Thursday, December 3, 2015

Long Haul Travel Tips

It dawned on me during our 16 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles that I have almost mastered the art of long haul travel. To that end, today's post is to share some tips for those of you needing to do the same. Of course, different strokes for different folks, but maybe a few of these will be useful on your next long trip over multiple time zones. Enjoy!
  1.  Work for an airline so you can travel business class! :) 
  2.  Adjust to your destination time zone the minute you board the plane. And then try to sleep and eat according to your destination's time zone. This makes the biggest difference for me.
  3.  Limit your alcohol. It just dries you out and is supposedly more potent in the air. I know this one conflicts with tip #1, but trust me . . .
  4.  Drink lots and lots and lots of water. If you think you've had enough, have more. And I do mean water here, not coffee, tea or soda. Straight up water is your best bet and lots of it.
  5.  Buy an Evian face mister. You can find them all over UAE and I assume US as well and they come in travel size which is perfect for the plane. Then spritz yourself every hour or so to help you stay hydrated. My biggest issue is always a really dry nose and throat and this helps.
  6.  Use the eye patch and ear plugs and try to sleep (according to your destination time zone). Even if you just doze, it helps that you're not fully awake or watching a movie.
  7.  Limit the food. It's tempting to eat everything because you're bored but you'll just feel really bloated and uncomfortable. (I've learned this one the hard way for sure!)
  8.  Avoid watching the clock. Especially on really long flights, I try not to look at the clock (unless I'm looking to see if it's time to get up yet at my destination). 
  9.  Do a bunch of different things. Not sure this works for everyone, but for some reason, watching a lot of movies makes the time feel longer for me. I try instead to watch a movie, then watch a few TV shows, then read a bit, listen to some music, then back to a movie. Not sure why this helps, but for me, the variety makes the time go faster.
  10.  When you get to your destination, stay in that time zone,  no matter what! If you absolutely can't keep your eyes open, take a 45 minute nap, but no longer and push yourself to stay up as close to bedtime as possible. I've also found that the natural herb melatonin works wonders the first couple of nights to help you adjust. Melatonin has worked much better for me than unisom or another sleep aid.
I'm writing this at 7:30am the day after arriving in LA after a 16 hour flight. The time zone difference is exactly 12 hours so a rough one for sure, but I feel rested and ready to go. Got about 10.5 hours of sleep using the tips above. My nose and throat are still really dry - doesn't help I'm still trying to get over a nasty cold, but hoping that will improve throughout the day. Happy travels!

No comments:

Post a Comment