I’m not the most easily entertained person, and sitting still for hours on end really isn’t that attractive to me, and shouldn’t be for the people sitting around me either! I’ve had to get used to it, because I want to travel and see different places, often far-flung ones, and I can’t orb unfortunately, so long-haul flying it is.
If you’re like me, and you find it hard to sit still for any longer than ten minutes, then you’ll feel my pain. Despite this, I’ve figured out a few methods to at least cut out the trauma, and make it easier to survive.
Stock up on sleep beforehand
Sounds like common sense, and I guess it is. If you’re half asleep before you even get to the airport, crossing time zones isn’t going to make the situation any easier!
Avoid the map!
You know sometimes they have the flight course map on your seat-back TV? Well, avoid it like the plague. I made the huge mistake of watching it on my first transatlantic flight, and I was convinced we were stuck over Greenland, because it never seemed to move! It just makes time go slower, and that’s not really what you need.
It sounds like it would be impossible, but try and stay in a routine if you can. I found that taking snacks with me and trying to eat at the times I would do normally helped a little, and not attempting to sleep through the whole thing, because it just knocked my body clock out completely. I know airline food isn’t the greatest, but do try and eat it if you can.
Health is everything
If we’re talking about how to survive long-haul flying, then we have to take the word ‘survive’ at its literal meaning and talk about health. Nobody is going to win any style awards for wearing compression stockings, but you’re just going to have to try and rock them as best you can – if you’re at risk of DVT or circulation problems, wear them! I try and drink as much water and juice as possible to stay hydrated, and I use the excuse of getting up and down to the bathroom as my exercise.
Keep your mind busy
The iPad is probably one of the best things ever invented for long-haul flying, because it has everything on it that you could possibly need to stay entertained. Other tablets are also available, of course. Stock up on films, apps, games, books etc, and time does go quicker. I can’t read a book whilst travelling generally, even on a plane, but I found I can read on a Kindle whilst flying, and if you’re like me, you’ll find you can lose hours when you’re lost in a story.
Basically, try to take your mind off the waiting, and not drive everyone around you insane – that’s the basic aim of long-haul flying.