Talk to any flight attendant and they’ll tell you the best way to endure intercontinental flights is to go First Class and enjoy the luxury of your own pod with reclining bed. If you aren’t in a position to splurge, then join the majority of travellers who must endure eight+ hours in a cramped space with few comforts. Here are some strategies to consider:
- Mindset! Try to make the most of the situation. In this harried life, we are busy with too many distractions. You now have the gift of 8+ hours to get caught up; plan your garden or a fabulous party, read a classic novel, or write letters to all those you love. Be creative and make the most of your time.
- Ready to take a nap? Economy class is not the time for pyjamas but do make sure you have loose, soft, comfortable clothing with lots of layers to adapt to cabin temperatures and use as extra pillows or blankets.
- Location, location, location! Check out your plane’s configuration before purchasing your seat. Apps like Seat Guru are helpful. Like to recline? Prefer windows for wall support? Need extra leg room? Get up a lot? It pays to upgrade. You are less apt to get bumped. If there is a two-seat (vs. Three or more) configuration, then that is one less person who will disturb you. Avoid seats near the washroom with lineups and people consistently brushing past you.
- Lighting and sound. Electronics are a ‘no no’ for sleep. Turn off well before you plan to sleep to let your brain go into rest mode. Your seatmates will be on their own schedule. Be prepared with eye mask, ear plugs and noise cancelling headphones.
- Stay hydrated with non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages to combat cabin dryness.
- The lost art of socializing – if and only if your seatmate is amenable and always in a quiet tone. Once the cabin lights dim, that’s the cue to be quiet. Etiquette prevails, even at 30,000 feet!