How to Survive and Thrive on an Overseas Flight

Long overseas flights can be an adventure all in themselves.  It’s all about attitude.  This is a people watching and behavior analysis opportunity!

It’s nice to avoid really early flights and overnight flights but often you you have no choice or at least the alternatives are 20% or higher in fare.    If you have an exceptionally long flight, be prepared to show off your state of the art travel gadgets and the best traveler carry-ons.

Favorite Traveler Comforts

a) neck pillow (inflatable ones save room)
b) blindfold mask
c) headphones and smartphone for music;
d) good headphones that can also plug into a plane outlet for movies, music, flight map, etc.
e) comfortable shoes, socks, or travel slippers
f) good paperback book, digital book, magazines, reading material on your destinatino
g) healthy snacks
h) net book or tablet for movies, ebooks, writing your memoirs, etc
i) small goose neck reading light
j)  small LED flashlight or at least a flashlight app on your smart phone
k) breath mints for you and the ones next to you
l) wet naps
l)  travelogue to document this fabulous experience!

Self Hypnosis

During our 20 hour flight to Vietnam, I read an entire novel for example.  Make sure it is a really good one and you won’t worry about being stuck on the plane for so long.  I also love audio books but the paperback seems to put me into a highly desired hypnotic trance.

Learn to Entertain Yourself

When I am on an overnight flight, I people watch to see who has been here, done this before.  Some people almost look like they are setting up camp with all kind of sleeping paraphernalia, PJs, head sets, nightie shoes, etc.  Write down the best ideas for your next flight.

Some people have quite the knack at instantly falling asleep when they are ready and go into a seemingly comatose state where nothing short of a fire hose to the face would wake them.  Unfortunately I am one of those who sleep lightly in quick spurts and then it is more of a dreamlike state and not true REM sleep as they call it.

Plane Exercise

Every hour or so, I like to get up and do exaggerated back bends and stretches. Try to put on a show for those around you.  Of course, walking around and gawking at people can give you exercise and is entertaining too.  Act like you are slightly psycho and give prolonged blank stares at people and see what they do.  Move on quickly if they get too agitated.

Pass Good Vibes
  • Joke with the flight attendants.  They more than anyone can use some good humor.
  • Catch a kid looking at you and make a monkey face.
  • Find some elderly folks and strike up a conversation.  Mature travelers can often be the most interesting people to talk to but rarely get attention.

Have fun and make the people around you feel better about the experience.