I’ve done a good deal of traveling in the last five years and have written a lot about it, but somehow I’ve never talked about how to make an abroad flight more enjoyable. Because let’s be honest, most long international flights are kinda the worst – don’t you think?! Believe it or not, there are some things you can do to make your flight more comfortable and even make the time go by faster! If you have a big flight on your itinerary this summer (or anytime), you’re going to want these tips in your life, trust me!
First and foremost, you definitely want to make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes! I totally get the temptation to want to show up to your destination looking super stylish and trendy but remember, you’re going to be sitting in a tiny chair for a long period of time. So tight pants or restricting tops, HARD PASS. You can still look cute without going over the top. For my trip to Portugal, I wore these joggers (which I’m completely obsessed with), a white tee and jean jacket with sneakers. Easy peasy and so comfy!
Most airlines come stacked with a great movie and TV show selection, but just in case you’re not into any of the options or you watch everything you’re interested in, come prepared with your own entertainment. And don’t always assume planes have WiFi because sometimes they don’t – especially if you’re crossing major bodies of water. Pack that stack of books you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t, download any shows and movies you’ve been wanting to see or games you can play without wifi – or I honestly like working on long flights because I kinda get into the groove and am not distracted. Once you get into something and find yourself distracted, the flight will go by just like that!
Getting on the plane tired
We took an evening flight out of Dallas to Portugal in an attempt to sleep on the plane. Because not only is sleep a great way to kill time on a long flight, it can also help avoid jet lag. I feel like you can trick your body into thinking it’s not in a completely different time zone if you time your flight’s departure/arrival time right. I failed majorly with this on my Portugal trip because I barely slept at all, but if you can book a red eye and sleep most of the way, I think it definitely helps make the whole process of traveling way easier (especially if you’re going ahead or behind your normal time zone).
I’d suggest bringing elements that will make sleep a little easier – hopefully – like noise-canceling headphones, an eye mask, a comfy neck pillow + blanket, and SOCKS. Gotta have socks!
There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a super long flight only to realize you don’t have something you need. Whether it’s food, meds or a neck pillow, it’s best to be over prepared in my experience. I’d MUCH rather overpack and have stuff I don’t end up using than be on a 7-hour flight without one of my must-haves. To make sure you have all the carry-on essentials you need, read this post, and then make your own list that you can always check off before packing. One less thing to do on the way home, too!
Buy or prep snacks
Y’all know I like to eat. Not only does it make a long flight more fun, but obviously more enjoyable. It kinda depends how much time I have before traveling but if I have extra time, I like to bring somewhat healthy snacks like my own trail mix and some fruit. You can usually buy this at the airport too, but it’s a lot more expensive obviously. And TBH, I always feel better physically and energy wise if I bring my own food. Even packing a sandwich on whole wheat bread will make you feel a lot better than whatever they’re offering on the plane (usually super sodium-heavy and blahhh).
Get up often
I notice a huge change in my body if I spend a long flight sitting the whole time. And obviously I’m not walking the aisles 24/7, but I do try to get up often to at least get my legs moving and stretch a little bit.
Make friends with the crew
From the moment you step into the airport, be kind to the people working at the airlines. Hopefully this is obvious, but I’ve seen people at the check-in desk and flight attendants be treated SO horribly. Kindness goes a long way though! I’ve even been able to get bumped up to a nicer seat for literally being kind. And at the least, be nice to the flight crew – you might end up with a free glass of wine, an extra pillow, etc. – or at least a more pleasant experience and someone to talk to for a minute.
Don’t check your chargers
There’s nothing worse than your iPad or whatever dying mid flight. Before you board the plane, ask the front desk people if the plane has chargers (MOST planes do these days, especially ones for longer flights). If they don’t, charge away as you wait to board. But I always am sure to bring my chargers in my carry on so that I can recharge before taking off or during the flight. Don’t forget to charge your headphones if needed (like Airpods)!
Being hydrated (both skin and body) is one of the most underestimated ways to keep yourself feeling good during and after an abroad flight. If you’ve ever gotten off a plane and had a headache or a scratchy throat, drinking tons of water while in-flight can be a total game changer! And if your skin feels tight and extra dry, you definitely want to layer up the moisturizer to keep it quenched the whole trip! I’ve mentioned this product before, but it really is amazing for keeping your skin hydrated while traveling!
And if you’re looking for any other specific travel tips, check these posts out:
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