Step one: Don’t let your heart stop beating.
Step two: Arrive at destination.
Just kidding (kind of).
I’ve done my share of long flights: DC to Buenos Aires, New York to Hong Kong, Atlanta to Hawaii and of course, the ever-classic Pittsburgh to Portland. Yes, some of them are miserable and feel like they will never end, but funny story, they always do, some way or another.
There are some ways to handle these flights so you aren’t tempted to never venture further than 1,000 miles from your home again.
• Don’t fly drunk/hungover
I know, it sounds fun in theory, especially if you have a 6 a.m. flight and don’t want to pay for another night in a hotel in Kuala Lampur. “I’ll totally pass out on the plane!” Yes, yes you will… and you’ll wake up a few hours later with a hangover that is so memorable that I’m writing about it five and a half years later. Altitude + dehydration = feeling like death. I think I can leave it at that.
• Dress smart.
I don’t mean wear sweatpants. You’re getting on a plane, not sitting on your couch watching House of Cards. I’m a proponent of wearing heels to the airport because it a) takes up less space in your suitcase and b) you’re just sitting there so why do your feet need to be comfy? “What if I need to run to my gate?” Well, if there is one thing being in a sorority taught me, it’s how to run in heels.
Back to the point at hand: if you’re on a long, overnight flight… feel free to wear soft pants, boyfriend jeans, or leggings. Those are okay because they aren’t sweatpants. Hell, wear joggers! I’m also a fan of a chino or soft short in the summer. Wear a comfy t-shirt or sweater and wear a cardigan over it. Then either tie a long, wide heavier knit scarf around your bag or go invest in one so you can use it as a blanket. Trust me, it really helps with the whole sleeping sitting up thing.
• Download a white noise app.
I need background noise that doesn’t involve other people’s conversations or screaming children to sleep. Even at home I sleep with a fan on for noise or use my white noise app if I’m traveling. I’m bad at sleeping which also means I’m a super light sleeper – the slightest thing will wake me up. I use Relax Melodies. You can make your own background noise from dozens of different combinations. The one I use is city ambiance and urban rain.
• Have entertainment.
I’m pretty positive I have ADHD but I’m also too distracted to go get tested for it. Luckily, being on a plane gives me some uninterrupted time to write (which is when I’m actually writing this post). I’ll also download a movie I want to see from iTunes or download a new book, but 99% of the time I never open the book or watch the movie. Whoops.
• Pack your own food.
Airport and plane snacks suck. Airport and plane food sucks in general, unless you’re in business or first class, then it might be slightly edible and less full of preservatives, but typically doubtful. They’re always out of whatever I want anyway. I’m insane, so I pack overnight oats for breakfast then a salad or sandwich for lunch/dinner because those things get through security pretty well and I know that no matter what I end up eating when I land, I ate something that probably involved fruit, vegetables, fiber and protein prior.
If you need extra snacks, I’m obsessed with Kind Bars. They are low in sugar, high in protein and taste like a candy bar… except they are good for you. Keep reading for your chance to win an 8-pack!
• Stay hydrated.
Duh. Seriously. Just pack a refillable water bottle. Usually if the flight attendants like you they’ll fill it up for you with bottled water once you drink all yours.
• Get an aisle seat.
I can’t sit still. Whatsoever. Plus then my knees and hips start to hurt. I literally will do laps on planes. “What if I disturb someone?” I’m sorry, walking down the aisle won’t disturb anyone and you have to do what you have to do to keep yourself healthy and happy.
• Pack a tooth brush and face wash.
I have slight tooth brushing OCD if you weren’t aware, i.e. I brush my teeth approximately 8-10 times a day. I’ve been doing it since I could brush my teeth on my own. My parents took me to a psychologist when I was little because they were so concerned… anyway, I brush my teeth and wash my face before I land because I feel like I get oily on planes. I also use Evian Rehydrating spray to get some more moisture back in my skin.
• If all else fails, take melatonin.
I carry melatonin with me when I fly across time zones. It helps with jet lag and puts (and keeps) me asleep. It also doesn’t leave you with a sleeping pill hangover like Tylenol PM or Benadryl or a real prescription sleeping pill.
I’m partnering with Kind Snacks to giveaway an 8 pack of Kind Bars, perfect for traveling! This contest is open through August 6th to US residents only (sorry, international friends!).
Chat with me:
Did I leave any good tips out? What’s the longest/worst flight you’ve been on? What do you wear to the airport?