Top Expert Travel Tips - Part 4: Onboard the plane
Minimising jetlag and arriving fresh
- If your overhead luggage compartment is full, try to find space closer to the front of the plane - this will make a big difference when disembarking.
- Set your watch (or phone) to the destination time as soon as you are seated and try to stay up during your destination's day hours and sleep at night hours.
- Sleeping tablets are best taken with the first meal – or at least after the plane has levelled off, in case there is a problem and the plane needs to land.
- The middle seat gets both arm rests – if you're unlucky enough to be stuck in the middle, the least you deserve is the small luxury of two armrests. Claim them.
- Never drink on a long haul or redeye. You'll be dehydrated enough when you land without the help of alcohol or any other diuretic like caffeine. Drink plenty of water, since the more dehydrated and tired you are, the more susceptible you can be to illness in a new location.
- When on the plane, you might be sitting next to a local or frequent traveller to your destination. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the "do's and dont's".
- Get changed from your business suit into your "flight suit" (or pyjamas) as soon as possible. This will reduce wrinkles and more importantly, have you feeling fresh at your destination.
- Time bathroom visits to reduce waiting time. Most people will get up immediately after their meal tray is cleared – this is the worst time to go. The best is immediately after the aircraft has levelled off from take off but before initial beverage service, about 10-15 minutes after wheels-up.
- Don't worry about breathing the same air as the hundreds of other people sitting on the plane, it's cleaned using hospital grade filters. The most important thing is washing your hands frequently because many people will be touching the same things as you.
- There are power outlets in the galleys on international flights. If you find yourself out of battery, smile and ask one of the flight attendants to plug in your laptop.
- Use your own tablet or laptop for entertainment - it will almost always have a better screen, sound and selection of content - if you've remembered to pre-load it.
- Fill the immigration forms as soon as you get them – one less thing to worry about at your destination. Pick up several and keep them in your bag. Fill them in when you are next stuck and don't have anything to do.