China Tour Makes Your Flight Worthwhile
While there are many reasons to explore China and East Asia, one reason some people are uncertain about booking a trip is the thought of having to endure the long flight from the United States. Even a direct flight from the western US to China will take between 12 and 13 hours.
Since there’s simply no way of getting around the distance involved, we put together some strategies on making your flight as comfortable as possible so you can better look forward to all the new things you are likely to experience once you arrive in the Middle Kingdom and hit the ground running once you arrive.
Making a Comfortable Trip to China
- Book early: by purchasing your tickets early, you have a better shot at choosing the aisle or exit seat on the flight you want. Not sure where to sit? Check out the results of a recent survey to give you a better idea where you’d ought to park yourself.
- Put those airline miles to use: if you have some sort of travel rewards built up, now might be the right time to cash them in for some nice first-class seats.
- Pay for premium economy: in case you aren’t blessed with airline miles to cash in, premium economy is typically a significant improvement over standard economy with bonuses like priority check-in, more legroom, more comfortable seats, and other pluses.
- Timing is everything: to best avoid, or at least mitigate, that nasty jet-lag, get as much sleep as you can beforehand and try to avoid booking red-eye flights.
- Dress comfortably: more than likely, you’re going to want to sleep during your flight at some point. There is certainly no requirement that you dress professionally on your trans-Pacific flight, so break out the loose-fitting clothing, sweatpants, flats or tennis shoes, whatever you like to sleep in. Nobody will judge you.
- Bring the pillow: this is one carry-on you should make sure you pack. Most airlines sell very small travel pillows (here are some great neck pillows!) that are not overpriced.
- Cut the noise: having noise-cancelling headphones can make a huge difference in tuning out those noisy children. These high-end headphones may seem pricey, but isn’t your sanity worth it? Even earplugs would be worth picking up prior to your flight.
- Bring your own cinema: having an in-flight movie to watch can really help the time to pass. Sadly, sometimes there are issues with the entertainment on the plane, so take the time to add some movies to your tablet or other device, or at least upload some podcasts, and of course make sure they are fully charged before leaving. You can find some awesome iPhone games to limit your boredom here.
- Get up: that’s basically it—stand up now and then and do your best to stay hydrated during your flight to prevent dehydration and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), that is, blood clots forming in deep veins. Going more than four hours increases your risk of DVT, so get up and stretch those calves. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks might be tempting, but remember that they can really mess with your sleep patterns. Gatorade and other liquids high in electrolytes are a good idea.
- Snack: airline food is often not quite enough to satisfy your hunger, so go ahead and pack some extra granola bars or dehydrated fruit for your long flight. Nothing too salty, as it’s already dry in the plane and flight attendants aren’t always the best at offering water.
- Checked bags: it might be tempting to bring a huge carry-on bag with you, but keep in mind that this could end up meaning less leg-room for you.
- Don’t be a victim: sadly, there are certain folks who will wait until you fall asleep on your flight to try and nab your wallet or other personal belongings. Do your best to shove your most valuable items deep into your bag and keep your passport, credit cards, and some cash in a money belt around your waist and under your clothes.
- Keep it clean: some germ-a-phobes shudder at the thought of being in such close proximity to so many people for hours and hours. Yes, the chances of you contracting a cold go up on your long flight. At a certain point there is not much you can do to avoid this. What you can do is bring along some anti-bacterial wipes and hand-sanitizer to cut down on your chances of getting sick. Wipe down your seat once you sit down and clean your hands after touching your headphones, opening the overhead compartment, or shaking hands with your neighbor.
- Buckle up (in an obvious way): to ensure the flight attendant does not disturb your sleep when they do a safety check if the seat belt sign is on, buckle your seat belt over your clothes so it is plainly visible to them.
- Moisturize: the cabin of your airplane has roughly 12% humidity–that’s drier than most deserts! Bring some moisturizer along and use it every 3 hours or so to avoid drying out your skin in a big way.
- Enjoy! If you are boarding a plane, you are part of only one-quarter of the world’s population who will ever do so in their lifetime. Having a good attitude and being courteous to your flight attendants and neighbors on your flight can go a long way towards making your flight a positive experience.
You can rest assured that if you booked your trip to China with China Tour, we will have taken care of everything for you as soon as your flight lands. We make sure our tours are first-rate and highly-memorable experiences for our clients. While your flight may be long, the memories you make will last forever!