Even the most frequent flyer can suffer at the hands of long-haul, but our six top tips will have you gliding into your new timezone with ease (even in economy). Buckle up…

Words Julia Krupska

Book tickets early
If you can, always book flights early to secure a good seat, but this depends entirely on personal preference. If you want more leg room, opt for exit rows or seats near the wing. If you’re aiming to stay unconscious for most of the flight, window seats are comfier, but you’ll run the risk of waking those beside you should you need to stretch or use the toilet. On the contrary, if your comfort depends on taking regular seat breaks, stick to the aisle – but those fidgeting neighbours beside you could be your downfall. This risky game of seat-roulette has been made slightly easier with the launch of websites such as airlinequality.com and seatguru.com, offering real-time ratings and reviews across all aircrafts.

Prepare for jet lag
Set your clock to the destination time before take-off and keep to a sleep routine on-board. Washing, cleansing and investing in an ever-faithful eye mask will trick the body into believing it’s time for bed. If you suspect this could be wasted effort, consider a sleep aid. But always test medication before flying to make sure your body reacts appropriately.

Avoid alcohol
It’s too easy to fall victim to the copious amounts of alcohol on board in an attempt to anaesthetise flight fear. But we advise to ditch the spirits in favour of something a little less toxic. We all know alcohol dehydrates the body so preempt the feeling of feeling worse and stick to water, liquids that contain electrolytes and a clear head instead. Your body will thank you for it in the long-term.

Little comforts
If ever there was a time to become a globetrotting stereotype, long-haul is that time. From noise-cancelling headphones to eye masks and neck pillows, they all have an essential part to play in the grand scheme of comfort. Taking regular breaks from your seat to stretch is also vital in preventing cramp and stiff limbs.

Buy food before
Try to avoid in-flight meals if you can as packaged plane food can leave you feeling sluggish – not ideal if you’ve already taken steps to minimise the effects of jet lag. Preparing a selection of fresh food before boarding will instead provide you with energy and well-needed nourishment.

Be wise with entertainment
Whether you’re eager to devour the in-flight movie selection or prepped your own electronics, it might be worth noting how your choice of entertainment could affect your body, especially if you’re trying to sleep. Screen lights keep brain signals alert and active, so ditch the digital and dive into a book at least one hour before sleep to wind-down and provoke drowsiness instead.

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