Dread 14-hour flights? We’ve got secrets to make them comfy and conquer jet lag

Dread 14-hour flights? We’ve got secrets to make them comfy and conquer jet lag

During a flight to South Africa, one of the cabin crew members gave him tips on where to go during his trip to Cape Town. Thanks to her suggestions, he went paragliding and hiked to the top of Table Mountain in the city. He recalls that his mother, Susan Moore was a flight attendant too, and was a great favourite with the passengers, owing to her ability to smile and laugh with the passengers. 

Person talking to crew member
Chat with the crew members, if you can. They can give you insider tips for your holiday!
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However, if you don’t feel particularly chatty during a 14–16-hour flight, here’s what to do. Frequent fliers are ready to help you out. Rihea Sadarangani, the founder and CEO of Iconic Episode, a marketing agency in Dubai, lists some suggestions: Pick a late night flight. Carry warm socks. How about taking a walk to stretch your legs? 

Well, you can start by reframing your entire approach, first.

Free from all contact and responsibilities? Sign us up

Person waiting for flight
Going on a flight can serve as the detox that you need.
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No calls from office, emails, messages that you must keep attending to. Not for at least 14 hours. You deserve that break, don’t you?

Natasha Catterall, an American fragrance connoisseur and expert who frequently makes the 14-hour trips from Dubai to New York and back, looks at the plane ride as a break. “I’m always so glued to my phone, worried about what’s going to go wrong or right. So, I am glad for those several hours. I’m free of all responsibilities. That’s why I don’t even try connecting to the Wifi on the flight,” she says.

Reframe the narrative. Flip the switch.

Comfort first, style second

Person sleeping
Make sure you’re comfortably clad for the flight. Pack a scarf and sweater for temperature changes.
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Strategise on what you’ll pack in your carry-on luggage. Look at what makes you most comfortable, advises Sheetal Sinha, a Dubai-based events manager who had to make as many as five trips last year itself, including New York, Sydney, London. As she suggests, think loose-fitting pants, breathable shirts, and cozy socks. Pack a scarf, sweater for temperature changes, or even a travel hat if you like.

Dubai-based Maryam Youssef, who works for a sustainability consultancy has another suggestion: Opt for compression socks. It soothes the feet, which feel rather cooped up owing to several hours of inactivity.

Person with suitcase
Of course, you don’t have to give up on style completely: Make sure you’re a right mix of comfy, cosy and cool.
Image Credit: Pexels.com

A hoodie works like comfy magic, as Sinha recommends. If you’re one who feels the cold more than others on a flight, a hooded sweatshirt is a perfect fit. It’s just the right type of warm and wraps you up in all kinds of cosy.

Sleep, sleep away

It’s the most ideal way to battle long-haul flights.

Frequent fliers vouch for it, heartily. Lucas Higgins, a Dubai-based Canadian businessman, channels his “inner bat” with an eye mask and gets a good snooze that takes up a part of the flight. “It’s the best way. Let’s face it, there’s only so many films that can interest you, and the constant battle with co-passengers over armrests and those who recline can really get on your nerves. So, take a pair of noise-cancelling headphones,” he suggests. “A travel pillow is good for the neck, so you don’t have to worry about aching muscles.

Try choosing the late night flight. Get the aisle seat. Take frequent walks to stretch your legs. Pack a pair of warm socks, which will make you feel cosy during the flight…

– Rihea Sadarangani, founder and CEO of Iconic Episode, marketing agency in Dubai

Higgins also advises, owing to the time zones, try adjusting your sleep schedule a couple of days in advance. “It really does help your body adjust to the new time zone,” he says. Map out your sleep schedule. If you have layovers, stay awake for the shorter leg, so that you can sleep peacefully on the longer leg of the trip.

Entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment

Person on the phone
Load up well on your in-flight entertainment! Pack books, download movies: Enough to keep you going for the long trip.

As all the fliers agree: Keep a stock of films, shows ready on charged laptops, tablets, and phones. Plan how you want to spend the entire flight. Do you want to opt for an absorbing drama that lasts for around 16 episodes? Well, the K-drama fans can vouch for this one! They’re always a good option for a flight journey.

For others, download films, television shows and books on your devices. You can even get a book, suggests Youssef, who has finished an entire book on her journeys. Or you can download some fun games that you can play on your phone. Don’t forget your backup portable chargers!

Try to move as much as you can

An aisle seat is always your best bet, says Sinha. You can get up without disturbing your co-passenger. Do a few stretches, while waiting in line for the washroom. Walk around the terminal during a layover flight, rather than just sitting and waiting for your next flight. It will get your blood moving!

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