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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Five Fast Tips for Flying

I'm taking off today! I'm really excited to go to China but significantly less excited to sit on a plane for roughly 20 hours total. I think I have a full 24 hours of travel to actually get to China... and I don't think a full day travelling is anyone's idea of a great day. Regardless, I've done a lot of flying before and firmly believe I have enough experience to give some advice.

I personally think these flying tips are the more relevant of flights 6 hours or over, but obviously they apply to all time in the air! The most important thing I've learned to do on an airplane is wear sneakers. My feet (and probably other people's feet) swell on flights, so wearing shoes that don't squish my feet really help me be comfortable on the plane. Sneakers are also excellent travel shoes in case you find yourself running through the airport. Everyone's done it at least once... Don't be the poor girl in heels!

Drink a lot of water on the plane. The humidity on the plane is a lot lower than what most people find comfortable, and I find it really dries out my throat. Drinking lots of water helps compensate. Try to avoid eating really salty food. Not eating that super-salty bag of pretzels might help prevent bloating and having to drink even more water.

Bring something that calms you down in the event of turbulence. I've been on a bazillion flights and still think the plane is going to fall out of the sky when there's even a little bit of turbulence. Familiar music, a passage from a book, or a stuffed animal all can make turbulence a little bit easier to deal with.

If you're doing a long haul flight, map out what you're going to do on said flight before hand and during the flight so it feels shorter. For example, on a 12 hour flight you can comfortably watch two movies and sleep for 8 hours. You could also sleep for six hours, read a book for a while and watch a movie. Or you could write your blog on the plane until your fingers feel like they are going to fall off, then sleep until landing. Whatever you end up doing, it will help you mentally deal with being stuck on a plane for the long haul.



What do you consider a long flight? I divide flight times into quick, short, medium, longish and long haul flights.

Quick: 2 hours or less. Totally manageable and easy.  Most stressful aspect-- airports.
Short: 4 hours or less. Reading and munching, not too bad.
Medium: 6 hours. Enough time to nap, watch a movie and eat. Favourite length overall-- if I'm going to deal with two airports, I might as well be in the air for a while.
Longish: Under 12 hours. Depending on time of day, these are either sleep-the-whole-time or movie-binge flights.
Long haul: 12 hours and over. The longest flight I've ever been on was the 18-hour Singapore to Newark flight on Singapore Airlines. Great airlines, terribly long flight. Plan of attack-- sleep.



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