Exploring cultures, countries and comfort zones
Surviving a long Haul
For many speakers, regular air travel is just part of doing business.
Make long flights more comfortable—and tolerable—by following
SeatGuru.com features more than 700
aircraft seat maps from over 95 different
airlines, with seat reviews and a color-coded system that identifies superior
and substandard seats. Green indicates
a “good” seat, red is a “poor” seat, and
yellow means “be aware”—the seat may
have less legroom or something else you
should know about. The site also provides airline-specific information regarding
on-flight amenities, check-in, baggage,
unaccompanied minors, and traveling with
infants and pets.
Find the best airplane seat while on the
go with SeatGuru’s mobile app that has
legroom, seat width, seat recline and other
information optimized for your Blackberry
or other electronic devices. You also can
visit SeatGuru’s Facebook page to read
users’ comments or post your own.
If you’re stuck in a crowded econ-omy-class seat, you can avoid deep vein
thrombosis by walking up and down the
aisle or doing some exercises while seated
to promote circulation. You also should
consider taking an aspirin before flying
for its blood-thinning properties. Plan to
wear loose-fitting shoes as your feet may
swell during the flight. If you remove your
shoes, you’ll want to slip them on again
easily and painlessly.
Keeping hydrated is essential to good
health on any flight, but even more impor-
tant on long flights that last more than
a few hours. Don’t wait until you feel
extremely thirsty to ask the flight atten-
dant for a beverage—by that point, you
could already be on the road to dehydra-
tion and illness. Stick to water instead of
sodas and liquor, as virtually everything
except water and juice promotes dehydra-
tion. For convenience, pack some water
bottles in your carry-on.
Nothing ruins a flight more than motion
sickness, which is a common distur-
bance of the inner ear caused by repeated
motion that upsets your equilibrium. It
can develop from the turbulence in an
airplane. The symptoms are nausea, vom-
iting, dizziness, sweating and feeling plain
yucky. To lessen the severity of symptoms
or eliminate them entirely, here are some
steps you can take:
• Avoid spicy or fatty foods that
may worsen motion sickness in
• Avoid foods with strong odors.
• Sit in the middle (over the wing),
which is the calmest area of an
• Take Dramamine, an antihistamine
used to treat the nausea, vomiting or
dizziness caused by motion sickness.
To prevent motion sickness, start
taking this medicine 30 minutes to
one hour before you travel.
If you can’t stomach it any longer,
grab an airsickness bag in the seat pocket
in front of you. After the flight, you can
discard the bag in the bin in the lavatory
or hand it over—with apologies—to the
flight attendant who may insist on wearing
plastic gloves to handle it. That’s what the
call button is for, isn’t it?
Moisturize your hands and face before
and during your flight because the cabin
air will be very dry. Don’t forget to pack
deodorant, brush or comb, and a toothbrush and toothpaste (especially if you
have motion sickness—see above) in your
carry-on so you can freshen up during the
flight and be ready to face the world confidently when you land.
Speaker editor in chief Barbara
Parus is going to follow these
travel tips when she takes a
long flight this month. Contact
her at email@example.com.