How to Survive a Long Red-Eye Flight

Aug 7, 2019 | 0 comments


Flying as much as we do I’ve got the routine down to where I can get enough rest on route and hit the ground running when I arrive.  I can’t guarantee the most comfortable experience, but I can make the flight more bearable.

1.  Get plenty of sleep the night before.

2.  Dress in comfortable loose fitting clothing, but not shabby wrinkled clothes.  Don’t wear anything tight fitting and complicated;  tight fitting clothes restricts blood flow, you increase the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), and clothing that has lots of buttons, laces, etc. makes using the tiny restrooms difficult.  I usually wear an old comfy t-shirt under the jacket of a dark colored Juicy Couture sweat suit.  The jacket can be removed if it gets too warm and will keep me warm if the cabin is cold.  I like dark colors because it hides stains, in case I spill something on the plane.

3.  Wear comfortable footwear that is easy to slip on and off.  In warm weather I usually wear flip-flops or sandals, in cold weather my comfy pair of knitted Uggs.  Footwear that is easy to slip on and off makes going thru security easier, also easier to slip them on and off on the plane.  My feet tend to swell a bit on very long flights so I avoid wearing shoes that require me to painfully shove swollen feet into.

4. On flights 5 hours or longer don’t wear any make-up, if you arrive at the airport wearing make-up use a cleanser wipe and take it off.  Make-up will dry up, cake up, and leave you looking less than lovely.  If you must have make-up on arrival apply it about half hour before you land.

5.  Don’t drink booze, it will dehydrate you and make you miserable.   Drink plenty of water instead to stay hydrated.  For every hour you are airborne your body looses an extra glass of water leaving you looking and feeling miserable.  Adding alcohol into your system only dehydrates you more.  Staying hydrated also decreases the chances of airborne germs getting into your system, mucus serves as a “filter” and may just keep you from catching a cold.

6.  Sanitize your area.  I bring along anti-bacterial wipes and wipe down the arm rests, wall and window if I’m in a window seat, headrest, and table.  I know I look crazy but I’m not sure how clean the plane is and I’d rather be safe than sorry.

7.  Bring your own shawl or blanket, and neck pillow.  I’m pretty sure the provided pillows and blankets aren’t changed or washed between flights.  I prefer to snuggle up to my own clean items.  I always bring a cashmere shawl to use as a blanket.

8.  Practice good personal hygiene.  Don’t cough and sneeze on your seat mates, wash your hands often, and use a paper towel to handle the lavatory door knobs.

9.  Stretch your legs and walk around when you can.  Do a small in-flight workout to reduce your risk of DVT.  Here’s a link to show you how.

10.  Bring travel size moisturizers, body lotion, lip balm, and lip balm.  Keep them in a clear plastic bag or ziplock along with your toothbrush, toothpaste, and make-up.  I use Amore Pacific and I always ask my cosmetics associate at Neiman’s to give me samples, they work great for trips.

11.  Bring a change of clothes if you need to look your best on arrival.  You can struggle into them in the tiny lavatory

before landing.

12.  Bring reading material,  noise canceling headphones, chargers, a meal or snacks, and sleeping mask.  I load up books and movies on my ipad in case there’s nothing I like on the in-flight entertainment.  I prefer my own headphones, they’re much more comfortable than the ones they provide, they sound better too.  I prefer to bring my own food, I bring what I want and save money too.  Food sold in-flight is limited and expensive.

The only way I know of to have a really comfortable flight is to ante up and fly business or first class.  They feed you and the seats usually turn into beds.  I usually try to upgrade at the gate,  sometimes I get lucky and get a first class seat with by using frequent flyer miles or paying an upgrade charge.  Upgrades are never guaranteed.  If you want to try for one it’s best to put yourself on the upgrade list the day before departure or get to the airport early and get on the list.

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