9 Tips for Surviving an International Flight

Let’s face it, an international flight can be complete hell, sitting in a seat, confined, and bored out of your mind.  After taking a couple international flights this year I came up with a few things may help you stay sane on those long international flights.

Tips for surviving:

1. Take a red eye.

If you are traveling from the US to Europe, take the evening flight but stay up the night before so you can sleep on the flight. Most likely you will arrive at your destination in the morning refreshed and still time to take a nap if you need to get a couple more hours in.

2. Buy a preferred seat.

They usually cost an extra $49 or so (depending on the distance) but gives you a more desirable seat in the front of the cabin with a lower boarding group number. This will give you the peace of mind that your carry on luggage will be right above you and easy on and off the aircraft.

3. Vitamin C

Every time before international travel I always but the AirShield tablets from the local drug store. With the air circulating around the cabin for hours at a time, you want to make sure you pump as much vitamin C in your body as you can and keep your immune system healthy to fight off any crud that may come your way.

4. Bring your own pillow.

There’s nothing worse than getting onto the plane with the airlines small pillows that you really don’t know how clean they are. Not saying that an airline pillow would give you tuberculosis but I’d rather not find out.

5. Have back-up battery packs

Duracell makes a fabulous little power that can charge your iDevices and other electronics to a full charge. The pack costs $29 (there are other brands too) and recharges via a USB from your laptop. Nothing worse than having your iWhatever go dead and you still have five more hours of flight time.

6. Entertainment

This one is a no brainer! Bring a book, Nintendo DS, iPad, Kindle, e-reader or some other device to keep your mind stimulated and to pass time.

7. Bring Snacks

The airlines have gotten away from being as generous as they once were. Head to the store and stock up on plenty of snacks for your flight. You’ll be glad you did when you’re paying $5 for three pieces of airline cheese and crackers. Bringing a bottle water or two with you could be added to this one too, the altitude can sometimes make you parched.

8. Noise canceling headphones

The kid next to me on my last flight made this a no-brainer. Do yourself a favor and invest in some noise canceling headphones to wear to drown out any of the background noise. Sony and JVC are quality brands.

9. Don’t drink too much on the way over.

I’m not talking about a night cap or a beer, but don’t get sloshed. There’s no reason to drink, pass out and wake up to find your still hours from your destination, plus, no one wants to arrive with a hangover.

Do you have any advice on pushing through a transatlantic flight? Comment below.

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2 Responses

  1. Tip: check your layovers. I remember flying from Hawaii back to Jacksonville. I left Hawaii at 4 pm and got to LA at midnight, but my next flight from LA didn’t leave until 7 am! Why rent a hotel room for 5 hours and not get any sleep? Follow me on Twitter @scottlara1961.

  2. I like taking one of the many morning flights to either London or Paris. The flights leave early in the morning and arrive in Europe early evening in time for a light dinner. With a layover in at an airport hotel, you can continue on your journey the next day, rested and functioning on local time.

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