Back in my wild youth (meaning when I was 9), I used to take a LOT of long haul flights. I mean, 15 hour flights every couple of months. Some people love flying. I read an article about a guy who thinks it’s the best thing in the world. Then again, he always flew first class. And let me tell you, if you fly first class, you don’t need this article. Go and enjoy your complimentary cookies and cushy seats.
I’m not one of those people who particularly enjoys flying. I’ve been doing it my whole life, and it’s never fun. But it doesn’t have to be hard! You just have to know how to keep yourself busy. When I was a baby, and very little kid, I had no problem quietly sitting through flights. I didn’t cry (or so I hear. My memories from the first year of my life are a blur of naps, soft toys, and applesauce), because I was always entertained! My mom would bring a bag of toys, picture books, coloring books- and 11 hours would zip by. 15 years later, I’ve evolved slightly from picture books, but not much else has changed. Once I get on the plane, I check the in flight entertainment, and make a list of all the movies and TV shows I want to have.
By the way, if you’re trying to learn a new language- just turn on the subtitles in that language! On a KLM flight, I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the Dutch subtitles. After binge-watching Modern Family for a few hours, I knew quite a bit of Dutch. Of course, the best way to pass the time is to sleep. If you’re one of those people who can sleep on planes, you’re one of the Chosen Ones. If you have more trouble drifting off, try to make the setting as similar as you can to how you sleep at home. Watch TV, read, drink chamomile tea, brush your teeth, wear an eye mask, meditate- try to follow your bedtime routine as closely as you can. If you can’t sleep, find something to take your mind off it. Does anyone else get really annoyed when they can’t sleep? I do. Do a crossword puzzle! Read! Play sudoku! Start a poker game with everyone in your aisle and clean them out! I’m sure you can think of something. So that’s entertainment taken care of.
Now you need to take care of yourself. Traveling is hard on your body. Shooting through the air in a pressurized metal tube can really take it out of you. Regularly wash your hands, moisturize, apply lip balm, and drink water. Choose one thing to drink- alcohol or caffeine. Both of those are bad for you when you’re flying, but if you must, only choose one. I’m not a very fun person to be around when I don’t drink coffee, and I like to stay awake (not a good thing to fall asleep in front of baggage claim) so I always drink some coffee. But for every cup, I compensate with one cup of water.
That way, I don’t feel like I’ve been walking for weeks in the Sahara when I get off the plane. Always, always bring snacks on the plane. If the food is awful, or upsetting to your stomach, you’ll have something to munch on. If you get airsick, drink ginger ale! The combination of ginger and fizz will settle your stomach. But in case that doesn’t work, make sure you have some nausea medication with you. And to save you stress at the end of your flight, regularly check that you have all your personal belongings. If every 2 hours you make sure you have your headphones, you won’t be scrambling at the end of the flight to find them. Definitely bring a shawl or jacket. It gets cold at 35000 feet. Give yourself something to look forward to on flights.
For example- I love soda, but I hardly ever drink any because it’s so bad for you. So as soon as I get on the plane, I ask for a Diet Coke with ice, and keep em coming. Whether it’s binge watching a show, playing games on your phone, drinking soda, reading- find your guilty pleasure, and indulge the heck out of it. It makes flights a lot more fun, and takes away some of the pre-long-haul-flight anxiety. Those are some of my favorite ways to make it out of a long flight in one piece. Share yours in the comments!