Tips for Handling a Long Flight

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Social media sites dedicated to travel often discuss tips for those long flights.  Here are my top tips:

Hydrate.  Start hydrating 24 hours prior to your flight with at least 64 ounces and then drink at least 4 ounces per hour until travel is complete.

Bring your own snacks for the trip.  And don’t eat the meals or drink the alcohol (or soda) on the flight – EVEN IF IT IS FREE.  The food is loaded with sodium and the alcohol will dehydrate you and contribute to your sleep cycle getting out of wack.

Get up every hour to walk around and do some simple stretches.  This will help you getting swollen and limit your chances of obtaining a blood clot.

Wear comfortable but not sloppy clothes.  You don’t want anything that will restrict the blood flow or be uncomfortable – but also remember this is not your bedroom and an airplane is a public place!

Airplanes are rarely at a comfortable temperature.  They are usually too cold or at the other extreme too hot.  Wear or bring layers.  And if you run cold, a hat and a scarf is a light weight easy to pack final layer to help ward off the cold.

Shoes should be loose and easy to slip on and off.

Bring a Book / Movie / TV show you have been saving / looking forward to so you will be totally engrossed and it will help pass the time.

Take a nap based on the time zone of your destination.

If returning home, write your post cards to friends and family from the trip.  Not only does this help pass the time but it is fun to reminisce and remember your favorite parts of the trip.

On the other hand, if traveling to your holiday (or even work) destination, use the flight to read up on the history, culture and sights of where you are going.

Don’t over pack your personal item.  You want something easy to carry and access during the flight with all of the above mentioned items.  Of note, I always have some mechanism (pocket or sling purse) with all of my critical documents in them (passport, tickets, one credit card, phone, cash).  This is for two reasons.  It makes going through security and airport check in much faster and efficient.  It also means I feel prepared for an emergency.  There is nothing of significant value in my carry-on or personal item and I can get by / start over with just the items on my person.

Talk to someone  – so I am not great at this but I am always so thankful when I make the effort.  Chances are that at least half of the plane is going home and half of the plane is going away.  If you are flying to a new destination, talk to a local and find out their ideas for what to do and see, where to eat, how to get around etc…  Likewise, if you are headed home, there is a good chance someone seated next to you is on their way somewhere new, spend some time by making their trip extra special and give them tips on things to do and see!

Start planning your next trip! 

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