Throughout my travels I have been on flights that only last about 30 mins and flights which were about 18 hours, a huge difference! Some of the people who read this I know are well traveled as well but many of you have been on shorter flights or none at all and I thought this could be some food for thought when it comes to future travel.
There are many elements on a flight that one can take advantage of, and please do so!
Water: When flying, one gets dehydrated which can cause he or she to experience even more jet lag. So basically what I am saying is DRINK WATER!!!!! During a flight you are offered a drink at least once, but take it every chance that you have the chance!
The airline typically also offers other beverages and if you don’t like water then i guess soda or adult beverages are better then nothing but honestly they will not help you!
Food: Ya ya, airline food is kind of gross but not too bad. I have had wonderful food and I have had awful food and all in between. On our way home from China my husband and I both misses our lunch meal on the plane so my husband (Daniel) went and requested something small for us to eat since we missed the meal. They obliged and gave him two chicken salad sandwiches. They were descent but oddly enough, after eating authentic Chinese food for 3 weeks these sandwiches were what made me sick. I mean throwing up on a plane in a tiny bathroom sick and having other people n the plane getting mad at me because I was hogging the bathroom. The lesson in this story is that you should eat the food for health and nutrition benefits but be mindful of what you are eating. The chicken salad smelled odd so we should of realized but sadly we didn’t.
Rest: While in flight or on land proper rest is extremely important! On longer flights, airlines tend to have lights on and lights off times during flight so that the passengers will be more adapted to the time change that they are about to face. (At least that is how it was on our trip to and from China.) While in a different time zone it is wiser to have a rather busy schedule for the first week or so that way the adapting will not be as hard because the options for nap taking are taken away from you and you have to be awake during the day time and only sleep for a limited time at night because you have a busy day the next day too! (Wow that was a really long sentence!) I always try to sleep the whole time on the way to and from but that doesn’t always work due to the happenings around me on a flight/length of said flight.
Stretch: If you are not able to sleep on the plane then you should for sure stretch! Get up and walk around, stand up, do anything. Being cramped up in the small spaces that most people can “afford” really does cramp your style. You will need to move and stretch to try to avoid pain that will follow from becoming too stiff. On the China flights, every so often they would lead you in stretches and honestly it was hilarious because there was no room to do the things they wanted us to do! I am 5’9″ and my hubby is 6’4″, imagine us in coach trying to do stretches with at least one other person practically sitting on top of us, not possible!
Entertainment: It is wise, young grasshopper, to have things in your carry-on to keep you happy during the flight. Most planes now a days have individual tv screens in the back of the seat in front of you that you can choose what to watch, some have community tvs and some have no tvs at all. Our trip to Europe all had the personal tvs but to China NO TV AT ALL, and from China there were community tvs that were ONLY IN CHINESE, except an X-Men movie that they shut off right before the end. It was easy to tell who the English speaking Americans were because we all grunted, sighed, yelled, etc when they turned it off and then switched to another Chinese movie… Bring something that is not an electronic to keep you happy because on some planes they still wont let you use a laptop, tablet, phone, or any electronic what so ever.
Clothing: This seems like something silly to add to this list but no, really, it is important! In your carry-on you should always pact at least one change of clothes. You never know what might happen on the plane and you never know if your luggage will land with you or not. I recommend bringing a light jacket on the plane with you because they are typically cold and they also make a great pillow!
If you are able to keep these basic ideas in mind then your future flights will be so much more smooth and enjoyable flight no matter the length!