I recently wrote a post on how to survive a long layover, so I wanted to touch base on surviving long flights.
As I sit down and write this post on my laptop, I am stuck in the Philadelphia airport with an 8 hour layover until my 9 hour flight to Frankfurt.
It’s one thing to write a post and give advice than to actually live it and try to follow your own rules and tips. It’s easy to make plans for a layover, but it’s not as easy to plan for an entire day of travel and keep yourself occupied throughout multiple flights, connections, and hours upon hours in the air, which is exactly why I wanted to write this post!
I like to try and plan ahead as much as I possibly can. From the time that I eat, to what I eat, to how much water I drink, even to when I’ll go use the bathroom. I like to plan. I started prepping for my flight the day before, which is what anyone should do when they’re traveling, regardless of the destination.
The night before my trip I did meal prep, I packed my suitcase, packed my carry-on bag and my personal item (my over-sized handbag) and made sure that I had everything I could possibly need.
What’s in my Carry-On:
- One magazine and a book
- Tablet and charger
- Phone charger
- Portable battery pack to charge my electronics
- Laptop, laptop charger and mouse
- One quart-sized bag filled with my liquid items under 3 ounces
- Foundation stick
- BB cream
- Liquid cleanser
- Breakout clearing overnight treatment
- Breakout spot treatment
- Hand sanitizer
- Lip balm
- Empty water bottle (that I fill with water after clearing TSA)
- Pack of gum
- Euros and change for when I arrive in Europe
- Driver’s License and additional form of ID
- A few pens
- 3 tupperware containers with my prepped meals
- Crystal Light packets for my water
- 2 packets of peppermint tea bags
- 2 vegan & gluten-free protein bars (Larabar mint chip brownie, which is absolutely amazing!)
- Hair ties
Looking at this list you might think that I have an unnecessary amount of stuff, or that I couldn’t possibly fit all of this in my carry on and my handbag, but you are most definitely wrong! It’s actually much easier than you would think, especially if you know how to properly organize and pack efficiently.
The majority of my things that I knew I was going to use throughout the flights and connections went inside my handbag. The rest of my things went into my carry on because it made it easier to pack, but still offered the convenience of grabbing things later on.
I pack my laptop inside my carry on and I can easily take it out if I need to.
While I’m on the plane, I have my handbag under the seat in front of me and I’m able to use my tablet, read a book, read ebooks, read a magazine, listen to podcasts that have been downloaded, watch Netflix and do everything I possibly can to keep myself entertained.
I mentioned before that I prepped my meals in advance. You don’t necessarily have to pack your own meals, but I did so for a number of reasons.
The first reason being that the airline I flew with was unable to accommodate my food allergies. I am allergic to dairy and also have a gluten intolerance which makes it very uncomfortable and just plain miserable to be stuck on a plane for more than an hour.
Another reason I wanted to pack my own meals is so that I could continue staying on track with my health goals. Airplane food is typically filled with a lot of sodium and I wanted to do everything that I could in order to avoid eating foods that might upset my stomach, make me bloated, and ruin my healthy habits. I wanted to arrive to Europe in the best state possible, and having control over what I’m putting into my body just made me more relaxed and better able to enjoy my trip and have fun! There’s just no fun in being bloated and uncomfortable during what is supposed to be a nice vacation.
I was able to cook a really delicious, healthy meal the night before and pack them into small tupperware containers and fit them all inside my handbag. The prepped meals were perfectly portion-sized and fit easily into my handbag without taking up too much room. The only downside to this is that it does make your handbag a little bit heavier than it would typically be and that can cause a lot of strain on the back and shoulders. Luckily for me I am able to attach my handbag to the handle of my carry-on suitcase and roll through the terminals with ease.
The key to surviving long flights and ultimately, a long day of traveling is to plan in advance, keep yourself occupied, and eat right for your body and for travel conditions. When you’re on the plane it is extremely tempting to order a glass of wine, alcohol or other spirits, but you should avoid this if you want to have a nice flight.
Alcohol dehydrates you, and they say that one drink in the air is the equivalent to two or three on the ground. Some people tell you to have a drink with your meal because it will relax you, but it can actually have the opposite effect. It’s better to stick with water or anything unsweetened.
There’s a reason I brought an empty water bottle, Crystal Light packets and tea bags with me! Having a large bottle of water and a nice, hot mug of tea after my dinner on the plane is the perfect way to relax and try my best to fall asleep so that the next time I open my eyes I’m about to descend into Frankfurt.
Travel can put a lot of stress on the body, which is why I try to plan as much as I can in advance. I feel much less stressed out when I know exactly what I’m going to be doing. I know that sometimes unexpected things can happen, but you just have to play them by ear!
Another really great way I calm myself down before a big trip like this is to have a really long, hot bubble bath with lavender. It relieves a lot of stress and puts me into the perfect mood for my travels.
I put a lot of thought into all of my trips. I don’t like winging it, and planning ahead works for me! Especially when it’s an extremely long trip like the one I am taking right now. When you have to leave your house at 4:30 in the morning to drive an hour to the airport, then fly across the country, sit in an airport for 8 hours and then sit through a 9 hour flight, bringing your travel time to 23 hours, it can make things a lot more stressful if you don’t take the time to plan ahead. Giving myself tons of things to do, making sure I have good, healthy food and plenty of water is how I survive long flights, especially when those flights bring me overseas!
So how do you guys survive long flights? I would love to hear some of your tips and tricks!