How to Survive Long Flights

No one likes long flights. It’s something we have to do when we have the thirst for adventure and when our extended family lives on the opposite side of the world.

Later this year I will be traveling to India for a cousin’s wedding and the flight will be 13 hours non-stop. It’s something I dread because I can not sit still for that long. Luckily I only have to do that flight once every few years.

Here are some of my tips on how to survive long flights:

NapSac from The Container Store

Travel Pillow and Blanket- You have to have these. Even if your overnight flights provide a pillow and blanket, the pillows are never fluffy enough and the blankets are never thick enough to shelter you from the cool airplane air conditioning.

Noise Canceling Headphones- Airplanes are loud. The constant hum of the engine, people talking, and babies crying are enough to make me go crazy. So this year, I finally invested in a really nice pair of noise canceling headphones from Bose. They are a bit on the pricier side but they are so worth it for long flights or sometimes even short flights.

Comfy socks and shoes- As I mentioned before, the airplane can get pretty cold when you’re flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet. It’s important to pack warm wool socks and comfy slip on shoes. This way, when you are in your seat, you can take off your shoes but still be warm with your socks, When you need to take a walk to stretch your legs or go to the bathroom, just slip on your shoes and you are good to go.

Movies- Most long haul flights are equipped with televisions. If by some chance they are not, whip out your laptop or iPad. Make sure you stock up on movies you haven’t seen beforehand. Don’t start watching anything exciting when you are trying to sleep because then you won’t be able to.

Move Around- You should never stay seated for a long period of time. New research from the World Health Organization shows that about 1 in 4,500 travelers will develop a blood clot. They’re most likely caused by passengers not moving around enough. These blood clots form deep inside the legs, so they’re called “deep vein thromboses,” or DVT’s for short.

Melatonin- Melatonin is commonly used to adjust the body’s internal clock. It is used for jet lag and for adjusting sleep-wake cycles in people whose daily work schedule changes (shift-work disorder). It is most commonly available in pill form, but melatonin is also available in forms that can be placed in the cheek or under the tongue. This allows the melatonin to be absorbed directly into the body.

Hydration- It’s very important that you stay hydrated while flying. The airplane air is so dry that it affects your skin and your body so drink up! Avoid alcoholic drinks because they are actually drying up your body. I know some of you might want to throw a few back and get a good night’s sleep but this is a bad idea. Stick to water and drinks like Gatorade which is full of electrolytes.

Airsleep app- I have not used this app yet while flying but I have used it while traveling and I love it! A state-of-the-art sleep & relaxation app designed specifically for travel use, Airsleep’s audio programs tune out cabin noise, helping you to glide into the deepest levels of relaxation and sleep imaginable. It uses a patented combination of natural sounds, ambient music and slow-wave (sleep-frequency) audio. Airsleep works on your conscious and sub-conscious mind, forcing your brain to relax whether it wants to or not!

I’ll be using these tips when I go to India this year and on my future trips to wherever my life takes me.

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