A necessary accompaniment to any business trip to Europe is the flight required to travel to the end destination. Depending on your personal outlook, you may see this as a time to relax, unwind, do a little work and perhaps catch a movie, or you may have come to dread them, resenting the time that the trip occupies. Regardless of your stance, one undeniable fact about long haul flights is that they can wreak havoc on your body clock, particularly if business travel starts to make a regular appearance in your work agenda. Here at Roundstay, we’ve compiled a list of advices to aid you in making your next long haul flight a healthier and more comfortable one.
You know this, but we cannot stress this enough! A vast difference in the air humidity to that which we experience on land, and an elongated journey time can lead to dehydration during long haul flights if we are not careful. Not only is this an issue in itself, a combination of dehydration and remaining seated for long periods of time is what can lead to blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, so it is imperative that we keep ourselves hydrated while flying. Drink plenty of water before and during the flight and, as tempting as it may be, avoid dehydrating beverages such as coffee and alcohol. Not only do you need to keep an eye on your water consumption, you also need to ensure that your body is hydrated and protected against the harsh consequences of this drier humidity. Bring a good moisturiser to apply to your face and hands to stop your skin from drying out, and consider packing a nasal spray or eye drops if a dry nose and eyes cause you discomfort during long flights.
Try to Upgrade
Travel policies and budgets vary from company to company. If you are travelling for business, maybe your employer will provide you with a Business Class, or at the very least, Premium Economy flight. However it never hurts to push for an improvement, does it?
Many people feel uncomfortable about looking for an upgrade but to put it simply, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, so it is always worth checking to see if one is available. Arrive early, dress smartly (think Business casual) and ask at the check-in desk if any upgraded seats are available. It is typically those who are dressed well and travelling alone who are given the opportunity to upgrade.
Pack Your Own Snacks
Airlines are not exactly known for their nutritious foods or healthy snacks so always pack your own healthy options for the journey. Since airline meals come around at set times, it’s not nice to put your body through the discomfort of going hungry while you are waiting to hear the rattle of the food trolley, and you don’t want to find yourself gouging on chocolate or potato chips from the snack menu. Foods like nuts (plain, non salted), dried fruits, cereal bars and trail mix are slow energy releasing and much better for you than anything you will find on the menu. Another secret tip? Order a vegetarian meal before checking in. All veggie meals are distributed first so before the trolley starts moving, you will have a healthy meal in front of you
Okay so you can’t exactly get out of your seat and start lunging and doing press-ups in the middle of the aisle but it is extremely important that you move around and get your blood flowing during your flight and there are plenty of exercises
that you can do from the comfort of your chair though we also recommend you to frequently stand up and talk a walk around the aircraft. In-flight exercise helps to protect you against deep vain thrombosis, and aids you in combating that bloated, uncomfortable feeling that you can get if you remain seated for too long.
Dress for Comfort
Although we recommend to always keep a smart, business casual appearance, particularly when attempting to execute point number two, or if you expect clients or colleagues to be greeting you upon arrival, comfort should be one of your main priorities. You can even consider packing a looser, more comfortable pair of trousers to change into during the flight, and perhaps taking a pair of slippers so that you can take your shoes off for the journey. Complimentary, disposable hotel slippers are great for this. When your flight lands, you can simply leave them behind.
Check your Flight Route
Perhaps you have a colleague or administrator who organises your business travel on your behalf, but you should always confirm that you are comfortable with your flight route and itinerary before it is booked. Some airlines and routes are better than others and the last thing that you need when preparing for a major business meeting is the additional stress of worrying as to whether or not you will make your connecting flight in time, or frantically rushing to your gate. Be prepared, have all details on file and save yourself a stressful stopover at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport.
Pack Sleeping Aids
Unless you are one of a lucky few individuals who find themselves with the ability to sleep virtually anywhere, getting some shut-eye on a plane is a difficult endeavour for many. Whether you are in first class, or economy, screaming children, noisy fellow passengers, and the constant movement of people up and down the aisle are barriers to comfort which all of us will face so consider what additional aids you will need to help you get at least a little bit of R&R during your journey. A simple eye mask and a pair of headphones go a long way. If you decide to trial any medicated sleep aids (prescription or herbal), ensure that you test these before your journey in case of any adverse effects.