10 Tips to Survive Your Next Long Haul Flight

Posted in: Habits, Travel | 2

I have a trip coming up that will take me from Toronto to Melbourne. With good connection times, that’s still 23 hours of travel! Since the primary focus of this trip is work and not play, I’m aiming to arrive in Australia as my best and brightest self.

Here are my tips for tackling long-haul flights that should have you stepping off the plane feeling some semblance of your best self.

Flying Free (Photo by Ethan McArthur on Unsplash)
Flying Free (photo by Ethan McArthur)

Pre Flight

  • Treat yourself to the best departure time – Be kind to yourself and book a flight that arrives/departs at a comfortable time, even if it’s a bit more expensive. Your future self will thank you
  • Eat a home-cooked meal – Home-made reigns supreme on a regular day. Stacked against plane food, the choice is obvious. Plan to cook enough for leftovers the night before takeoff. Or prep a sandwich if that’s more your style.
  • Avoid the departure gate pub – In-flight climate is notoriously dry. Why exacerbate your body’s dehydration levels? I get it, take-off cocktails feel glam. Avoid them and your arrivals-self will thank you.
Searching for Comfort in Economy (photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash)
Searching for Comfort in Economy (photo by Suhyeon Choi)

In Flight

  • Order water off the trolley instead of the mini wine – I reiterate, hydration is key. See point 3.
  • Bring an eye mask for make-shift privacy – Slip the mask on before catching shut-eye. It’s the most privacy you’ll get in Economy. Bonus points if you go full Korean face mask beforehand.
  • Stand up and stretch – This one’s valid pre, post, and mid-flight. Avoid cramps and keep your blood flowing by walking the aisles and circling your joints. Practice a modified version of this CARS routine for release through movement.
  • It’s ok to skip meals – You’re not burning many calories while lounging around at 10 thousand kilometres above earth. So chances are you haven’t worked up an appetite by the time cart service is offered. Eat a nice meal before the flight (see point 2) and pass on the compartmentalised portions. Pre-pack some healthy snacks if you get stressed about travelling without provisions.
  • Ease yourself to sleep – I was recently recommended Melatonin as a supplement to help overcome jet lag. Melatonin is a hormone your brain produces when it’s time for bed. So, when you’re dealing with time zone extremes, melatonin can assist the onset of sleep at strange hours. I’m not a good sleeper at the best of times (re: my own bed) so my aerial naps are dismal. I’ll by trying this supplement out on my upcoming long-haul trip so I’ll see how it works for me.
Touchdown (photo by Eva Darron on Unsplash)
Touchdown (photo by Eva Darron)

In Destination

  • Worship the sun – Sunshine tricks our brains into thinking that we should be awake. Fight jet lag on arrival day by spending time outside and acclimatising to your destination’s timezone.
  • Run the world – Waking up for an early morning jog around a different city is a surefire way to overcome grogginess. Rise with the sun, breathe fresh air and take in your new surroundings while also squeezing in a workout.

Arrive and Thrive

Over to you – have I missed any flight survival tricks that work wonders?

2 Responses

  1. Jeff

    Do you have any experience with compression socks? How do they work and are they legit?

    • Andrea

      I have never tried compression socks! I’m a die-hard aisle-seat flyer which means I’m always up and down from my seat. Because of this, I’ve never experienced any cramps or swelling in my legs. If there’s such a thing as cute compressions, I’d be willing to give them a try!

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