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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

How to Survive a Long Flight

No matter the airline, long international flights in economy are never relaxing. If you are unprepared, your first time taking a 7+ hour flight could feel much, much longer.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to pass the time and remain as comfortable as possible. If you plan ahead, those 7 hours might not fly by, but they won’t last forever. Once you have read through our list, be sure to let us know what your killer tip is for surviving long flights!

Before the Flight

  • Dress in layers. You will get hot, then cold, then hot again at some point during the day. Layers are the best way to stay comfortable. Ladies, scarves are great travel-day attire and can also double as a pillow.
  • Keep your passport in a secure zipper pocket where it is not too easily accessible. However, you will need to be able to grab it to get through customs.
  • Exchange your money a week or two before your flight, or find a bank after you land. The airport always has the most expensive exchange rate. Exchanging $200 is usually recommended. 
Charge and update all your devices.
  • keep chargers easily accessible for layovers
  • make sure your music library is full
  • update kindle app (or e-reader of choice)
  • download any games that can be played offline
Bring snacks! (Save money!)
  • (empty) water bottle to fill up after you pass through security
  • a few food items of choice (I prefer granola bars - lightweight and they keep you full)
Other items
  • neck pillow
  • earplugs & headphones
  • eye mask
  • journal & pen
  • pack of cards
  • one-use toothbrushes (like wisp) & Listerine strips

During the Flight

  • Keep the things you will want access to at the top of your carry on in a separate bag, unless everything can fit under the seat in front of you. That way you can grab the essentials before you put the carry on in the overhead bin and don’t have to go rummaging around during the flight.
  • Don’t drink anything with caffeine. Being restless and required to sit for hours on end is not a good combination. The exception to this rule is if you have a long flight during the day - you will want to be able to sleep that night!
  • Even if you don’t have to use the restroom during the flight, get up and walk around once or twice. Your legs and back will thank you for getting your blood circulating again.
  • Start your travel journal! When you’re on the return flight home you can look back on how you felt about your arrival. You might be surprised at how much you change over the next month or two.
  • Utilize your headphones or earbuds and your fully charged electronics. Its a bonus if the plane has free movies - I usually have a mini-movie-marathon to keep my mind off the fact that I’m trapped for several hours. (Double bonus if the plane has movies from your destination!)
  • Even if you can’t sleep, rest your eyes and attempt it. Using your eyemask and neck pillow for awhile will hopefully help you to stay alert while you’re traveling between the airport and your accommodations.
  • When the flight is almost over, grab one of those one-use toothbrushes. Brushing your teeth will help you feel awake and refreshed, and give you one more excuse to get up and stretch your legs.
  • Hopefully with these tips all you will have to worry about is grabbing your luggage as the plane lands and getting your trip abroad started!