December 14, 2021

FLYING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS? 5 TIPS TO SURVIVE A LONG FLIGHT

One of the best things about living abroad is that most places I travel to are only a few hours away by flight. When I go back home to the US however, the flights get a lot longer (usually around 14 hours). I’m not a fan of long flights, and in the era of covid, I like them even less. Feeling suffocated by a mask, worrying about the stranger coughing next to you, and all the extra stress of having the right documentation has made flying less enjoyable than ever for me.

BUT this week I’m going home to Washington for Christmas for the first time in 2 years, and couldn’t be more excited!ūüéĄ My bags are packed, gifts have been purchased, and I’m all ready to go. Just have to get this pesky flight out of the way… I’ve lived abroad since 2018, and have done my fair share of long haul flights. They’re not always the most fun, but I’ve created a list of tried and true ways to survive them that I’ll share with you today! Hopefully using these tips will help to make your next long flight a bit more enjoyable, and then you’ll be off to enjoy your next adventure! 

Curious to know my 5 tips to survive a long flight? Keep scrolling! 

1. Curate a variety of entertainment 

Unfortunately for me, I’m not the kind of person who can sleep much on a long flight. This means that entertainment is key.¬†I want to have options for every kind of mood I might be in, so I take the time a day or two before the flight to make sure I cultivate a wide variety of options. For me, that means having three things:¬†

1. ¬†Music: For sleeping/white noise, as well as a few playlists that I’m excited about

2. Tv: For me, airplanes are not the place for intense shows or long films – I’ll lose interest too quickly. So I make sure to download episodes from light/funny shows and ¬†a few films I’ve been really wanting to see. If the timing works out, I’ll sometimes even postpone watching the ending of a good series until my next flight just so I have something to look forward to

3. Books: Having something in my ears for hours on end starts to hurt after a while, and at this point I like to turn to books. Similar to the shows I’ve downloaded, I don’t usually want to read something too heavy or boring on a plane. Before the flight, I’ll make sure to have downloaded a few books that I know will be enjoyable to read.¬†

2. Dress the part

We’ve all seen those people who dress up to go to the airport, I once sat next to a man who wore a suit and tie on a 10 hour flight! If I’m going to be stuck in a plane next to 300 strangers for hours on end , the least I can do is wear something comfortable. My go-to outfit has 3 things: stretch, layers, and is ¬†easy to get in/out of (because your girl still doesn’t have TSA pre-check). ¬†This usually means some sort of sneaker or boot that’s easy to slip on, really stretchy jeans or joggers, t-shirt, and something with a hood (so when I try to sleep I can pretend I’m alone). If it’s winter, I also like to keep a big scarf handy, because flights can get¬†cold.¬†

3. Freshen up

After waking up early, traveling for hours on end, sleeping in weird positions and being cramped in a small seat, more likely than not I’m looking and feeling pretty rough. A few hours before landing at my destination, I like to take a little time to freshen up in the bathroom. Sometimes this means washing my face and doing a mini skincare regimen, and sometimes it’s just fixing my hair a bit and swiping on some mascara (because I’m definitely not wearing makeup on these long flights). Back in pre-corona times, my fave thing to do on a long flight was to put on a moisturising face mask, go back to my seat for a while, and then return to the bathroom to complete my skincare routine feeling fresh and rejuvenated!¬†

The key with this is timing; you don’t want to do it too early, but you don’t want to wait until the last minute and feel rushed because everyone else is trying to get into the bathroom before landing. For me, 2 or 3 hours before landing feels perfect. And of course, be mindful of others and don’t take too long in there.

I’m always looking for a reason to stand up on a flight (which is why I’m always on the aisle) and this gives me something to do, and I always feel cleaner and slightly more presentable for the inevitable picture my mom will take and post to inform everyone of my arrival ūüėú

4.  Set goals for yourself

The last half of a long flight is usually the hardest for me; ¬†the novelty of the adventure has worn off, I’ve watched the shows I was most excited for, and my stash of snacks is dwindling. As I’ve said, I get pretty restless on flights, but something that helps is to set small goals or incentives for myself so that I have something to work towards or look forward to. For example, I’ll tell myself “okay I’m going to read for 45 minutes, and then I’ll have a yummy snack” or “when there are 2 hours left of the flight, I’ll go into the bathroom and fix my hair” ¬†

It might seem kind of weird, but creating little “goals” to work towards really does help me to feel like time is passing and gives me something to look forward to.

5. Just accept it

The reality is, sometimes flying sucks and there’s nothing you can do but just accept that you’re here for the long haul. The time will pass eventually, and it can be helpful to come to terms with the fact that you’re here in this moment and that’s that. Try to make the best of it using some of the tips above, and start thinking about all the amazing things you’ll do when you arrive at your destination!¬†

Happy and safe travels! 

Talk soon,

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