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Wayne's top tips for long distance flying

As a long distance flyer for more than a decade between South Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the USA, I have learned the top tips for successful long distance flying.

Follow these tips to make your long-distance journeys more pleasant and productive.  

1.    Drink a lot of water and fruit juice before, during and after the flight. Stay hydrated it helps to make the flight comfortable and helps to recover from the jet lag. You are not in danger of over-hydrating so drink a lot of fluids.

2.    Walk around on the plane, at least every hour. Don't just sit in the cramped seat. Keep a mental record of when you sit down and make sure to get up and walk the aisles within an hour.

3.    Plan ahead. What are you likely to do on the plane? Read a book or two? Write some articles or project status reports? Create a white paper or case study? Play video games? Take the documents and books that you will need with you so that you have what you need close at hand for productive time on the plane. Also keep a paper notepad and pen close at hand throughout the flight.

4.    Take a variety of things to keep you occupied on the plane. Take a laptop PC to write. Take a book to read. Take an mp3 player to listen to recordings that you normally don't get time for. Don't allow yourself to only take a book and then discover that you feel like writing a new case study. Plan for a variety of possible activities on the plane.

5.    Dress comfortably for the flight. Forgo fashion in order to travel comfortably.

6.    Pack your hand luggage for easy access to your selected articles that will keep you productive during the flight. Make it easy for yourself to get what you need, with minimal disruption to those around you.

7.    Buy a few bottles of water at the airport and take them with you onto the plane, to stay hydrated. Most airlines provide unlimited liquids but I have encountered airline trips where it is a bother to get liquids.

8.    Take candy or chewing gum with you, to keep your mouth moving if your ears block up during take off or landing.

9.    Don't drink alcohol on the flight. Serving alcohol on long distance trips seems to be less frequent than ten years ago, yet it is still available. You don't want to suffer from a hangover in addition to your jet lag. Ten years ago long distance flights had an open bar which fortunately seems to no longer be the case.

10. Go with the flow you are committing to spend fifteen or more hours cramped in a metal tube with 200 other cranky people. Eat what the airline offers, drink what they offer and don't get stressed out by the little things that go wrong on the flight. You won't be thrilled by the brand of eggs served for breakfast accept that airline cuisine is what it is, and let it go.

11. Cut yourself some slack as well. If you planned to write four chapters for your new book, but found it impossible to work on the plane, then let it go. Don't let this drive your blood pressure up or put you in a foul mood.

12. Be courteous with neighbors and fellow passengers. No one else particularly wants to be there either. Friendly words and courtesy make the experience more tolerable for everyone.

13. Don't bump little children out of the way when you are in a huge rush to exit the plane and wait for your baggage. I wonder if airline passengers act like this at home as well, or only in public places.

14. Don't try to sell your services to your neighbor. I don't board airplanes to purchase life insurance, so keep it to yourself.

15. Be ready to take your shoes off keep spare pair of clean socks in your hand luggage, to counter your feet swelling.

16. Learn stretching exercises, to help with the sitting all the time. Look on the internet for exercises that can help you to keep blood and air circulating on the flights.

17. Accept the fact that you will be tired and out of sorts by the time you land in a different time zone on a different day from when your flight departed. Take time to breathe deeply before responding to loved ones or the immigration officials.

18. Get exercise as soon as you can after the trip. Take a walk outside or on the treadmill. A good workout helps to get your body clock back in sync with the atomic clock in the part of the world that you find yourself.

As you can guess from this article, long distance flying does not improve my disposition. I have found these tips to help me tolerate with the unpleasantness of long distance travel and hope they will help you as well.


Copyright 2018 Wayne Botha Email Wayne Cell: 860.214.4897