Air travel is no doubt a preferred
mode of travel, but being hurtled across the globe in a large box of metal
can have its disadvantages. Here's how to make traveling by air a snap.
The primary reason you feel drained
and suffer from slight altitude sickness after a flight is the weak cabin
air. Though the air is pressurised because of the altitude, it is still
substantially weaker than it would be at sea level.
Fresher air, though still not strong
enough, can provide a much welcome relief from altitude sickness. The cabin
air is freshest in first class, but the rest of us who have to rough it
through cattle class should ask for a seat as much in front as possible;
the air gets staler as you move backwards.
The Aisle Seat
People who opt for window seats on short flights, unless they plan to sleep for the duration of the flight and need wall support, never cease to amaze me.
If your idea of a good time is staring
blankly into space you have serious entertainment issues. It makes a lot
more sense to opt for an aisle seat. Not only will you have more room for
movement and stretching your legs, but you can get up and go to the toilet
without squeezing through your flight partners' knees.
Because of the effort involved in
planning for a trip, booking tickets, hotels, packing etc, passengers travel
even if they are slightly unwell. And as the same air keeps circulating
in the flight, there is a chance of you picking up germs if your immune
system is weak or if you are unwell yourself. Protect yourself with a scarf.
Cabin air is very, very dry and you
will in all probability feel dehydrated. It is a good idea to carry a bottle
of water and keep taking sips throughout your journey. You could, of course,
ask for water, but the tiny cups you are served water in will hardly suffice.
If you are travelling long distance,
the minute the flight takes off look around for a row of seats that are
unoccupied and if you spot it, head for it immediately. There's no point
waiting for fifteen minutes to see if anyone sits there. This is not a
movie hall. If the seats are unoccupied when the flight takes off, they
are going to remain so unless someone else has the same idea.
If you are prone to motion sickness, it is a good idea to take some form of motion sickness drug before boarding the flight. It won't be of much help if you have it after you start feeling sick. Then the next best thing to do would be to throw up. However, spare a thought for your fellow passengers and carry the barf bag, located in the seat pocket ahead, to the toilet.
Motion sickness is caused partly because of the discrepancy of what the eye sees and what the inner ear feels. So if you can close your eyes for the duration of the flight, you will feel noticeably less sick.
Ask the flight steward to provide
you with cotton wool. This eases the pressure on the inner ear, especially
during take off and landing.
Because of the altitude and the air-conditioning,
the temperature in aircrafts tends to be pretty low. Blankets are limited
so if you tend to feel cold easily, ask the stewardess for a blanket as
soon as you board the flight, or pack a jacket in your hand luggage, which
you can put on when you start feeling the chill.
Even if the noise may not seem like
a big deal to you, it is still very much present and wears away at you
at a subconscious level, so carry a pair of ear plugs or ask the flight
steward to provide you with cotton wool.
Listening to music during the flight
can take your mind off the journey. Earphones are usually provided free
of cost and you can plug it into the music system located on the armrest
of your seat. You could also carry a walkman or discman, but some evidence
suggests it interferes with the airplane's signals and you would probably
have to turn it off during take-off and landing. Personally, that's enough
reason for me to skip using a discman at all during the flight. I don't
know about you, but I'd rather be bored than dead.
Unless you're traveling on an Indian
sector which has a high vegetarian population, it's very likely that there
may not be adequate vegetarian food. So if you are vegetarian, it's best
you inform your travel agent or the airline personnel booking your ticket.
In any case, make sure you don't get on that flight hungry. Don't skip
a meal with the belief that you'll eat on the flight.
As if the cabin air wasn't dry and
dehydrating enough, some bright sparks insist on consuming alcohol during
the flight, further worsening their condition. Alcohol is dehydrating,
so stay away from it!
Jet lag is basically caused by the
difference in time zones, and it's effect on your body's cycle. Its effect
is stronger if you fly east and less if you fly west.
Fear of Flying
Are you one of those who gets sleepless
nights the week preceding your flight? Think about this:
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