Riding on a long airplane to Europe or any other destination can be difficult, especially if you aren’t used to the long travel. But it is an absolute necessity if you want to go on vacation in Europe. Luckily, there are a number of things that you can (and should) do to make your next long-distance airplane ride more manageable.
Keep circulation in your legs by doing gentle sitting exercises and get up every two hours. It is possible that there is no specific place where you can walk up and down, except for the aisles. However, from time to time flying a plane is much cheaper to rest in good health than taking a sleeping pill.
The day before the flight go to the gym, go for a walk, eat healthy, and make sure to eat and sleep well. Also pack a small vanity case to refresh yourself during a flight or even when the plane is stationary.
With any long international flight that is guaranteed to cross several time zones, sleep will certainly play a big role in how you feel after your arrival. Depending on what time and how long your flight is, you can decide when and how much you want to sleep accordingly.
Another big decision to make before you even officially book your ticket is whether you want a window or an aisle seat. I personally prefer a window seat because I can lean against the side while I sleep, but I also like to see a new place from the air. The disadvantage of this seat is that you have to crawl over your colleagues to use the bathroom. The advantage is that none of your companions need to crawl over you. A window seat helps to kill time on long-haul flights, but if you are prone to going to the bathroom a lot during the flight or are just planning to walk around and stretch your legs out during the flight, then an aisle seat may be better for you.
In addition to window vs. aisle, you may also want to consider whether to book a seat in the back of the plane, or one more towards the front. The back of the plane is typically bumpier in general, so if you are particularly sensitive to turbulence, you should do your best to avoid seats in the back as much as possible. If you typically go to the bathroom often during flights, then consider a seat right next to the lavatory. A common problem on airplanes is people getting up to use the bathroom, only to be beaten there by someone who is much closer, making you wait in line or just return to your seat instead. Getting a seat right next to the lavatory eliminates this problem completely. Or if you want just a little bit more legroom while traveling and are comfortable sitting in an emergency row, you can look to see if any of those seats are still available for purchase. If you aren’t particularly concerned with any of these things, then the best bet is to just book the cheapest seat available.
There are things you can’t control on a plane. Screaming children, smelly passengers, children kicking you in the back ruin anyone’s travel experience, so if at all possible, try to talk to anyone bothering you if they are able to stop what they are doing. Alternatively, you can try speaking to a flight attendant if their behavior is egregious enough to warrant intervention by the flight staff. Or if you are lucky, they can help you find another seat altogether.
Flying on a long airplane ride is never particularly enjoyable, but it is just something you have to deal with to be able to enjoy your awesome European vacation. Hopefully with these tips you’ll at least have a decent experience flying, rather than a downright awful one!