Air travel can be very exciting and a lot fun. After all, you're finally on your way! But it can also be a stressful experience. You have to put up with other travellers and some people seem to leave all of their manners and etiquette at home when they fly. Suddenly it's ok to get drunk at 7am and lose their tempers easily. The minute some people enter and aircraft, they think they're in a little bubble of their own, some of the stories you hear from travellers and flight attendants of what they have encountered on flights is unbelievable. Everything from changing a baby's nappy on a seat tray to doing yoga in the back of the plane. You only have to google "flight attendant stories" to see what I mean!
We can't control the behaviour of others, but these top tips will help you make your flight the most comfortable that it can be!
1) Choose Your Seat Wisely
We all have different ideas of what the best seat in the plane is. Some like to look out at the views, some like an aisle seat for a quick getaway, they can get claustrophobic, or because they have weak bladders. Statistically, the middle seat is the least popular, so don’t get stuck with one of them! If sleep is on your agenda, choose a window seat on the left hand side of the plane as you look towards the cockpit. The windows on the left side of the plane are off centre, meaning you have some airplane wall to lean against. You also have complete control over the window visor!
2) Make Yourself Comfortable
Whether it’s a short flight or a long haul journey, airplanes can be notoriously uncomfortable and you have no control over the temperature, so be prepared! Wear layers and make sure you have a hoodie with you. They are great for keeping you warm, but you can use the hood to block you off from your temporary world if you want to sleep. Airline blankets, if provided, probably haven’t been laundered unless you’re on the first flight of the day, at least your hoodie is clean! Take a travel pillow with you to save yourself from neck ache or to lean against if you want to sleep. Wear comfortable, warm shoes that are easy to take on and off, or invest in some slipper socks. They are great at keeping your feet warm, as comfortable as being barefoot and you’ll pick up less germs on your trip to the bathroom!
3) Protect Your Skin
Aircrafts are not humidified which means that the air circulating around you is extremely dry, causing painful nasal passages, chapped lips and sore skin. Carry a skin refreshing spray or face cream with you and use it regularly throughout your flight. Lip balm is also an essential!
4) Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, anxious and a little ill and shaky and the dry air on planes only increases your chances of dehydration. It is so important to drink as much water as possible when you fly. Believe me, you’ll feel much better for it when you land. Take your own water bottle, air stewards will refill your water for free. We all know that the tiny cups of two mouthfuls that are often passed around on a flight are just not enough. An extra tip though, don’t have ice in any drinks that you purchase, on some airlines the water used to make ice cubes is not filtered and can carry bacteria.
5) Bring Your Own Headphones
With the quick turnarounds of aircrafts, as with the blankets, airline headphones are reused. Yep, someone else’s ears have touched those headphones and they may not have been as clean as your ears! Use your own! If you want to sleep, make sure you have earplugs or noise cancelling headphones at hand too.
6) Take Disinfectant Wipes
Again with the quick turnaround of aircrafts, not everything gets cleaned properly. Tray tables, windows and the walls of the aircraft will not have been cleaned. Use disinfectant wipes to clean the areas around you and to eliminate germs so that you don’t get sick.
7) Be a Vegetarian
If you ask for the vegetarian option on the inflight menu, you will most likely get fed first. Airlines also prepare less of these meals, meaning that they are probably of a better quality and taste better. It’s always good to stick to a healthy option on a flight too!
8) Take a Walk
This is especially important if you are on a long haul flight. Our bodies were not designed to be sat in the same position for hours on end. Deep vein thrombosis poses a higher threat if you fly for any more than four hours too. So, regularly do stretches at your seat, circle your feet and stretch your toes. More importantly, try and walk around as much as possible. Tie it in with a trip to that bathroom, walk around the plane. I often take myself to the back of the plane next to the big window and enjoy the space and the views; sometimes just standing up can help to get your blood flowing. Perhaps a yoga work out on a plane is a step to far though!
9) Become the Turbulence
If turbulence gets your heart thumping, jiggle around with the plane. It has been scientifically proven that if you move yourself around during turbulence, you feel it a lot less. Plus, nobody will really notice, because everybody is moving around! It’s also a great excuse to get your blood pumping and to use some of your muscles.
10) Be Kind to Your Crew
Being nice to a flight attendant can get you a long way. These people put up with rude and belligerent customers all day long and a bit of kindness can make their day. Don’t complain, if you’re asked to do something, do it, or politely decline and give a reason why. Smile, ask for things nicely and don’t be too expectant. If you stand out as a nice, kind and happy traveller, you will often be at the top of their lists for freebies and upgrades too. People who go out of their way to do something nice, will be rewarded. Some passengers even buy their crew a box of chocolates at the airport and some have reported great payback for their thoughtfulness!
The Dalyan exposé will run for 3 weeks in May and will include a lot of exciting articles every day and videos on our YouTube channel with interesting interviews with business owners and those who work in tourism in Turkey. We'll also be tackling safety issues and what terrorism means for Turkey and the beautiful riverside town of Dalyan.