How To Survive A Long-Haul Flight If You Can’t Sleep

I envy those who can sleep on planes. I’ve been cursed, like many others, with the inability to sleep on any flight, long or short. Especially on long-haul trips, 9 hours of asking yourself,  ‘Are we there yet?” gets old real quick.

While I still hate being awake 7+ hours in the same spot, I’ve learned how to make it a bit easier. And for those of you who share my pain, this one is for you:

You hear left and right about documenting your travel memories in a journal. Kill an hour or two writing about how you feel about your impending trip or write an entry about your favorite parts of the trip (if you are on your flight home). Whatever you want to remember, write it down!

This is if your plane has TV’s on the back of each seat. If not, ignore and move on. But if it does (which it should nowadays…), this is usually how I think about it: if I’m on a 9 hour flight, I break it down to “Okay, I can watch 5 movies at about an hour and a half each and take up most of the time. Or I could start a new TV series and binge watch a season or two”. Even if you just watch TV for half the time, that it still good. I personally can’t watch for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. Which is why I have the other tips! But really, it is such a good distraction that makes the flight seem a little less long and hell-like.

Getting lost in a story to pass the time? Sounds good to me. No, but for real, bringing your kindle, iPad, etc with you opens up a world of entertainment (especially if there are no TV’s). Download your favorite book, download addicting games or whatever floats your boat! If you have a Netflix account, you can also download movies or shows now on your phone or tablet (not laptop unfortunately).

Did you know you could download the google translate app and wherever you are traveling to (if you don’t speak the language of that country), you can at any minute, look up how to say something if you download that language for offline settings.  I’ll admit I’m not a fan of google translate for general purpose because I find it to be full of errors when translating things. But nonetheless, it is better than knowing nothing and trying to say or ask something to a local like “Where is the bathroom?”.

Obvious but essential. Sitting in the same seat for a long period of time for me is impossible, you start to get antsy and honestly, my ass starts to hurt like a mother f*cker. We all need to stretch our legs every once in a while. Take a walk up and down the aisles for a few minutes to just have a change of pace and scenery. Go to the bathroom, do a little stretch, or anything that involves getting up from your seat that works for you.

For when you are heading to your destination: create a flexible schedule on your computer of ideas of what you want to do and when you want to do them, if you haven’t already. Luckily, a lot of planes now have wifi on board, most of the time you have to pay for it, but the price is getting lower (I payed $1 for wifi on a recent flight I took on Emirates).

For when you are heading home from your trip: Look at your photos and reminisce (or cry like I do because it is over and back to reality it is). I usually take the time to edit photos on my phone through apps like Snapseed, Adobe Lightroom, and so on. This is good especially if there are no wifi options because it isn’t necessary for this situation.


Got any other tips? Share them in the comment section below!!

Ending question: What is the best long-haul flight you’ve taken and why?

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