Tips On How To Survive A Long Flight
Whether you’re an experienced traveler or someone leaving your home country for the first time, I think we can all agree that an extremely long flight sounds ROUGH. I recently went to Bali from New York, which consisted of a 16-hour flight to Taipei, a 5-hour layover, and then another 5-hour flight to Bali. I’ve been having a lot of anxiety when it comes to travel lately, and the idea of being trapped in a vessel in the air for that long makes me want to scream. I asked friends, family, and strangers to offer their best advice for my day of hell. Luckily it wasn’t that bad, and I’ve got some tips to share for your next long flight.
Book an aisle seat, in the middle section of the flight.
This is great because you don’t have to wake up anyone to go to the bathroom, and the middle person in your row potentially doesn’t have to wake you up either because they can exit on the other aisle.
Download books, TV shows (Netflix app), music, podcasts, and movies.
I finished a season of Drag Race on the second flight and I watched Hunger Games on my computer because I didn’t love the flight selection. Maybe this sounds like an obvious one, but it’s better to cover the bases. Also, podcasts can be surprisingly relaxing and it’s a good way to catch up with your fave hosts. I’ve been listening to Along for the Ride and Unhappy Hour (friends supporting friends, let’s go!).
Wear compressions socks!
When you’re in the air for an extended period of time, you run the risk of blood clots. This is even worse if you’re a woman on birth control, or if you’ve got a related medical condition (like me). They are pretty tight, but I think that’s the point. Just don’t wear them if they feel like they’re cutting off your circulation. Buy compression socks on Amazon for $18.95.
Stay up for the first meal and then plan to pass out afterwards.
If you want to have some wine with your dinner, that’s up to you! Personally, I try not to drink on flights when I’m trying to sleep because it disturbs my nap. But I always try to get that first meal in because who knows how long it will be till you eat again.
And on that note, bring some snacks.
I brought some Perfect Bars, a banana, and trail mix. Have a variety of options and I highly recommend having a fruit! It’s just nice and refreshing after eating chips and such.
Take a sleep aid if you need it.
I rarely fall asleep on flights, which made me worry about this one to Bali. Somehow, I got 11 hours without needing anything, but that’s still a mystery to me. I brought a Xanax (prescribed to me by my doctor for the flight—you can ask a medical professional for more info), some ZzzQuil, and Dramamine for motion sickness (which makes me drowsy). Obviously don’t take all these things at the same time! Please consult a medical professional for safe advice. FYI, I asked the pharmacist about melatonin versus ZzzQuil and she said that melatonin is meant for a long-term solution to sleep problems.
Try CBD oil for a calming trip.
Download a sleeping app.
Some people like calm music, some like the sound of rainfall, and some want to jam to Taylor Swift (ME!). Whatever makes you calm or sleepy, have it available on your phone. I haven’t tried one personally, but there’s a bunch listed here.
Before you go to bed on the flight, wash your face, brush your teeth, and try a face mask.
Basically, doing a nighttime routine will help your body adjust and react accordingly. The face mask is also good for hydrating your skin. I tried the SK-II face mask and loved it. You just feel so fresh and ready to nap the night (or day) away.
Bring a neck pillow and an eye mask.
This is the cooling neck pillow I have, and I’ve used it on most of my flights. To be honest, I can’t do an eye mask because it bothers me but loads of people swear by it.
The temperature on planes changes all the time and you want to prepare for extreme cold or hot AF conditions. Many people told me to have a scarf, but the neck pillow keeps me warm enough. I always bring a comfortable cardigan.
Drink lots of water.
Being locked in an airplane so high up for hours on end will make you dehydrated, so it’s important to drink fluids (and not just wine)! I usually buy one massive water bottle before boarding.
Bring an external charger.
Most planes have plugs nowadays, but just in case your seat is faulty or you need to charge during a layover, this is a saving grace. I either use the one that comes with my Away luggage, or a Mophie.
If you are bored out of your mind, maybe delete some photos on your phone.
This probably only relates to some of you, but I tend to take TOO MANY photos and it’s so hard to sort through them later. When I’m trapped and have a long flight, I delete photos that I know I’ll never use for any purpose. I also start organizing them into folders and editing photos I want to post on Instagram or my site.
Learn a language using Duolingo.
You have to be a Duolingo Plus subscriber and you have to download lessons WHILE you have internet, but then you can access them offline.
If you travel very frequently, consider getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and get Priority Pass privileges. OR just get Priority Pass membership.
I was very hesitant about upgrading from Preferred to Reserve because Reserve has a $450 annual fee. BUT you also get $300 in travel credit every year, so you’re really only paying $150. Included is Priority Pass access, which means you get to chill at select lounges in airports. There aren’t many good ones in the U.S., but it’s been a lifesaver for international travel. When I had my long layover in Taipei, I went to the lounge and TOOK A SHOWER. For free. It was amazing. You also get food, wine, beer, etc. I cannot begin to express how much lounge access has changed my travel experience. Click here for 10% off a Priority Pass membership.
That’s all I’ve got for now! Have any tips I forgot to add? Comment with them below!
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