The Business Traveler’s Guide to Surviving Long Flights
I’m sure if you work in a form of International Business, your travels have taken you oversees or on long cross country flights. Here are some tips of how to best survive the long haul:
1) If possible, upgrade to business or first class.
If this is not an option, then choosing an exit row in coach will give you some additional leg room. Choosing the window seat will mean that you will be able to sleep without being disturbed by your row mates needing to get up and use the restroom.
2) Plan accordingly.
A direct flight option is always the easiest in terms of getting the most uninterrupted sleep as possible. If this is not an option be sure to plan your connecting flights accordingly so that you will not have a long lay-over. Also, if you must take two flights, try to split them up into one long flight and one shorter flight rather than 2 similar timed flights.
3) Stay hydrated and nourished.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before you get on the flight and then be sure to keep drinking plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages while on the flight (water and/or juices are the best options). Also, make sure you are eating the meals that are served while aboard the plane. If you would prefer not to eat these, then make sure you bring enough of your own food on the plane. Bringing your own snacks like dried fruit, granola bars, and nuts is also a good, healthy way to stay nourished on your long journey.
4) Get up and move around as much as possible.
Especially on long flights this is extremely important to keep the blood flowing properly and your circulation up. Stretch in your seat whenever you are unable to get up and walk the isles. Lightly stomp your feet or do small kicks in your seat and shake out your arms. Deep breathing is also a good exercise in overall relaxation. There is a way to tense and release all of your muscles while you are seated as well. Feet and hands can tend to swell on long oversees flights too.
5) Have a change of clothes and toiletries on you and dress comfortably while in flight.
It is always a good practice to have at least one extra set of clothes, under garments, and socks with you at all times just in case. Also, you should always keep a set of travel sized toiletries with you (toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, deodorant, etc.) so you can freshen up on the plane or at the airport when you arrive at your destination.
6) Give yourself enough time between arrival and your first meeting.
If at all possible, it is best to ensure that you have enough time to get to your accommodations so you can shower, change, and eat something before your first meeting. It would be even better if you could have the whole first day at your destination to rest from your long trip. Try not to sleep (no matter how tired you are) until around 10pm local time the first day. This will help you get some quality sleep and will help better acclimate you to the time change better.
Business travel can be hard on the body and mind. Hopefully these tips will help you the next time your work takes you on a long flight.