Surviving Overseas Flights
Surviving overseas flights….how do you survive those flights? How do you handle being stuck in a flying tin can for 8+ hours? It is not fun. If you are flying coach, and let’s face the fact that most of us are, it can be a long frustrating day of travel. I have not even mentioned those delightful layovers.
Surviving an eight hour flight depends on being prepared and bringing the necessities on the plane with you. I make sure to include my eye mask and ear plugs in case I wish to sleep. If I do not want to sleep, then I need my ipad or kindle to pass the time. Airlines are getting better at providing the entertainment themselves. Most newer planes have personal TV’s at your seat with either movies or satellite TV for you to watch. But I prefer to bring my ipad with movies and television shows already downloaded just in case they don’t or the selection is horrible. Also, throw a few snacks in your carry-on.
Make sure you do not show up at the airport with bags under your eyes. The only bags you should have are filled with clothes. Make sure you sleep really well the week preceding a long flight. Yes you may end up sleeping the whole time on that long flight, if you do I hate you, but more likely, you will not and your plane naps will be shorter than you had hoped. You do not want to land at your destination and only want to go to bed, which results in jet lag (more about that later). So rest up, use melatonin if needed, for that long flight.
Yes you will probably end up with a bit of jet lag. Everyone deals with jet lag differently but I found that if I get a good amount of sleep before the flight, that helps more than anything. I cannot sleep on planes. I try but wake up at the slightest turbulence so getting rest before hand is a vacation-saver.
Once you get on the plane, immediately change your watch to your destination’s time. That is the time and you should respond accordingly if you can. That means during the plane and after. When you get to your destination, DO NOT GO TO BED! Of course, I am assuming that you are arriving during the day. Do not nap, do not rest or anything. Shower, dress and GO OUTSIDE. Yes you will be tired but stay up as late as you can that first night. If you can make it to 9 or 10 pm, your jet lag will be barely noticeable.
Yes this shows up in every single list out there. It does because it is true. You get very dehydrated on the plane and you need water. I always fight with myself over this one: do I drink another glass of water or do I want to avoid using the restroom? Yes I think like that. Yes I have even skipped the water so I did not have to use the restroom. Yes I made it eight hours once. No, I will not do that again. I did not feel well when I landed in Athens. You need the water. Drink the water. DO NOT drink the ICE CUBES! If they are made on board, that water is not great. If they are sitting out in a bowl, do you really think that circulated air is clean? No.
Boozing it Up
Many lists out there state you should avoid alcohol on long flights. Yes it can dehydrate you as I mentioned above but in my experience, having a drink or two on a long flight is fine as long as you have a few glasses of water as well. I usually have a couple of drinks and have never had a problem. Don’t overdo it.
Bring that bottle of hand sanitizer or wipes with you. You should wipe down the table and seat pocket. Those are missed quite often. Viruses can linger for up to 72 hours so wipe, wipe and wipe. You do not want to end up with a cold when you land at your destination.
Move that Body
Sitting in the same place for eight hours is not healthy so get up a few times during your flight to move around. Sure, hitting the restroom counts. You will be surviving overseas flights in no time and won’t end up with swollen legs. You can even wear compression socks to combat deep vein thrombosis and use some of my tips. I personally have never done so but many people do that if they had bad circulation. Do whatever feels comfortable!
So there you go, just a few tips that I use when flying overseas. What works for you?