Flying is the necessary evil part of vacationing for most of us. But it doesn't have to be as dreadful as you might be making it out to be. I have flown a considerable amount of miles all over the world and have picked up some helpful tips and tricks that not only make the flight itself more bearable, but also help me hit the ground running once I have arrived at my destination.
Travel Tips for surviving long international flights
Before you fly: It’s so important to take care of your health before you subject yourself to long hours of travel and germ infested planes. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and not pulling all-nighters. Losing sleep weakens your immune system. Also, up your intake of Vitamin-C and echinacea.
Dress for success: On a long flight you want to look well-dressed, but you also want to be comfortable. I used to be the girl that flew in sweats and a hoodie, but I honestly don’t feel that great walking through the airport looking like I just rolled out of bed so I now opt for something a little more put together.
Here is my go-to travel outfit: Long sleeve shirt (I wear a tank underneath if I’m landing somewhere warm), cardigan, pants that aren’t jeans, and a large pashmina scarf. The scarf is key because it doubles as a blanket! Also, I like to wear slip on shoes so I can easily take them on/off. I bring compression socks to wear while I’m on the plane too. But please, please, please always slip on your shoes again before visiting the lavatory.
Keep yourself entertained: Many people get intimidated by the sheer number of hours they are going to have to be in flight headed to certain destinations. But if you prepare wisely, it’s really not that bad. Make sure your tablet is fully charged with all the things you like. I always travel with a good book, some podcasts ready to go, and if possible, an airline that has a good entertainment system. If they don’t though, I know I have my own stuff that will get me through. I can alternate between these forms of entertainment and not just sit twiddling my thumbs. Noise canceling headphones are also a supremely good investment if you don’t already own some.
Bring your essentials: You should absolutely try and sleep on your flight during the time it’s nighttime in your destination, if possible. To help with this task, I always bring the following: sleep mask, neck pillow, and a mild sleep-aid, like melatonin. I also pop something called “no jet lag” throughout the flight and I am definitely a believer in this stuff. You can get it at your local Whole Foods or order on Amazon.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!: Long haul flights will definitely dehydrate you and lead to exhaustion, so it’s important that you are drinking tons of water while you fly. Those little plastic cups they pass out about twice during a 10 hour flight isn’t going to cut it. Make sure you buy a large bottle or two in the airport before you fly and sip on it throughout the flight.
Eat well… Or as well as you can: Airplane food sucks. It just does. Also, it’s full of sodium that does not help with the dehydration issue. I like to eat a big, healthy-ish meal at the airport before I board, and then take my own snacks and bars to munch on for the flight.
And My Number 1 tip is fly first class if you can. Seriously, flying first class makes your travel days feel like part of your amazing travel experience, and not just the part you have to get through. The food is great, it’s easy to rest, and you get treated like a VIP.
If you are looking to plan an incredible international trip in the near future, I'd love to help make the trip of your dreams come to life.