How to Survive a Long Flight
Traveling has always been my favorite thing to do but the flying part is always the least glamorous part of it all! I have spent years developing strategies to make those long overnight flights as comfortable as possible!
Here are some tips that will make your long haul so much better!
It’s all about your attitude! If you get on your flight with total dread, your flight will be just as bad as you thought it would be. In contrast, if you look forward to your flight, it will be just as great as you had planned. The key is focusing on the positives. Go into it thinking - “This is going to be some great alone time”. “I get to read or watch tv without anyone bothering me”. “I don’t have to answer any calls or texts for 10 hours”. “I get to sit down and eat whatever I want to". And the list goes on and on….Try it, it works!
Control your situation! If you are prepared, you can be in control of your enjoyment on your flight. Bringing layers - socks and a blanket can make it so that you are not at the mercy of the temperature on your plane. Bringing a little pocket fan is helpful too just in case you are on a rare flight that is too hot. Bring your own snacks so you are not stuck with whatever they offer on the plane. Bring noise canceling headphones so that a crying baby won’t ruin your flight. Bring your own device with either books, tv shows, podcasts or movies on it, so you are in complete control of your entertainment.
Hydrate! I am fully aware of how sipping your favorite soda or alcoholic beverage may seem like a good idea on a flight, but beware the consequences! They can make you bloated, uncomfortable and maybe even a little sick while cruising at high altitude. Try limiting yourself to just one “special” drink and then pounding the water the rest of the flight. Bring your own water bottle to fill up. I always fill mine before the flight and at least 1 time mid-flight. Most of the time, a flight attendant will be more than happy to fill it for you. If you feel uncomfortable asking, it’s totally exceptable to ask them to fill it yourself at the flight attendant station (located by the bathrooms). Staying hydrated is so important for these long flights because they are so dehydrating. Dehydration can cause you to feel nauseous or get a headache which will definitely make your flight feel even longer!
Strategize your bathroom breaks! With all this water you are drinking, you will definitely need to hit the bathroom. Two of the worst times to go to the bathroom are during the meal/drink service and after everyone has finished eating/drinking. Try to anticipate when this service is going to be happening on your flight, and go before that. The bathroom will be tidy and smell a lot better before everyone else uses it.
Get Comfy! This is extremely important! Your comfort is the number one key to your happiness on any flight. I always bring my own blanket, neck pillow, socks and a jacket to wedge behind my back. I house all these in my backpack which can double as my foot rest. All of these things combined, keep me snug as a bug in a rug!
Pick your seats ahead of time, if you can! Having a good seat makes all the difference. For a red eye, I prefer to be by a window. For a long international flight, I like being in front of a wall or in an emergency exit row. Check Seat Guru before you choose your seats. They provide you a seat map for your flight, along with a color coded chart to show you which seats are great and which ones are “bad”.
Sleeping pills are used at your own risk! I don’t like using any kind of sleep aid on a flight due to the fear of doing something crazy or being too groggy when we land. If you are not worried about that, go for it! I recommend gentle sleep aids like Melatonin, Advil PM and Alteril. Alteril is my new favorite sleeping aid because it is natural, helps me fall asleep quickly and doesn’t make me groggy in the morning. I haven’t ever used it on a flight though. I bring all 3 of these when I travel abroad so that I can adjust to the time zone.
As mentioned above, I always bring my travel backpack full of goodies to help me enjoy my flight. I include everything I have already mentioned and more. Check out my post to see how I pack my “survival kit”. I also always travel with a medicine bag so that I am always prepared for any scenario. Check out this post for a check list of what I bring!