So you’ve decided you’re going to fly to the other side of the world. How do you survive such a long flight? Here are a few tips and tricks that have worked for me. Just one disclaimer: you’re going to be knackered either way!
Wear something comfortable
I prefer wearing leggings, a shirt and a fleece in case it gets cold. I take my shoes off on the plane and wear crocs instead. I wear my glasses instead of my contacts. Although I don’t find my glasses that comfortable to wear, it’s still a whole lot better than pieces of plastic in your eyes getting dried out by the airco.
Split up your flights
One thing I’ve learnt over the course of my travels is that I prefer having a longer stop in between flights. I discovered this by accident when I booked a flight to New Zealand and the flight with an 18-hour stopover on Singapore Changi Airport was a good few hundred euros cheaper than with say a 3-hour transfer time. And the difference included the cost of the airport hotel. I loved being able to lie down and catch some shut eye after a long flight and freshen up before another long flight. Even though I was still tired by the time I got to New Zealand, it was nowhere near as bad as if I’d gone with a shorter transfer time. Not to mention my back, because who can sit comfortably in those airplane chairs for 24 hours? This last bit was confirmed when my mom and I flew back to the Netherlands from New Zealand last January. We had about three hours at Hong Kong Airport in between flights. During the second flight, I just didn’t know how to sit anymore, I was exhausted but still couldn’t sleep. I was knackered and couldn’t even think straight.
I understand splitting up flights with a longer transfer time isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and it means getting to your destination later. But for me, it’s worth it and I’ll look for longer stopovers the next time I’m heading Down Under.
Have something to do
This is super obvious, but it helped me anyway so I thought I’d still mention it here. I tend to put on a movie as soon as I can. After three or four movies I tend to nod off, but by then at least a bit of time has passed. One time I also brought my Wreck This Journal with me and a colouring book, and spent a few hours drawing and decorating pages.
Reduce stress during your flight
I’m not afraid of flying at all. Still, I find it important to make the flight as enjoyable as possible. For example, I always want an aisle seat when I go on a longer flight. I want to be able to get up and walk around whenever I want to. I don’t mind getting up for my neighbour, but having to ask someone to get up for me is a stress factor. By getting an aisle seat I can completely avoid this stress.
Something I’m going to do for my next long flight is order special meals. I’m not a picky eater, but there are some things I don’t eat and there are some things my stomach doesn’t like too much. Most seafood is a hard pass for me. A stress factor and an annoyance for me is when the staff runs out of certain meals and only seafood is left. And since I’m on a low-carb food journey at the moment anyway to lose weight, I’d say it’s warranted to arrange my meals up front.
Just figure out what would help you during a long flight to make it as stress-free and enjoyable as possible!
Drink enough water
One thing I can’t recommend enough is to drink enough water when you’re on a long flight. It’s super important to stay hydrated. And whether you ask the flight attendant for water or you take a bottle of water with you after security, is up to you. I always bring a big bottle of water with me. My stomach reacts best to water anyway at such heights and I don’t like soft drinks all that much anyway (plus, too much sugar!)
What do you do to survive a long flight? Any tips and tricks you’d like to share?