10 Smart Tips to Survive a Long Red Eye Flight
Are you heading to a long, overnight flight? Flying on a plane for long hours could be a bit stressful. There’s quite a limited number of things to do when you’re sitting for hours miles up in the sky. And with a long red eye flight, you’ll never know when you’ll be needing something out of reach.
The best thing to counter the discomfort of the thought of having to take hours of flight is to get prepared. You need to get ready for it in all aspects possible, including flight delays and cancellations. So whether this is your first international flight or you came unprepared during your first time, you can take note of these smart tips to survive – and hopefully, enjoy – the red eye flight.
1. Search for Your Best Airline Option
Before you spend dollars booking a flight, try searching for the best online options. If you’re a backpacker, the budget might be your number one consideration. But before you rush into buying the cheapest tickets, consider the following: duration of the flight, stopovers, comfort, entertainment, and available in-flight meals.
You can do your own research on travelers’ reviews of airlines and, if possible, the destination. Check out the seats, comfort amenities (i.e. do they provide a pillow or blanket?), in-flight entertainment, and meals served. Some airlines offer better amenities for only a small increase in the flight price.
For connecting flights, consider which city or country is the layover and for how long. Make sure that you have enough time between flights to transit to the next flight. The safest interval is two to three (2-3) hours. You can go for more if you want a quick tour in the place before you head on to your destination.
2. Choose Your Seat Wisely
Now that you’ve chosen an airline, don’t forget to choose your preferred seat. Most people would suggest getting the aisle seat so it would be easier for you to go to the lavatory and back. However, you can also get the window seat so you can sleep without being disturbed and for the view from the window.
What about the middle seats? Who’s going to take them? Parents travelling with a child with them can choose the middle seat and have their child seated by the window. That’s better than letting your child sit beside a stranger.
3. Know the Time (and Timezone)
It’s a basic step to know the time of departure and arrival. It’s another thing to know the timezone you’re landing in. With a long flight, you might get confused with the time as you cross different time zones along the way.
Again, this is something you could search online prior to your flight. Know what time of the day (in your destination) will you arrive and decide if you should sleep during a certain time of the flight or not. If your arrival time is at night you might want to try and stay awake so you can feel sleepy enough once you arrive to your destinationa and have a full night of sleep.
It would also be best to check the weather conditions in the place so you’ll land wearing the appropriate clothing or at least have your expectation set as to how hot or cold it might be.
4. Purchase Meals Ahead of Time
As mentioned a while ago, it’s best to check what kind of food they serve on the plane. After all, plane food doesn’t have a good reputation. Check their menu and see if there are foods or ingredients that might be on your diet restriction list or something that you are allergic to.
Inquire if you can have special requests for removing or changing some ingredients that you might have an allergic reaction to. Better safe than sorry, right?
And speaking of food, consider taking your own healthy snacks with you. Look for snack items that would keep you full for a long time or the ones that will keep you hydrated. In long flights, water is your best friend.
5. Comfort is Key
An airplane can only be as comfortable as it gets. Even if the crew provides a pillow or a blanket, there are other items that can make your flight comfier. Consider eye mask, neck pillows, and earphones that you might as well pack them in your carry-on.
An eye mask is a must-have for long flights. The plane might be too bright for you so it’s best to cover your eyes to get a good amount of sleep. You can also bring earplugs or noise-canceling earphones to zone out the noise around.
Dress for comfort: think hoodies and joggers. Remember that this is a long flight so you better wear something that will keep you snuggly and warm for hours. Also, you might want to wear compression socks or stocking to prevent deep vein thrombosis or DVT – a condition that you could acquire from sitting for long hours.
Want something extra? A hydrating sheet mask will be the trick to help your skin recovering from the drying plane aircon.
6. Entertainment for the Lull Moments
Long flights would be unbearable without entertainment. You’re lucky if there’s some in-flight entertainment, but you can never be so sure if it lives up to your taste (in movies or music). To be safe, bring your own gadgets or e-reader with you. Pack it with music that you love – and even a playlist that can help you sleep faster.
You can bring other gadgets that you can play or tinker with – like game consoles or a camera. If you’re not that tech-savvy, you can bring a book to read, a crossword puzzle, or even a coloring book! And for business people, you can use a little of your extra time in the sky to catch up with some work.
7. Medication, Vitamins, and Other Essentials
When you’re miles up high, you are nowhere near a pharmacy or emergency room so it’s always best to make sure you’re prepared for any medical emergencies.
First, in case you are taking a trip to somewhere more exotic, try to see your doctor before you take the flight. Know what health risks you could possibly have and ask for professional medical advice. Next, and if needed, get vaccinated for any possible virus or sickness you can acquire during your travel. Lastly, pack up some medications, vitamins, and other supplements with you. On a long trip, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
8. Charge Up
Charge all your gadgets before your flight and make sure you have enough battery for the entire flight. Or you could bring a power bank with you that could charge up most of your gadgets – especially your phone. You sure don’t want to run out of battery once you land.
9. Keep it Clean and Fresh
Long flights also mean being away from the comfort of your own bathroom at home. But this shouldn’t be an excuse to not keep yourself fresh.
Pack a hygiene kit with you and put them in small containers or bottles. You might want to check with your airlines about bringing liquids but you sure don’t need that much with you.
Here are a few things you want to consider packing: toothbrush, toothpaste, facial wash, hand soap, sanitizer or alcohol, wet wipes, pads (tampons or menstrual cups) for women, lotion and a face towel to name a few. They will help you look fresh and ready for the day once you land at your destination.
10. Prepare Your Body For The Long Haul
After packing your essentials and following these tips here, it’s now time to prepare your body for that long flight. Remember how you took note of the time of arrival and the timezone? That is one key factor in conditioning your body ahead of the flight.
When you know what time of the day you’ll arrive at your destination and how long your flight is, you can not only estimate what hours will you sleep on the plane. You can also estimate what time you need to sleep before your flight.
That way, you don’t end up too tired when you arrive and the change of timezone would be of a lesser blow. Plus, it is a smart move to prevent that awful jetlagged feeling. That way, you can rest well during your flight and arrive with full of enthusiasm.