Some flights seem to fly by. (faceplam) While some drag on forever. Flying to Japan from North America or from Australia is a pretty long flight.  It can feel like it lasts a year, and it can be awful.  

 I am getting used to longer flights, but I can still feel trapped on that tiny plane. I just want to be at my destination and away from these stinky people.  To make my time spent in flight a little more enjoyable, I put together a few tips that I use to make my flights less awful. If you’re looking for advice for long flights with a baby check out my post on that.

What I wear:

  • Comfy jeans- I usually wear jeans because they can stand up to pretty much anything.  If you spill something you can easily get it off or hide it.  If they get wrinkly it’s not really a big deal, and if you have a good pair, they can be pretty comfortable.  I don’t wear sweatpants or pajamas because, well, while I don’t care really what I look like, I still don’t want to seem completely scroungy.
  • T-shirt or tank top– I wear these in winter or summer because I always get so warm when going through security or getting on the plane.  It’s a mixture of anxiety from the people around me and the strain of moving quickly with heavy bags that makes me thankful to not be wearing long sleeves.
  • Sweater– But I do bring a sweater, in winter and summer also.  Planes, in the air, can get so cold and nothing is worse than shivering while trying to get some sleep in an uncomfortable seat.
  • Scarf– I wear scarves a good amount while traveling because it’s easy to make what you’ve been wearing for three days into a “new” outfit with one new item.  But I also bring it on planes because it can act like an extra blanket or, scrunched up, a pillow.
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting shoes– Even in the summer I always wear socks and shoes while traveling on planes.  The floors are gross and I hate when people take their shoes off on planes.  If I have comfortable shoes my feet won’t need to “air out” and I can just keep them on.

What I take with me:

  • Advil– I get headaches every time I get on a plane.  I don’t know if it’s stress or cabin pressure, but no matter what I can usually guess, up to the minute, when I’ll be getting a headache. I always have some advil or similar to take.
  • Altoids– Altoids are the best thing ever invented.  I love having them on a plane for breath freshening, just a “snack” or stress relief.  It might be all in my head but Altoids help me de-stress.
  • Earbuds I have my own earbuds for my phone and music but I also bring it for movies.  I prefer my own earbuds over the weird, hard ones they usually hand out on the plane.
  • Book– Some people will tell you to never bring something as heavy and bulky as a book but, depending on how long I’ll be gone, I always bring one.  Even if it’s just a guidebook.  During those hours when I don’t have charge on my phone or want to save the battery, reading is a great way I pass the time.
  • Baby wipes– Baby wipes can solve any problem. I use these for my hands, messes around me, removing make up, anything.  I primarily use this to wipe my face sometime during the flight.  Not washing your face during normal times can really mess with my face. Even if I don’t have make-up on, it makes me feel a little cleaner and fresher.
  • Unscented face lotion– This is really it for my “skin care routine” in flight.  I bring face lotion because I get really dry and unscented is usually kinder to the neighbors.
  • Pens and Pencils– This is something every writer, and traveler, should have with them anyway.  Specifically, I take them on planes because I get so bored. Sometimes movies, books, and music just can’t cover it.  So writing, or working on something for the blog can sometimes take away the boredom.  Besides, I should probably be using those free hours for something productive.
  • Hobonichi Planner. You might notice that I love planners.  I love notebooks and stationery and everything about paper and pens. Long-haul flights are a great time to set goals, organize your plans, or set up your new planner.  Just grab your favorite pen and get it down on paper while you’ve got nowhere else to be.  


What I do:

  1. Change my watch and mind to the time zone I’m going to land in.  That way, hopefully, when I get there I’m not totally blindsided by the time.  Because of that, if I should be sleeping at that time, I try to sleep.  If I’d be awake, I try to stay awake.  It’s really not a perfect science but it seems to sort of work.
  2. Eat the Food. This might be debated among frequent fliers but for me, meals on flights are less about the quality of the food and more about a half an hour of trying to forget you’re stuck in a tiny seat. Not to mention most airlines offer free alcohol during these meals. I am all about getting some free wine to help me sleep better.
  3. Drink Plenty of Water. Yeah, you might have to visit the bathroom more often, but you’ll keep hydrated and usually feel better about life once you get off the plane.  Not to mention those trips to the bathroom will give you a chance to stretch your legs and possibly do some aisle yoga.  Just kidding. No one needs your crotch in their face while they’re trying to sleep.
  4. Use the time productively. If you’re like me there’s very little time in my life where I have nothing but time to kill. Normally, I have a child that is crying, a house that needs cleaning or shopping to be done.  When I finally have a few hours where I’m literally stuck in one place with nothing to do (and no internet to be distracted by), I try to use the time to get things done. I bring my laptop to edit photos or a notebook to write.


What do you do to survive a long flight? Let me know your tips in the comments!


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