Thanks to airplanes, we can now fly from places like New York to China in 21 hours — and from China to Japan in under five hours. The only problem, however, is that people who fly to and from these destinations could spend upwards of 24 hours in the air traveling at cruising altitude. That’s why it’s important to take certain measures against health hazards that come with long distance summer travel.
Crossing time zones and uncomfortable seats can also make any flight stressful. However, traveling for long hours on end with hyperactive kids can make things go from bad to worse. Remember, although getting to your destination is important; it’s equally important to spend as much time as possible considering all the safety factors — ones that will protect you and your family, and make the journey feel more like an experience instead of a burden. So, the next time you’re strapped in a seat for a long drive or flight; be sure to consider the following long distance summer travel tips to make the process less painful.
4 Essential Long Distance Summer Travel Tips
Limit Your Carry-On Luggage
Although extra items like deodorant, lotion, and sunscreen may help, you should always keep travel-sized objects to a minimum. Why? Well, because there’s nothing more stressful than trying to carry around a heavy piece of luggage through airport security, right before a 12-hour flight.
Additionally, if your carry-on bag is too heavy; then you’ll have a difficult time storing it in the lockers located above your seat. With that being said, you’ll want to take one carry-on and one personal-sized bag; so you can store smaller things like headphones and water bottles. If you’re traveling with small children, then you’ll also want to monitor what they pack as well. The fewer objects you have to keep track of, the better. That way, you’re less likely to misplace bags and lose important documentation. Remember, a good packing list is a must and can help change the way you travel.
Move Around the Cabin
Getting up and stretching your legs does not only help maintain your sanity on long-haul flights; but it also prevents your veins from forming blood clots or developing things like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). But since prolonged sitting tends to worsen the symptoms of varicose veins, it’s only right to conclude that flights over six hours long might not be ideal for people with blood clot problems.
That said, it’s important to keep the circulation flowing throughout your body by doing simple exercises. If you start to feel restless, get up and walk around for a bit. There might not really be anywhere for you to walk to other than the aisles, but moving around the plane once in a while will definitely help. Once the blood starts flowing and your muscles start to work, falling asleep will be a lot easier since you won’t be as cranky.
Flights provide great opportunities for passengers to meet new people, especially during long distance summer travel. Each person on board (even the staff) have reasons why they chose that particular destination or decided to work in that particular career field. So why not ask and find out what they have to say?
Perhaps one of the best ways to survive a long 14-hour flight is by striking up a conversation with the person next to you. Yes, it’s possible you might hear about their collection of buttons or video games, but you could easily end up making a new friend if you both find something in common you like. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to try and start a conversation with the passengers next to you. After all, the more time you spend talking, the less time you’ll spend looking at the clock.
Although summer is a time to enjoy the outside weather and explore different places; not everyone can get away from the classroom environment, even if they’re 2,000 miles away. With summer school and online programs now going the distance for students; travelers can not only stay ahead on projects, they can also keep their mind off the long journey ahead.
In order for this to work, however, you’ll want to have as little distractions as possible in your surrounding area. That said, hyper children, dogs, and constant noise can all play a role in reducing how much you study. As a precaution, if you plan on studying throughout the duration of your flight, consider bringing earplugs or headphones. They help reduce noise and keep you from getting distracted by flight attendants, seatmates, and overhead intercom speakers.
Once you’ve landed at your destination, keep in mind that the fight isn’t over yet. In other words, make sure you get as much daylight as you possible to avoid jet lag and take lots of naps if you have to. If you still feel tired, then exercise. Do all that for a full day or two and you’ll be right back to normal in time for the return flight.