By: Susan Sherren for Couture Trips
Published: February 4, 2022
There is an art to surviving a red-eye or night flight, especially with various masking and other requirements in place. Just realize it's just a small price to pay to have an incredible experience far from your regular life and routines.
KNOW THE TERRAIN
Know the terrain before you even consider booking the flight. Are you committed to fully wearing the mask and being a compliant passenger? I've seen lots of cheaters who pull the mask down from their nose and think this counts! No, it won't make the grade, plus you might irritate your fellow seatmates, and don't be surprised if you get a talking to from the flight attendant. So be all in for the safety of all travelers!
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Secondly, do your homework and educate yourself on the airline's mask requirements. Some airlines, such as Lufthansa, do not allow cloth masks. So your cute and comfy cloth mask won't cut it with this airline. American Airlines has said no to bandanas, balaclavas, scarves, or masks with vented holes. Additionally, your cloth mask has to have at least two layers. If you are on a long-haul flight and wear a cloth mask, pack several in your carry-on or travel bag for the flight. It would be best if you changed your mask at least every four hours while in-flight, and don't forget to pack a sealable bag to place the used masks in. They are the harbingers of germs and not just COVID.
CHANGE AND CLEANSE
Masks, especially cloth masks, can trap quite a bit of humidity while you're wearing them, and you could develop a skin irritation in-flight.
Consider packing a skin cleanser/wash to freshen up between mask changes. We recommend NuFace Prep-N-Glow to help cleanse and hydrate the skin while enduring the long dehydrating flight. Their single sachets are perfect to tuck into your travel bag. While you're changing your mask and freshening up, also blow your nose to ride your nasal passages of any congestion. And don't forget to wash your hands before returning to your seat. Keeping clean is the name of the game in this environment.
Once you know the landscape and requirements for your specific airline, go shopping for a good fit. How many of you have realized only too late that your masks were altering the configuration of your ears. Yes, I have had a poorly fitting mask that caused me a bit of an ouch, and a long-haul flight can mean long hours of enduring pain.
You can order several masks and sleep with them in the confines of your own home. That's an actual clinical trial. You can clearly evaluate each candidate for comfort, size, and fit. Then order several masks to have on as standbys for your flight.
Make sure you stay hydrated and apply moisturizers while you are inflight. This can lessen redded and irritated skin. The humidity levels in-flight are worse than those of the Sahara Desert. So drink lots of water even if you plan on sleeping thru the nighttime flight. Choose an aisle seat that isn't too far from the bathroom, which will make those nighttime trips to the restroom more convenient and less irritating to your seatmates. Skip the sleeping pills and ease up on the alcohol; if you sleep thru a 10 hour plus flight, you might find yourself with a giant headache and suffer the effects of jetlag more intensely.
LOWER YOUR RISKS
Those frequent and sometimes annoying trips to the potty have another beneficial effect. Long haul flights have been associated with the developments of DVT's, yes, deep vein thrombosis or a blood clot. The aisle seat assignment is a good move- it gives you more freedom of movement, especially if you need to access the bathroom. On long-haul flights moving around helps reduce blood and fluid stasis in your lower extremities. Flexing your feet while seated, walking around the cabin when safe, and staying hydrated can help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT can develop into a life-threatening situation. Wearing compression stockings with the standard 15-20 mmHg will decrease your chances of developing a blood clot.
The possibility of developing a blood clot increases with each hour of flying—flight times greater than 4 hours place you at higher risk. Also, avoiding tight-fitting clothing and crossing your legs for extended periods can reduce your risks. These recommendations are vital for those travelers over the age of 60 or travelers with underlying medical conditions. Always consult with your physician about which precautions are most relevant to you. Another great tip is to schedule your check-ups outside of any travel cancellation dates. You want to be in tip-top shape when you venture out.
MAIN CABIN DISCOMFORT
Most of us usually find ourselves longingly looking at those lie-flat beds in first-class before being hurried to the Main Cabin. Many passengers find themselves in those awkward contorted sleeping positions in the "Main Cabin." The main complaint from the main cabin traveler is neck pain and cramped legs. How the heck do you prevent neck injuries and have a bit of comfort in the main cabin seat? This harkens back to the same processes involved in finding a suitable mask. Go shopping and trial neck supporting devices and actually try upright sleeping for one night or at least a few hours to see which one makes the cut. We recommend Otrichpillow's Go Neck Pillow. It is super comfortable and can help give you a bit of a shut-eye while you are on the go.
GO FOR IT
If you decide to leave the creature comforts of your home for the exhilarating process of traveling, know that the "getting there" phase has its downsides- masks, cramped spaces, rules and more rules, lousy food, and uncertainty. Still, the upsides outways any of these travel hassles.
There is nothing more exhilarating or freeing than arriving at a unique and beautiful place meeting incredible people that will positively impact your life and change your perspective on things. Don't let a mask or some temporary discomforts prevent you from seeing the world; you might be surprised how the world will change you.
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