Overseas travel has risen considerably over the last two decades. According to data from the World Tourism Organization, Yearbook of Tourism Statistics and Compendium of Tourism Statistics, more than 633 million tourists traveled internationally in 1996. By 2017, that figure had risen to 1.567 billion.
Travel appeals to billions of people across the globe, and overseas travel seems to be especially alluring. Visiting other countries is a great way to try new foods, meet new and interesting people and immerse oneself in cultures that are entirely different from one’s own. If only getting overseas weren’t such an arduous process, perhaps even more people would venture to foreign lands.
As any international traveler knows, crossing time zones can wreak havoc on the human body. And such havoc is not exclusive to international travel, as even domestic travelers in countries as expansive as the United States and Canada can be thrown off when traveling from one coast to another. Finding ways to sleep on lengthy flights is a great way to combat jet lag and other issues associated with changing time zones. The following are a few tricks travelers can try in the hopes of arriving at their destinations well-rested and ready to explore.
• Choose a window seat. Many travelers find that window seats are more conducive to sleeping than center or aisle seats. When sitting in a window seat, you only have one person sitting next to you, which means only one shared arm rest. In addition, window seat occupants can rest their heads against the interior wall of the cabin, which can facilitate sleeping. Window seat occupants also can sleep without fear of interruption by fellow passengers getting up to use the restroom or stretch their legs.
• Avoid exit row seats. Exit row seats with all that extra leg room might seem like the ideal place to doze off. However, many exit row seats do not recline, forcing occupants to sit upright for the duration of their flights. Especially tall travelers may want to sacrifice reclining in favor of extra leg room.
• Pack light. Two carry-on bags may make it difficult to sleep, as one likely will have to be stored beneath your seat and between your feet. That can make your seat feel especially cramped, compromising your ability to get comfortable and fall asleep.
• Dress the part. Throw fashion to the wind and choose comfort over style if you hope to sleep on your flight. Wear loose-fitting clothing, such as sweatpants and a T-shirt with a hoodie that can be easily removed if need be. Such clothing is more comfortable to sleep in than jeans and form-fitting attire.
It’s possible to get a good night’s rest on a flight, giving tourists the chance to hit the ground running once they arrive at their destinations.