Good morning you guys and Happy Monday!
I'm sitting here in the airport in Frankfurt, Germany and I just got off a 9-hour flight from hell. Now let me tell you, I have been taking this trek from Florida to Austria every year since I was born so I am no stranger to long annoying flights. But every now and then a flight is just extra stressful. This was one of those! To start out, 15 minutes before we had to leave for the airport our ride canceled on us so we had to scramble to get there on time. Then once on the plane, we got stuck with two extremely annoying individuals behind us who insisted on having overly loud conversations and watching youtube videos without their headphones. To top it all off, the airlines seem to have made the seats even smaller so my backpack wouldn't even fit under the seat in front of me. There went any legroom I had left! I'll spare you all the other details but let's just say it is now technically 6 am for me and I haven't slept a wink. One more flight and I am finally home in Austria.
But anyway back to my point! We all have experienced uncomfortable flights and it usually has to do with the length of the flight. Let's face it, sitting in a metal box for 9+ hours is never fun. Well here are some little tips and tricks that I have picked up throughout the years that will make even the most unbearable long flights a tiny bit easier!
1. Plan your carry-on!
You have to, have to, HAVE TO make sure to pack things in the order that you will need them. There is nothing worse than getting in the plane and having to dig around in you carry on to find your headphones. There is already no space to breathe in the plane so you don't need to make it worse by unpacking all of your personal belonging. I like to shove extra clothes to the bottom of my backpack, then toiletries, then any electronics on top!
2. Download things ahead of time!
Nowadays most airlines have in-flight entertainment but you can never be too prepared! I got on a flight last summer coming back from Europe and the airline charged you a stupid amount of money to rent the in-flight entertainment. Be safe and download some movies, songs, or audio books ahead of time.
3. Check in early!
Nothing causes more stress on an international flight than getting to security checkpoints and realizing the lines are endless and your time is not! Make sure to arrive early and get through security without feeling rushed.
4. Bring Noise Canceling Headphones!
You know in the movies whenever someone is having a bad flight how there is always a screaming baby involved? Yes, that person is always me. I somehow always have a screaming baby sitting somewhere around me!!! Those noise-canceling headphones will be your saving grace when it is hour 3 of a child crying right next to you and you begin to seriously reconsider ever having children!
5. Bring comfy clothes!
We all want to look adorable running through the airport in our perfect travel outfits. Well, that is just unrealistic and very unpractical. If you insist on wearing something cute over something functional, do yourself a favor and pack some sweatpants and a sweatshirt! Also, I don't care how hot the airplane is when you first get on, it will get cold! Bring layers! As for sock, bring compression socks!! I just tried them for the first time on this flight and it was the first flight ever where my toes didn't freeze off! Totally worth the investment!
6. Bring a pillow!
This goes hand in hand with your comfy clothes! Yes, airplanes usually supply you with a blanket and a pillow but trust me when I tell you they are not enough! The pillows are so thin that you will never be able to fall asleep. Pack some sort of pillow to sleep on.
7. Pack your own snacks!
Repeat after me… I will never eat airplane food! Speaking as someone who has a very weak stomach, nothing is worse for airplane nausea than airplane food! I mean this morning I got served a breakfast that consisted of three different colored lumpy mashed things that I still haven't been able to identify! I like to pack some homemade sandwiches or if I'm feeling lazy, some protein bars and chocolates to tie me over until I land!
8. Get comfy right away!
The second you sit down in your airplane seat, get everything out that you need. Prepare yourself to only get up to use the restroom! I like to pull out any headphones, chargers, books, and snacks and stuff them all in that little seat pouch in front of me so everything is easily accessible.
9. Keep your body happy!
Stay hydrated and use vitamin C packets!! I know this sounds like a lame tip but it can be so easy to forget to drink water when you are on a long flight. I sometimes even purposely don't drink that much because I don't want to have to use the airplane restrooms but I always regret it. Your body needs the water! Also, every chance you get, load up on vitamin C because I guarantee you there are at least 5 sick people on your flight and the added travel stress will take its toll on your immune system!
10. Try to get some sleep!
I know this one can seem impossible! I myself am extremely sleep deprived right now because I just couldn't get comfortable on this flight. I have never had my butt fall asleep until this flight so that was a wonderful new experience in the flight nightmare department! But if you can, try to find a position that you can get comfortable in and sleep some of the hours away. If you can, plan ahead and book a flight that travels at night because your internal body clock will make you want to sleep!
I know these tips aren't going to work for everywhere but they are just tricks that I try to follow to make my traveling a little less hectic. For some people, the idea of flying for 9+ hours is stressful enough so it helps to have a little checklist of things you can do to make the trip easier!