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  • The Curious Traveler

9 Tips for Having a Great Transoceanic Flight

Ah, the long-haul flight. You know it’ll be worth it when you arrive at your destination and start your adventure. Having taken many of these flights myself (actually, I’m writing this from 32,000 feet over the Atlantic), I’ve happily learned some tricks to make it a bit easier.

  1. If you have time before you board, walk around the terminal (a few times, in fact). You’ll be sitting long enough on the aircraft, so get the blood moving while you can.
  2. bottles-774466_960_720Stay hydrated. This is just good sense in life, but especially when flying due to the dry plane air and altitude. Being dehydrated will make you feel sluggish. Bring a refillable water bottle and fill it up after security. Don’t be afraid to ask for a refill when the beverage cart comes around mid-flight. And obviously, avoid sugary drinks and caffeine if you want to have any hope of dozing off.
  3. My favorite trick: shortly after take-off, reset your watch (if you’re one of the few of us who still wears one!) to your destination’s time zone. It will help get your brain on the right schedule. Don’t think about what time it is back at home.
  4. Never, ever count how many hours you’ve been awake. There is absolutely no benefit to this. Instead, jazz yourself up by thinking about where you’re going and what you’re going to be doing.
  5. Avoid your electronics and in-flight entertainment if you want to try to sleep. Blue light is the light frequency emitted by all the screens in our lives, and it messes with our brain’s production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. If you’re not quite ready to nap, try a good old-fashioned book.
  6. Stay hydrated. Oh wait, did I already say that? Well, it’s important!
  7. If you’re not in a seat that folds out to a bed, a good neck pillow works wonders (I prefer the Trtl—yes, “Trtl”) or use the plane pillow (ask for a second pillow if you need—there are usually extras stashed away somewhere).
  8. coffee-787927_960_720If you have managed to fall asleep, wake up when the cabin lights turn on. Get up, walk around, drink some water, and stay awake. Get the coffee or tea (or both!) that’s probably being offered with a breakfast snack.
  9. You’ve landed, you’re taxiing to the gate, the plane has stopped, and the seat belt sign is off. We all know the rush that comes with knowing you’ll soon be able to disembark! Remain cool, calm, and collected. Everyone is in the same boat (er…plane…) and getting impatient won’t do anything to move the line faster.

Hurray! You’ve arrived and are ready to start your adventure! In the words of the legendary Dr. Seuss, “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

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