HOW TO SURVIVE DREADED LONG-HAUL FLIGHTS
Drink lots of water
Although it can be tempting to drown yourself in the free alcohol to help get you through the flight, you’ll end up feeling worse than better. Due to the changes in altitude, a cabin on an airplane has low moisture levels which means you get thirstier and dehydrated easier. Dehydration also exaggerates the symptoms of jet lag. Drinking caffeine, alcohol or sugary drinks like soda are not going to do your body any good. Not only will you feel dehydrated but also bloated. So instead, drink water and lots of it. Buy a big bottle or fill up a reusable water bottle before boarding the plane and sip on it throughout the entire flight. Believe me, it’ll make you feel 100 times better throughout the long-haul flight and when you land.
You’re limited to leg room and stuck in your seat for hours. Being on a plane is already uncomfortable unless of course you’re flying in luxury in first class. So to avoid making yourself feel even more uncomfortable, dress comfortably. Where pants that are breathable and flexible like sweatpants, leggings, or something comfortable you’d wear to the gym. Avoid jeans, dresses or skirts that are just going to make it harder when you try and get comfortable to sleep. Also, flights are often cold and although you get a blanket, that often isn’t enough so bring a cozy sweater and socks with you too!
It’s almost impossible for me to sleep on flights so in order to make the time not feel like it’s moving at snail pace, I make sure to have lots of things with me to pass the time. Mostly all airplanes now have personal screens which allow you to pick out television shows and movies to watch but also bring a book and/or magazines, music, a journal or crossword puzzles/games, and anything else you enjoy that can help make sitting for hours more enjoyable. There’s nothing worse than sitting staring at the back of the seat in front of you for 18 hours so incredibly bored that the time seems to not even be moving. Book longer layovers
This past year I got really sick of long flights. I need a break from them! However, an opportunity came up for me to go to Sri Lanka and I just couldn’t say no. I couldn’t manage to find any flights that didn’t include a long layover in a major city so I booked one with a layover each way in London, England. I realized that this was a blessing in disguise. I had time to actually leave the airport, tour around the city and eat real food on the way there. On the way back my flight arrived in London at night so I got a room at YOTEL and had a good sleep in an actual bed before getting on my second leg of my flight. The longer layovers really break up the travel and make it feel less like you’re traveling for 20+ hours straight but more like two (or three) shorter journeys. I found this really helped make the long flights less painful and more bearable.
Bring ways to relax yourself
Lots of people get uptight and anxious on flights. For me, I start to get anxiety about the fact that I’m stuck in this confined space for the next X amount of hours. It can really make the flight go by even slower when you can’t relax yourself and are just staring at the clock. So I’ve made a point to now travel with ways to relax myself and set a more peaceful setting while I’m on the plane. I have meditation apps and podcasts on my phone I can listen to, I bring essential oils like lavender, and I also bring some pills that will help me sleep like Gravol. Having relaxing music like peaceful sounds of the beach on your devices can help too! Everyone’s way to relax is different so find what works for you.
Long-haul flights don’t have to be horrible and you sure don’t want to live your whole life avoiding them since they are what separates you from amazing parts of the world. So take long-haul flights head on and find ways to make them better and go by faster.