So it seems like I have been getting a lot of questions from friends and co-workers regarding how do I survive a long haul flight especially with long layovers. So I am going to do my best to show and explain to you what works for me. There is a lot of planning and prepping that goes into a lot of my flights to help me feel comfortable on flights and layovers.
1. Make sure you book a seat that is comfortable for you. This means if you can afford it, book a business class or first class (or if you have the miles for it). If you are not able to do this, figure out whether you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat. Are you the type that gets up a lot or the type that needs a lot of leg room? Then choose an aisle seat. If you prefer having a window to see what is happening or just need the wall to lay your head on, then be sure to pick a window seat.
2. Load your phone, laptop, tablet, etc. with things to keep you entertained. Add apps, games, books, magazines, movies, music, documents you may need to work on, pictures you need to edit, etc. Pack card games as well, maybe uno? (p.s. uno was my favorite game as a kid for long flights!)
3. Pack your charging cords with you for all electronics. Most long haul plane rides have an area where you can plug in your electronic devices to recharge. This will be helpful especially if your items happen to die. (Note: for other flights you may want to consider packing a battery pack/power bank to recharge your items)
4. Pack snacks! I absolutely despise airplane food (well except business/first class). I will always pack snacks for a long plane ride. This helps me feel comfortable for the flight and help with healthy cravings instead of having a lot of items with high sodium. My feet swell a lot on plane rides so the sodium definitely does not help.
5. Pack a water bottle. Keep hydrated! The small cups provided on the plane does not keep you hydrated enough. Being in the air for long periods of time will tend to dehydrate you, you may even want to pack some moisturizer. I prefer using my Vapur water bottle and you can get one here.
6. Pack essentials to make you feel fresh when you get off the plane. My essentials typically include a toothbrush, toothpaste, facewash, etc. If you want to see more of my essentials, click here to see what I include.
7. Pack ear plugs/headphones, dream water, eye mask and a pillow. These essentials will help with getting some sleep on the airplane. Dream water is an amazing drink that helps you sleep on the plane and feel well rested.
8. Change of clothes (optional: travel towel). After traveling long periods of time, a change of clothes will help you feel ready to get on your way as soon as you exit the plane and if your baggage gets lost, at least you have an extra pair of clothes.
During the Flight
9. Try to sleep based on the time of the destination you are traveling to but it doesn’t hurt if you are not able to do this. I find it hard to sleep on a plane, so you are more than likely going to pass out at your destination anyways.
10. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, ask for more from the flight attendants if you start to feel dehydrated.
11. Walk around. My legs have a tendency to swell up on airplanes and as I get older my body isn’t as comfortable staying in one place for several hours. Stretch, talk to other people who may be standing around as well.
12. Use your entertainment. Some airlines provide you with free entertainment of movies that are recently coming out. But don’t rely on this. Others request that your purchase a plan to use in-flight entertainment, so use the entertainment you installed on your personal devices.
During a Layover
13. Depending on the length of the layover, I like to take advantages of the comforts of the airport. Since I despise airplane food, I make sure I eat something as soon as I get off the airplane.
14. If I have enough time, I try to look for the nearest shower (hint: most international airports have free shower facilities). I like to shower when I can, especially after a flight. I always feel dirty after flying for 9 hours or longer.
15. Explore! Isn’t this the main reason you traveled in the first place? You can learn a little bit about a country just based on their airports. You can see all the common souvenirs and foods they offer.
16. If you have an even longer layover, I would say 6 hours or longer, try to make a trip outside of the airport and view the country. Be sure to stay close and you will have to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.
17. RECHARGE! It can be difficult to sleep on an airplane, so try to take some time and find the areas where they provide you with sleeping pods or so, but don’t forget to charge your appliances while you can!
18. Do some yoga before boarding your next flight. Stretch and relax all your muscles so that you can feel refreshed before getting on your next flight.
19. HAVE FUN! I know the traveling is the hardest part about reaching your destination, but hopefully these tips will prep you into getting ready for your new adventure.