight. So drink lots of water. It’s not good to stay in your seat for long when you’re awake. Although you need to be cautious about it these days, it’s good to get up and take a walk to get your circulation going. You can also do some simple leg stretching from your seat once in a while. These will lessen your chances of getting deep vein thrombosis.
Many travelers suffer badly from jet lag when traveling across multiple time zones and taking long layovers. Travelers often experience disorientation caused by jet lag, and gets worse when coupled with sleepless flights or long layovers in busy airports. Sleeping in a coach seat is not like sleeping in a bed at home or a hotel. Sometimes you need a little help falling asleep. Melatonin is said to be helpful both during the flight and with jetlag when you arrive at your destination. There are also other over-the-counter sleep aids on the market that can help, but make sure that you check with your doctor before buying them.
If you’re transiting, make sure you are prepared for that and pack extra stuff in you carry-on. Last minute delays and sudden cancellations are the norm now. Expect the unexpected, and you’ll arrive well and safe. Wishing you amazing journeys this new season.