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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dress comfortably for the flight. Forgo fashion in order to travel
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
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
Take candy or chewing gum with you, to keep your mouth moving if
your ears block up during take off or landing.
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
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.