I love the idea of a long haul flight. I just know I’m going on such a mega trip to somewhere far away from home and I can practically smell the freedom. However, even though I love the idea of the flight, the reality is I get bored, fidgety, irritable and start to annoy whichever lucky person is stuck travelling with me. So in light of my upcoming travels, I’ve come up with some tactics to help prevent this happening and save my sanity as well as those of everyone around me.
You will need to do a bit of prep to get yourself ready but you’ll thank yourself once you’re into the umpteenth hour of your flight.
Being stuck on a flight leaves you with no excuses to go and do much else. Use the time to research more of your trip, get your plans in place and spend some time checking it over. What better way to get more excited!
Move around regularly
yeah, boring in-flight advice that you always see on those information cards. But it does work and it’s actually super important. Having a good stretch and walk around the plane helps to keep your circulation going and helps with digestions too. Nothing worse than stomach ache when you’ve eaten some heavy in-flight food and you feel like a whale.
Drink plenty of water
There really is no quicker way to feel tired and crappy than by getting dehydrated. The air in the cabin is pretty dry and the air conditioning makes it worse leaving your skin, eyes, nose and throat feeling like a shrivelled up prune. So to avoid this, make sure you drink plenty of water during the flight, even if it does mean you’re gonna be back and forth to the loo more – just see that as part of your stretches! And sorry to be boring, but lay off the booze as it’s the quickest way to dehydrate yourself more.
Wear comfy clothes
You’re going to be stuck sat down in whatever you’re wearing for the next x hours. If you want to wear your skin tight jeans and cropped top then fine, but you’ll regret it when the jeans are digging in and your cold because of the air con. For me, catching a flight isn’t a fashion show. Opt for something like leggings, and light top, comfy socks and shoes and a hoodie to cosy up in. Rule of thumb – wear the closest thing to pyjamas that are publically acceptable.
Take a toothbrush and toothpaste
Isn’t brushing your teeth one of the best feelings? I kinda feel like a little slice of normality is restored once I’ve done this. There are plenty of small folding travel toothbrushes available to put in your bag along with a travel size toothpaste so why not? I’ve been on some flights where they even give you a little travel pack with this in.
Keep your brain occupied
A lot of irritability comes from just not having much to think about to keep you from looking at your watch every 20 seconds, wishing time away. Take something like a puzzle book with crosswords or sudoku or even a colouring book to keep you distracted and give you something to aim towards.
Get your playlist on point before you go
I like to have a few different playlists ready for different sections of the flight. I have my favourite classics that I couldn’t go on a trip without (most are dead cheesy, standard), something a bit more calming and then a playlist of soothing tracks without words to listen to when I want to sleep.
Or listen to podcasts
If you’ve seen my post about my 12 favourite podcasts then you’ll know I have a bit of an addiction. But listening to a good story being told and a crime being investigated is something that can easily help pass the hours away. Find something you like and get absorbed into it.
Immerse yourself in a film
C’mon, binge-watching on films is a serious perk of flying. I’m one of those people who has picked out all the films I want to watch before we’ve even left the runway. Nearly every long-haul flight I’ve been on has the little TVs on the back of the seats and a huge selection of not only films but TV series available. It’s the perfect time to catch that film you never go round to seeing at the cinema.
Read a book
You know that book that you’ve had on the go for the last 2 months? Yeah, it’s time to finish it! I’ certainly guilty of not reading as much these days but books offer the perfect escapism and will give your eyes a rest from watching a film on the blindingly bright screen in front of you.
Get some sleep
Trying to keep a bit of a normal routine can definitely help make you feel a bit less crappy. I’ve never tried the whole ‘getting into the destinations timezone before you get there thing’ (let me know if you have, I really want to know if it’s worth the effort) but getting some sleep is better than nothing. Take a comfy neck pillow to help support your head too.
Don’t be an idiot
Being stuck in an aluminium can with wings, with a few hundred strangers around you can be testing. There will inevitably be crying babies, someone snoring at almost impossible volume, the smell of the loos on top of the smell of plane food farts and feet poking through seats.If you let yourself get wound up then the flight’s going to feel 10 times longer. Try to keep your cool, be nice to everyone and of course be nice to the staff.