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How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

Jetlag and old age don't go together.

You look forward with so much enthusiasm to the day when your holiday will begin. Finally, that day has come, and you are sitting at the lounge eagerly waiting to go aboard the Airbus that will take you to your dream destination. You sip the refreshing orange juice you just grabbed after checking in on your way to the waiting area. Mindful that you need to do a quick visit to the comfort room 15 minutes before the crew announce, “It’s time to board, please line up”. You are traveling light so walking to the nearest ladies room is no hassle for you.

There goes the first two practical tips to help you (1) remain at ease before the crew will allow entry to the aircraft’s lavatory, and (2) walk your way quickly to your assigned seat at the first instance, the same way it will help you breeze through any major airport to catch your connecting flight, by traveling light. That’s not all. Read on, if you want more.

What to Wear

Do you worry about being randomly photographed wearing a not-so-Instagram-worthy getup? Because who knows, your fellow travelers might post their photos on social media with you in it as an inadvertent photo-bomber! Hahaha! It’s OK, there’s always a way to get around it. However, with comfort in mind, go for simple clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather and long-haul travel. After all, no matter how fashionable you wish to go if you don’t feel comfortable enough, a long-haul flight can result into a very unpleasant experience. A nice shawl is my forever best friend. Folded in different ways according to my mood, it adds elegance to whatever I’m wearing, and warms me up when the temperature dips inside the plane. This way I can sleep tight and have all the energy I need to get going when my flight is over.


Where to Sit

Seating choice depends on availability at the time of check-in whether online or at the check-in counter. If you are traveling alone, more often than not, it is easier to get your desired seat. Needless to say, if you need to get up frequently, the aisle seat is for you. I always want to look out the window and see the view from the top both at take off and at landing. I love to sleep on long-haul flights too, so I prefer the window seat. Unless there are nice movies to watch, then I can survive the long flight awake.


Why Eat & Drink

On long-haul flights I prefer to eat whatever is served. I easily get dizzy when hungry, and drinking water is a must for me anywhere I am. All the more on flights to avoid dehydration caused by the lack of natural ventilation. For this reason, I don’t leave home without my Lock & Lock water bottle, and I always keep munchies inside my bag like a few crackers, and dried-fruits-and-nuts oatmeal cereal bars. Naturally, if you are following a strict dietary requirement, you will need to inform the airlines in advance, and your munchies will be different from mine.


When To Sleep & Stretch

Take note of the time difference between your point of origin and travel destination. If you know that you will arrive early morning, try to get at least 6 to 8 hours sleep on board the plane. You will need a proper pillow that also supports your neck to achieve this. Getting enough sleep will help you beat the unpleasant jet lag that most travelers complain about. If your arrival is at night time, you have the luxury to stay awake during the flight. Do some stretching in between to keep yourself relaxed, watch movie, or open the book that you’ve been trying to finish reading. By the time you reached your destination and checked in at your hotel, your tired senses will put you into a peaceful slumber, as you look forward to the joy of waking up and welcoming the new day at the first crack of dawn in the comfort of your transient home away from home.


How To Stay Entertained

You just had your nice dinner, and you can’t sleep yet. The thought of meeting your friends at the arrival area of your destination excites you to death. Finally, you will be reunited after enduring decades of LDR, and this cruise that you planned to go together keep ringing in your ears. You can’t sleep no matter what. OK, relax. Sleep will not come if you’re agitated. There are ways to divert your attention. Why not make new friends by speaking to your seatmates? I am assuming they are not sleepy either and wouldn’t mind striking a casual conversation with you. If this is not an option, browse the inflight catalogue. They probably have a nice souvenir item that you can buy for your friends. Check the Inflight Entertainment Magazine. The new movie that you have been wanting to watch might be available on their channel, or listen to a relaxing music to put your senses into a sleep mode, if you have to.

Whatever it is that you need to do in order to survive a long-haul flight, just do it, and enjoy. Before you know it, you will be delighted to hear this, “… Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belt and prepare for landing!”


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