How to Survive an Insanely Long Flight.

June 7, 2016

Saving While Traveling

Tips and Tricks

Lifestyle, Tips and Tricks

It’s almost officially summer, which means it’s travel season! Yay! 🙌🏼 As awesome as the destination is, for some reason that doesn’t seem to make the time in the air pass any faster. The number of times I think, “We’re never going to make it. I’m going to be stuck on this plane forever!” while on a flight is honestly kind of embarrassing. Of course, once I get off, I say that I’d make the flight a thousand more times just to be on the beaches of Bali, but that doesn’t mean those hours on the plane aren’t still rough. We end up spending the majority of the time in flight imagining what it would be like to be flying first class sprawled out in our own private bed with giant TV screens and unlimited snacks, but until that day comes, we try to make sure we’re as comfortable as possible with our 33 inches of legroom. Whether your next flight is 3 hours or 23 hours, here are some tips for surviving it!

Get yourself a good book.

The easiest way to pass time is to get lost in a good book. Here’s what’s on our summer reading list: All The Light We Cannot See, a story about a blind French girl and German boy trying to survive France during World War II; The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, an inspirational story of a world-class athlete and his journey to light and happiness; You’ll Grow Out of It, the hilarious story about what life was like growing up as comedian Jessi Klein. Or you can just pre-order Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, and sit on the plane hoping Hedwig flies by and drops off your Hogwarts acceptance letter (even if it is like 14 years late).

If you’re an audio-book person, download the audible version. Then you can just lean your chair back (you know, the whole inch and a half) and listen. Or download the e-book versions and keep them all on your phone or tablet, so you can read on the plane, bus, train, etc and you don’t have to worry about losing your page or bumping elbows with the person next to you. 

Buy a neck pillow.

Get a high-quality neck pillow. It might seem ridiculous, but it honestly does make it easier to sleep and the chances of you getting that awful kink in your neck nerve are a lot less likely. 

If you’re like me, then sleeping on a plane is a major struggle. While some people take Ambien or other sleep medications, we suggest taking a more natural approach without all the side effects. Try chamomile or melatonin. They both calm your body and help you relax and fall asleep. They’ll help your body fight jet lag too. And they’re all natural, so it’s a win, win, win situation. If you are going to take a medication, be sure to try it before you leave. You don’t want to risk the negative side effects when you’re stuck in the air. 

Drink lots of water.

It’s super easy to become dehydrated when you’re in the air. Those tiny little cups of water the flight attendants give out never seem to actually quench my thirst. I love bringing my swell water bottle with me. I can fill it up at a water station in the airport (after security of course), and it keeps my water cold for up to 24 hours (or hot for 12 hours), which is perfect both for the flight, and for the beach (or mountains) when I get off. On long-haul flights, most flight attendant stations (you know, that spot in the middle by the bathrooms) have a large water bottle available for self-service, so you can fill up your water bottle and stay hydrated throughout the flight without feeling like you have to ask for a refill every 5 minutes. 

Wear warm clothes.

When you’re up in the air for a while (and especially if you have a window seat), it’s going to get cold, and those thin blankets never seems to keep me warm enough. My favorite travel outfit includes LuLulemon leggings, a zip up sweater, and Nikes. Ryan loves these ones. I’m a big believer that leggings are pants, and they’re super comfortable, warm, and easy to sleep in. Plus, the compression is good for when you’re in the air and your blood circulation is all messed up. The shoes are super comfortable, and they’re easy to slip on and off. I hate wearing shoes in general, but especially when I have to sit in the same spot for 10 hours. And since I’m also that person that has to get up and go to the bathroom every 3 minutes, I want shoes that are easy to slip on and slip off, and these are perfect. They’re also super comfortable for walking around in once we’re off the plane, so they’re honestly our favorite travel shoes.  

Snacks, snacks, snacks.

Come prepared, because let’s be real, airplane food is gross. And definitely not healthy. And with the time change and the all that time in the sky, my stomach is always out of whack and I always feel hungry. Since I truly believe no one should have to spend $10 on a tiny cheese plate or a can of Pringles, it’s best to bring your own snacks. We usually create our own trail mix with things like raw almonds, cashews, peanuts, dried mangos, banana chips, Lily’s Chocolate Chips, etc. We also bring along some fruit, like bananas and apples. And we love Larabars. They’re free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugars, so they’ll help you stay energized and full without crashing. 

Double check seats at check in.

When you check in, look to see if there are Exit row seats still available. They have way more leg room, and if they’re still open, they might be free now. Also look for empty rows. If you’re traveling with someone, you two can choose the aisle and the window, because chances are no one is going to choose to sit in the middle. And then you’ll have the row to yourselves. 

I’d also suggest getting an aisle seat, because on a long flight it’s almost guaranteed you’ll have to go to the bathroom at some point (or 5 times), and there’s nothing worse than having to wake up the stranger in the aisle seat just so you can get out.

When the flight door closes, be on the lookout for empty seats, and if any of them look appealing, get up and move. Just be sure to do it before the plane pushes back from the gate. And last, but certainly not least, ask for an upgrade, because..what’s the worst thing they can say? No? If you don’t ask, you’re sitting in economy, and if you ask and they say no, you’re still sitting in economy. But, if you ask and they say yes, you got an upgrade. Seriously you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Get a good pair of headphones.

Noise canceling head phones are the best, because as much respect as we have for those people who travel across the world with babies, we can only handle the screaming babies for so long. (Seriously though, mad props to those parents, because nothing about that looks easy.) 

Try Beats by Dre or Bose Quiet Comfort. Also, the worst mistake we make is bringing our bluetooth wireless headphones. While that works perfectly with our own devices, it’s not so great if you plan on watching any of the movies available on the little TV provided. Also on that note, be sure to download any books, tv shows, or movies you know you might want, and a good, long playlist before you go, because for some unknown and slightly absurd reason, unlimited complimentary wi-fi in the air isn’t a thing yet, so streaming Netflix or Spotify will not be an option. 

Put a Toothbrush and Toothpaste in your Carry on.

I can’t function in the morning until I’ve brushed my teeth, and there is nothing worse than waking up on the plane with morning breath and not being able to do anything about it, because I left my toothbrush and toothpaste in my checked luggage. Slide a travel toothbrush and toothpaste into your purse or carry-on bag, so as soon as you wake up you can go over to the bathroom and brush your teeth. Not only will not have to be afraid of opening your mouth, but it will also help you feel clean and awake. Throw a small thing of hand lotion, hand sanitizer, and an extra pair of contacts or glasses in your carry-on too, because trust us, you’ll want those too. 

Get up and move.

Sure it’s tempting to just sit in your seat and will the plane to land, but I promise your body will thank you if you get up and move every hour or so. Especially when you get off the plane and want to run around the city, because if you haven’t moved in 10+ hours, your muscles are going to struggle once you’ve finally made it to your destination. Walk up and down the aisles, or walk to the back of the plane and do a little yoga. You might feel like dumb, but it’s worth it, and your body will thank you.

Bring a Journal.

Not only will it pass the time, but it will also give you an excuse to document all of your travel experiences. On the way there, you can write all about your hopes and desires and any last minute ideas of what you want to do on the trip, and on the way home, you can reflect on your time away: what you learned, what you saw, the time you walked into a monkey temple with a banana in your hand and a monkey knocked you over in order to get it haha. I have about 10 of these journals. They’re my favorite. Or, you can try an adult coloring book. They’ve proven to help with anxiety, and they’re fun. 

So until we can all fly first class together on Singapore Airlines, we hope these tips will make your next flight a little easier! Where are you headed next?

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