Flying tips

Bring your own snacks, or buy some before boarding

One of the beauties of long-haul flights is how well you’re fed—often, at least two full meals and a mid-flight snack to curb your cravings are provided. But what about when the lights are out, flight attendants are nowhere to be found, and hunger pangs strike? What then? Be prepared with your own munchies and a bottle of water—especially if you’re the type that craves salt. RELATED: Your Must-Have Carry-On Packing List

Be friendly to and respectful of your seatmate—you’re both in this together

This might be self-explanatory, but be nice. Learn the rules of the air: unless you’re in the middle seat, hogging an interior armrest is a jerk move. Before reclining your chair, glance back to make sure it won’t disrupt anyone, and whatever you do, don’t do it during meal service. Also, whether you’re on the window or the aisle, expect—especially during long hauls—that everyone is going to have to use the lavatory at least a few times. Be forgiving and courteous, and you might even make a new friend in the process. RELATED: 7 Super Affordable Jet Lag Remedies

DON’T wear makeup; DO moisturize

This ain’t no beauty contest. Your skin has enough to deal with at 30,000 feet (dry cabin air; decreased blood flow) without throwing pore-clogging products into the mix. Instead, apply a serum and moisturizer to keep your skin aglow (just make sure they’re less than 100ml and can pass through security), apply eyedrops to counteract irritation, and dab on some chapstick before your lips dry out.

Choose your in-flight food (and drinks) carefully

That cheesy chicken parmesan wafting down the center aisle might smell delectable, but you may want to reconsider. Heavy meals keep you awake, and are more difficult to digest when all you’ll be doing for the next 15 hours is sitting, sitting, and sitting some more. If you can, avoid foods and drinks high on sugar, salt, or caffeine. The same goes for alcohol. While it can act as a sedative for anxious fliers, it is also extremely dehydrating. Instead, try an herbal tea, which induces drowsiness without the consequences of liquor.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Because planes are constantly replenishing cabin air with the air outside, the levels of humidity inside plane cabins are comparable to what you’d find in a desert—bone dry. The effects are two-fold: the extreme dryness dulls the skin, and, if not addressed, dehydration leads to worsened jet lag. It’s vital to drink plenty of water—approximately 8 ounces per hour, according to some experts.

Brush your teeth

Do you struggle with sleeping in the air? We feel you. Blocking out those roaring engines, crying babies, and your neighbor’s reading light is hard enough, but getting your body’s sleep clock to adjust to new timezones is a talent that still eludes many. A helpful tip: brush your teeth before nodding off—and, if you want, gargle mouthwash and wash your face. These simple but effective habits help trick your body into thinking it’s sleep time. RELATED: 6 Tips for Sleeping Well on a Plane

Get up every few hours to keep the blood flowing

Pressurized cabins spell less oxygen for passengers and, over periods of time, symptoms due to lower blood oxygen levels that include fatigue, headaches, swollen limbs, and dehydration. The best solution? Stretch. Walk up and down the aisle to boost blood flow and practice some non-intrusive exercises in your seat, like rolling your shoulders and rotating your ankles.

Do your Commercial Single Engine and CFI in a Cessna 150/152 or other two seater.

Do your Commercial Single Engine and CFI in a Cessna 150/152 or other two seater.On the day of my commercial ride there was a Fed hanging out with my DPE when I arrived. He wanted to ride along to observe the exam. My DPE had forgotten to tell the FAA guy we were going in the 150. The guy got in his car and went back to the FSDO when he found out. Didn't even stay for the oral.

Never read accident reports before bed...

I've never lost control of an airplane so many times in one flight. Fortunately it ended well and a giant panda bear brought me a mocha when I landed. Gotta love dreams...