In it for the long haul….

A long haul flight is any flight that takes over 6 hours to get to your destination… Interesting… so I suppose one would call a 22 hour non-stop flight a really really very super extra ridiculously long haul flight, eh? Oy.

Here are some tips based on my own recent experience flying in coach on a long-haul flight. Happy Trails!
  1. Bring your iPod! What a great chance to catch up on audio books or listen to your meditation music to soothe those frazzled nerves. You can even watch a repeat of The Office or Lost and feel right at home. An iPod is essential if you need your “space” because let’s face it- you’re pretty much on a higher altitude bus ride for the next 24 hours and there’s nowhere in site to be alone just to sit quietly in your own head. iPod = instant alone time. I also bought the earphones that cancel outside noise- so they ensure ultra soothing quietness. A little pricey ($70) but worth it!
  2. Wear glasses and pack your contacts if you want to change into them when you land. Trust me- falling asleep for 5, 6, or 10 hours at a time does not fare well for the ol’ eyeballs. I woke up with one lid glued shut and the other was missing a contact that wiggled its way out somehow. Total rip. Wear the glasses.
  3. Before you leave stop by Burlington Coat Factory (they’ve got a great travel section and accessories believe it or not!) and pick up an eye mask, ear plugs, and an inflatable neck pillow. All very much worth it and easy to pack.
  4. Before you leave stop by AAA. They usually have big discounts on luggage and messenger style travel purses that you can wear across your body. I bought a tan one that really went well with everything in my wardrobe.
  5. Wear shoes to the bathroom! I learned the hard way (in socks) that sharing a bathroom in flight with the opposite sex certainly makes for a wetly decorated floor. What the? It’s like target practice gone wacky. Wear the shoes. Also- the aisles may get wet from people spilling drinks and such – so again- shoe time.
  6. Pack mini toothbrush and paste and freshen up every few hours.
  7. Pack Oil of Olay facial cloths or Johnson baby cloths – just wet with water and you can remove makeup and reapply or just do a freshen up in the airport or on the plane.
  8. Pack aspirin or Tylenol PM. My legs and neck were killing me after 14 hours and I wouldn’t have made it the other 10 without it. Plus it will help you get sleepy if you are wired up or anxious.
  9. Get up and move around… I know. I know… unless you have an aisle seat it is dang near impossible to do this without disturbing your fellow passengers. I tried to time my walks with when my seat neighbor got up to use the restroom… I could have done with a few more walks than he did – but it was good to stay alert and leave at the same time so as not to disturb him by crawling over everyone who is trying to sleep. Take note when someone sitting close by gets up and leave when they do. Find a small area and squat several times, roll your neck, stretch your arms, and shake out your feet.
  10. Please order a drink for your seat neighbor if he or she is sleeping when the drink cart goes by. A little kindness goes a long way when drinks are passed around every 4 hours and your throat is parched. Ask for two drinks and put one on the tray for them. They’ll be so grateful when they wake up and perhaps they’ll return the favor in kind.
  11. Never loose your cool. Everyone gets a pass on long-haul flights- especially if you are traveling with in-laws. Smile, be polite, and turn the other cheek as much as possible. You’ll be glad you did.
  12. Aromatherapy. Do it. Pack a tiny (one ounce) bottle of stress relief essential oil. Apply to temples, insides of wrists, and under nose. Sniff often.
  13. Remember- go easy on yourself and others. You’ll be operating on very little sleep, disrupted circadian rhythms, hormonal imbalances, dehydration, body cramping, and generally – no downtime to speak of… so take some deep breaths, put on that ipod and count your blessings!
> Üdo xoxoxoxoxoxo

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