Tips for Travel/Long Flights
Tips for travel aka how to stay alive through 42 hours of travel.. As I contemplate flights back to South Africa for the second time this year it's hard not to cringe at the time stamp beside the itineraries... 37 hours, 42 hours. That's one way. Epic. I fly a lot and almost never have the luxury of being jet lagged. Here are some things that I've learned that help me get through long travel days! Feel free to leave your tips and tricks as well!
Booking – I use websites like Kayak a lot which aggregates results from a ton of travel booking sites. Browse on private (if you're on a Mac you can easily open a new “Private Browsing” window on Safari so they can't track what you're looking at and raise the price.)
Credit card benefits – I use the Chase Sapphire for the travel benefits across many airlines and a Hawaiian Airlines since I used to fly interisland a lot. If you have a specific airline you travel with the most get that one. Alaska Airlines is known to have the best value for their mileage program.
Sites like seat guru let you see the layout of the plane and put a warning for certain seats being smaller/better than others. This is a real thing as I've sat in the seat where the plane starts to taper – it sucks.
Always pack enough with you for one day. I go into every flight assuming they may lose my luggage for a day or two.
Get TSA pre-check or Global Entry. Trust me, it has been the difference between making and missing a flight many times.
Eyedrops and moisturizer – things that make you feel human.
Bring a blanket, sarong or scarf. Good multipurpose item and keeps me warm and I can sleep on it or under it.
Reset your internal clock when you step in the plane to match what time it is in your destination. I try really hard to adhere to this and it seems to work for me. Disclaimer: I am one of those people who can sleep in planes (or anywhere in an instant) so I'm sure this is easier said than done.
Don't bring a massive carry-on - have a backpack where everything fits and has a place. This keeps you organized and efficient and most importantly able to run if you have to. I'm all about maximizing the chances that I make it to my destination on time and without losing anything enroute.
Your own water bottle. Drink TONS of water.
Resistance band – super light weight and great for layover workouts. I lay on the floor of airports and do exercises in random corners. I'm willing to look like a weirdo if it means I feel better.
Many international airports now have showers, yoga or resting rooms.
Try to watch a sunset or sunrise. This helps reset your internal clock. And if you know you might have trouble falling asleep read a book rather than stare at your phone or computer screen (which keeps you up). I travel with blue light blocking glasses which helps to block the artificial light coming from phone screen and laptops if I absolutely have to do work when I land.
I was also just introduced to these little inner ear devices called Human Charger that help maintain your circadian rhythms when you fly. They work by emitting light into your inner ear and supposedly help with resetting your internal clock or with people needing more “sunlight” in very cloudy environments - I haven’t actually tried them out yet, but I’ll update if they become a regular part of my routine!