When it comes to air travel advice, I’ve figured out how to travel well on air planes. In the past 5 months, I have flown 54,000 kilometres, been in 5 different countries spanning 3 continents and survived 13 take off and landing combinations. The majority of the flights were also long haul flights lasting more than 3 hours and some, lasting for over 12 hours. Now, not everyone is accustomed to such long flights but if you plan on seeing the world, you better get comfortable as you have no other choice. In this article, I will cover airsickness and the best ways to avoid it.
Everyone has different needs when it comes to air travel as well. Some of us get sick when turbulence hits, some of us are claustrophobic (like me) and others just need constant entertainment because they can’t sleep. Fortunately, I have found the solution to most common problems you will encounter on your long journeys. What works for one person may not work for you so of course, adjust accordingly.
I love turbulence and anyone who has ever travelled with me knows that I tend to get excited when the plane begins to shake loose. It’s weird, I know, while others are giving their arms rests the death grip, I’m throwing my arms in the air like we’re at Six Flags. Unlike me however, some people tend to get air sick, especially once you get acclimated to smooth flying at 10,000 metres and all of the sudden the plane starts shaking violently. Although there is no way to prevent turbulence, you can prevent airsickness or at least mitigate it.
Most people that get nervous before a flight tend to drink themselves silly at the airport, I have seen this time and time again. Guess who the first ones to reach for the air sick bag are? That’s right, those guys. The number one thing you can do to prevent airsickness is avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water while on the ground and up in the air. Have a full meal about an hour before you start boarding as well, this usually gives your stomach plenty of time to begin the digestive process. If you eat right before boarding, you’re more likely to lose whatever you just ate. Sometimes that isn’t enough as plenty of people get airsick while avoiding alcohol and flying on an empty stomach. The motion of the plane does a lot of people in but that too can be avoided.
It’s no secret when you are a kid that the back of the bus was always the most fun. When the bus driver would hit a bump, you would usually go flying, always an excellent end of the day amusement to see who could touch the roof after each bump. The same holds true for aeroplanes, the back of the plane is the bumpiest (my preferred location of seating for long flights) followed by the front of the plane. If you love flying first class (and who doesn’t?) but get airsick quite easily, you may want to relocate to coach as the best place to sit to prevent airsickness is a window seat right over the wings. It might seem counter intuitive but it’s not. That location is the least likely to move in a way that affects the human body. It moves yes but in a way that is less bumpy and you feel more glued to your seat. So if the motion of the plane really bothers you, sit over the wing on a window seat, you’ll feel much better.
Other tips to keep in mind is you may want to take a anti-airsickness pill that helps prevent airsickness. You can usually buy them at the drug store and even in the airport itself if you forgot to get them ahead of time. While flying, be sure to drink a lot of water and avoid alcohol. When they begin to serve food, eat but don’t eat too fast. If you take your time and turbulence hits, the food will stay in your stomach. Stay buckled in as well with the belt as tight as possible around your waist, that way if turbulence hits, your less likely to bounce around. This holds true for any seat in the aircraft.
Although it is important to walk around on long flights to keep your circulation going, some people get very airsick after walking around on board an aeroplane. If this is the case, I advise you to stay seated as much as possible and get up only if it’s absolutely necessary. Turbulence can hit at any time and usually happens when you least expect it, for me it’s when I’m in the bathroom go figure. However, once the captain turns off the seat belt sign after encountering turbulence, usually you’re in the clear for a while and this is the best time to get up if you want to avoid getting sick while walking about.
There are many tricks to surviving long flights and I will be covering more soon. I felt airsickness was a good place to start since on my last flight, a few people lost their breakfast soon after being served it. As always, I like hearing advice you may have on the subject as well.