While traveling is sure fun, there are always those dreaded long hours that we must endure to get to where we’re headed to. And when we say long, we mean looooong like 12 to 16 hours straight on an airplane, which isn’t really the best place to spend almost an entire day in.There’s always the chance of being seated next to a baby. Cute? Well yeah, until he decides to cry non-stop during the entire flight. There’s also the food that isn't always the best and most appetizing. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be seated next to that cute guy/girl you saw (or stalked) at the airport then you'll start daydreaming about your future with him/her only to be disturbed by his/her loud snoring, bummer. But hey don’t let these unfortunate scenarios ruin your mood, because as the South Border song goes "there’s always a rainbow after the rain." Here’s some tips on how you can breeze through those long hours on board.
1. Go for the coveted exit row seat. It may not be as comfortable compared to a business class seat but it’ll give you much more space should you want to stretch your legs. You may even place your carry-on luggage there and voila! Instant leg rest.
2. Coffee is no-no. Before you drown yourself with coffee like you're used to at work, keep in mind that coffee is caffeine and will most likely keep you up all night which isn’t really wise if you still got 15 more hours to go. But if you really must, then at least limit it to one cup.
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3. Neck pillows are everything. Now if you’ve flown coach before, you’ll know that the pillows (if there are any) are tiny and the head rest isn’t the softest, which makes it hard to sleep. This is where the neck pillow comes in handy. There are many variations of neck pillows that you can choose from nowadays. There’s one that follows the form of your body when you want to be all cozy and cuddly.
4. Wear comfortable clothes, shoes, and socks. If you’re traveling for more than 10 hours in a plane, it's not advisable to dress up and be all fancy—because honestly, these people just want to go to sleep, and they couldn’t care less about what the other passengers are wearing. But that is not to say that you should let your guard down because you’ll never know who you might meet (the love of your life perhaps?), but just make sure you’ll be comfortable in whatever it is your wearing. Also, a nice pair of socks would be useful, as you may want to let your feet rest.
5. Download your own entertainment. Most long-haul flights provide entertainment in the form of old and new movies, TV shows, games, and music, but sometimes no matter how extensive the choices are, we still can’t find one that will keep us sane for the rest of the flight. Download your favorite TV series (back-to-back episodes for the win!), and movies that you haven’t seen, on your iPad or laptop, or a book that you’ve been wanting to read. This will help you kill a lot of time.
6. Don’t forget your eye mask. Some airlines provide a free eye mask even to those who are flying coach, as some people are not really comfortable sleeping in public open to everyone's scrutiny. It would also be wise to bring your own to also block off the light.
7. Bring some snacks. I think we can all agree that in-flight food isn't always that good (unless of course you’re in business class complete with a personal chef), so it wouldn’t hurt to bring in some snacks from the airport. Or, if you’re not completely satisfied with the set served for lunch and/or dinner, you can always request for cup noodles or other snacks like peanuts and chocolates, that is readily available should you want it.
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Illustrations by Jana Jimenez