Long haul flights require more preparation than short flights, especially if you’re leaving for a while or going overseas

Preparation is the key to enjoying both comfortable flying experience and to ensure that you arrive at your destination with everything needed, as well as knowing you’ve left your life back home in good hands.

How To Get Ready For A Long Plane Ride

Pack medications in carry-on luggage.

Pack several days’ worth of beauty and sanitary supplies in carry-on luggage.

One spare pair of underwear is a good idea too in case bags get lost.

It is crucial that someone picks up your mail. A mailbox full of social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal info is an identity theft dream.

However, it is possible for the post office to hold your mail if you make a request.

Bring chargers for electronics. Don’t assume that charging all of the electronics beforehand will work, because your DVD player probably doesn’t have enough battery for a 6-hour plane ride, a week-long vacation, and another 6-hour plane ride.

Invest in electrical converters and/or adapters for foreign destinations.

Some good entertainment items are portable video games (DS, PSP), iPods and MP3 players, magnetic “travel” board games, crossword puzzle or Sudoku books, a good novel, magazines that interest you, and a cell phone.

If you don’t have a cell phone and are 7+ years of age you can always use your parent’s phone.

Be courteous to flight attendants and all airline personnel. You never know when they might upgrade you because they liked your smile or seated you next to the toilets at the back of the plane even though you asked precisely to avoid that, all because you irritated them.

Make sure to buy a meal at the airport if they do not serve one during your flight. Most airports have tiny food courts with familiar restaurants like McDonald’s or Taco Bell.

Realistically, you won’t be listening to your iPod for the entirety of a ten-hour flight, so pack more than one source of entertainment.

Read the airline’s magazine (usually in the back pocket of the seat in front of you) for things you can’t use during the flight. You don’t want your flashy new iPhone confiscated from you.

Pack gum to chew so you don’t get the ear pain that may occur with the plane’s landing.

Check with your medical caregiver about giving a bottle to a baby during take-off and landing to help prevent ear discomfort.

Arrive at the airport 2 1/2 hours early before the plane’s scheduled departure. This will allow time to have a bite to eat, buy a book to read during the plane flight or use the bathroom.

Otherwise, you will have to rush through everything in the airport and have an uncomfortable flight. Remember that due to new security screening measures it might take a while to have your bags cleared.

If you have a problem with air pressure in your ears, such as tinnitus, pack some plane earplugs in your carry-on luggage so you can wear them.

The airplane’s air pressure may be constant, and they have air conditioning, so you may not need them. Earplugs and eyeshades will also help drown out unwanted noise and light when you want to sleep onboard the plane.

Medical Travel and Global Health Care

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