Surviving the Long Haul Flights to Your Favorite Auberge Destinations
Oct 21, 2015
Some flights glide by in the blink of an eye; others drag on for what seems like forever. It’s safe to say that no one particularly enjoys long haul flights. No one. Being confined in a flying aluminum canister for extended periods will impress upon even the most frequent flyer.
The good news, however, is that some flights are more enjoyable than others, and there are indeed several things we can do to mitigate that daunting journey. We know that some of your favorite Auberge destinations are more than a hop, skip and a jump over the pond, so here we present our favorite tips from our frequent flyers to help our guests enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT
Plan your food
You might not think that taking care of your food situation is a pre-flight priority, however it is in your favor to make it a priority. Being hungry on the ground is rough enough even though you can run out and get a snack. Hunger on a plane means 1: you’ll end up spending an outrageous amount of money on expensive snacks, or 2: you’ll have to wait however many more hours until the next meal is served. Pack protein-rich and low-carb snacks to keep you feeling fuller for longer without dehydrating yourself further – think nuts, turkey slices, low-fat cheeses, veggie sticks and peanut butter, fruit and even protein bars.
Did you also know that you can pre-order special meals for your flight? Most airlines offer special meals for our special vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher flyers. An added bonus – the special meals are the first to be served, thusly getting to sleep sooner! Make sure to check online before your flight.
*Food for thought: Our trusty doctors note that high elevations make it harder to digest – don’t overdo it!
Planes are notoriously dehydrating, and while you should be drinking plenty of water everyday, health experts recommend you pay extra attention to and consciously increase your water intake during the days leading up to your flight.
Tweak your skin-care routine
The dehydrating flights can take a toll on your skin. Skin can get tremendously dry on planes, so it is important to adjust your facial routine. Dermatologists recommend you taper off retinol products and other exfoliators two days prior to your long flight, and if your skin can handle it, switch from lotions to creams, which are thicker and can help fight off the dry air on the plane.
Pack your survival kit
Packing for the journey is just as important as packing for your destination.
Firstly, the no-brainers: headphones/earplugs. Travelers everywhere recommend investing in a quality pair of noise cancelling headphones and/or earplugs for long haul flights. Not only will they block out the noise of the roaring engine, but it will also block out the other noises disrupting your sleep. You won’t have to worry about crying babies or the flight attendant waking you up for another drink.
An eye mask is also essential to surviving these flights and actually getting sleep on the plane. You might not think it’s the most flattering of looks, but it will help your jet lag in the long run, as light upsets our circadian rhythms.
A small, in-flight toiletry bag with the essentials is recommended for any flight longer than five hours – think toothbrush and toothpaste, eyeglasses, face care items, lip balm, cream or lotion with SPF (no, the windows on the plane do not block out UV rays, and yes, you can damage your skin at 30,000 feet!), hand sanitizer, a spare set of contacts, etc.
Bring your own entertainment. Bring enough books, magazines, games, or movies to help the time pass by more quickly. Don’t rely on a potentially rotten in-flight flick. Prepping that entertainment is just as important as bringing it. Download any movies, TV seasons and books you might want to watch/read on the plane, and charge all your devices. Traveling drains the battery on all our favorite electronics. Whether we are texting, playing games, looking up travel delays or weather updates, we are generally always on one of our devices, especially during those pesky waiting periods. Make sure your tablets, phones, readers, and iPods are charged to 100% the night before your flight. If you have an extra power pack, bring it to provide your devices with extra juice when you can.
Check your back. Why airplane seats were constructed with a C-shaped curve is beyond us. Our S-shaped spines result in achy backs and necks when we finally make it to our destination! Bringing something to provide some sort of lumbar support is crucial, especially for those who already suffer from back and neck pain. We suggest packing a pillow, blanket, sweater, etc. to wedge behind your lower back and counteract the shape of the seat. A neck pillow also isn’t a bad idea.
Dress for success. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and layer it on. These flights sometimes mean going from being freezing cold to overheating within a matter of minutes. Don’t just wear a t-shirt and bring a chunky jacket; try wearing a t-shirt with a sweater over it and possibly the jacket, just in case.
*And for all you window seat aficionados, a pair of cashmere socks is a great carry-on for when your feet inevitably get cold.
Get the best seat on the plane. Believe it or not, but where you sit actually makes a significant difference. When choosing your seat, try and sit by the wing of the plane, as experts claim these seats experience the least amount of turbulence. Also note that bulkhead seats don’t have storage for carry-ons, and exit rows do not recline. Window seats are a popular choice, providing a solid wall to rest your head upon for a disruption-free nap. This also means that you only have to get up when you have to go to the bathroom.
ON THE PLANE
Adjust the time. When you board the plane, set your watch to the time zone of your destination. If you have a smart phone, use the World Clock function. Try your best to sync your zzz’s with your new time zone. For example, if you’re headed to Hacienda AltaGracia, you’ll want to do your best to sleep when it’s nighttime in Costa Rica and stay awake during the daytime. Unfortunately, the feeding and lighting schedules on planes is not at all conducive to adjusting to a new time zone, so self-discipline is a must here!
Avoid coffee and alcohol. We know, that does not sound like fun. But caffeine only keeps you awake and further dehydrates you, as does alcohol – both very bad! Stay hydrated. Opt for water and decaffeinated teas; you’ll thank us later.
Stretch. Being confined and cramped in a seat for hours upon hours is literally a big pain. Here’s where stretching comes in: when the seatbelt sign permits, take walks to the bathroom area to keep the blood flowing and stretch your legs and hips. When you have to be seated, intermittently rotate your torso until you can look behind each shoulder. Rolling your head back and forth a few times can also help to prevent a stiff neck.
These long haul flights are tough on the body or mind. We know you’re so excited to make it to your favorite Auberge resort, and hopefully our tips and tricks will help you feel more refreshed upon landing and ready to take on the destination with vigor and verve.
Happy flying, and see you soon!