Tips for a Long Haul Flight

Long haul flights can be very grueling and also dangerous especially for those flying in coach with a health condition.  Sitting for too long is actually bad for circulation and can possibly lead to blood clots (or in a more technical term, a pulmonary embolism).  But did you know that being on birth control can make you more susceptible to a blood clot?  Yes it actually happens.  I know someone who got a clot and it freaked me out so much that on my first international trip, I researched the heck out of ‘preparing for long haul flights’.

Some things to consider:

  1. Get up and walk around as much as you are allowed to.  Use the bathroom.  Stand up in your seat and stretch a bit.  Just get up.
  2. If you can’t get up, try doing a few exercises in your seat. Do some leg raises where you raise your knees to your chest, and then also extend your legs out in front of you to lift them up. Be extra careful not to hit the person’s seat in front of you or else you’ll get a very angry seatmate.  Point your toes and flex your heals.  Then do circles in one direction and then do circles the opposite.  The whole point to it all is to keep your blood circulating and to prevent any blood clots.
  3. It also helps to be in comfortable loose fitting clothing.  When I fly, I like being in leggings, a big shirt to cover my bum, and a jacket to keep me cozy on the plane.

Other tips for long haul flights:

  1. Stay hydrated.  Bring your own water bottle to fill up after you pass security.  Or buy a big bottle of water before boarding the plane.
  2. Don’t forget your motion sickness pills if you’re susceptible to motion sickness.  It does knock me out, but flight attendants are usually good about serving meals and snacks that I don’t stay asleep for too long.
  3. Bring your own earbuds so you don’t have to use the ones they pass out (only if you’re a germaphobe).
  4. Shower before you fly for the sake of everyone on the plane.  I usually like the aisle seat because I only like sitting next to my husband and I remember a lady walking past me who smelled really bad (like the smell of poop bad).
  5. Bring a sheetmask and put it on after take off to keep your skin hydrated.  Or if you’re too embarrassed bring a face mist.

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