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How to Stay Comfortable During a Long-Haul Flight

01.20.2015
Topic News Articles

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Despite the complaints about legroom and baggage fees, flying is more affordable today than ever before. It doesn't matter if you're commuting to work or taking a trip across the world - the opportunity to take to the skies to shorten your travel time is almost too much to pass up. In fact, with assistance services that protect you from the struggles of lost luggage and canceled flights, traveling around the world has never been easier.

However, some people don't do well when it comes to sitting on a plane for as long as it takes to fly from the U.S. to Asia, for example. Don't let that stop you from exploring new cultures and people, though - with these tips on how to keep yourself comfortable on even the longest nonstop flights, you'll be jet-setting across the globe in no time.

Pick the right seat

Real estate is all about location, location, location. You should take this to heart when buying your seat on a long-haul flight, too. Most airlines offer you a chance to pick your seat before you buy your ticket or change it afterward. Look up the model of the plane on websites like SeatGuru.com and read reviews from other travelers who've taken similar planes. Pick the best reviewed seat with as few people around it as possible. Be careful, though - empty seats are liable to fill up as the flight draws closer.

Even after you board, you should still be on the lookout for the best possible seat. If you plan on sleeping for a large portion of the flight, ask the flight attendants if you can move to a less crowded row - even if they say no now, they may be more sympathetic when you ask them eight hours into the flight.

You are what you drink

If you're nervous about flying, it's only natural to want to have a drink to calm the nerves, but anything more than this is liable to leave you feeling worse than if you'd stayed stone-cold sober in the first place. Travel blog Away From the Office founder Rebecca Pattee told The Huffington Post that most of the beverage offerings on planes - alcoholic drinks, coffee and sugared soft drinks - can severely dehydrate you.

At ground level, the body is fairly decent at staying hydrated in spite of your diet. At 30,000 feet, however, the air is thinner and drier, which means that anything you drink which would normally sap your body of moisture is much more powerful. You might be a heavy drinker, but a glass of whiskey at cruising altitude can be enough to ruin your entire flight.

Instead, bring a bottle of water on board with you and ask the flight attendants to fill it up whenever you get a chance. It won't be the tastiest thing you have on your trip, but it's better than the alternative.

Break a leg

The greatest danger to your health during a long-haul flight has nothing to do with the plane at all. As Lifehacker explained, sitting in one position for an extended period of time can actually lead to blood clots in the legs. When you stand up, these clots are at risk to move to the lungs, heart or brain in a serious medical event.

However, you can steer clear of this with a few simple exercises that get your limbs moving - even if you're packed into your row with strangers on either side of you. Most airlines include instructional pamphlets on in-flight exercises in the seat pocket, but you should plan on getting up at least once an hour when the seatbelt sign is turned off.

The information contained here is provided by Brafton. AIG Travel assumes no responsibility for the use, accuracy, or interpretation of the information contained herein.

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