Since September 2015, I’ve made the transatlantic flight from the United States to the United Kingdom six times. That’s a lot of time to kill.
Here are some of my best tips to surviving such flights:
Booking: The first step in surviving long flights is to book your flight to make it as easy on yourself as possible. The best value flights to me are the ones with only one layover (I actually prefer one layover to none on such long flights because it gives me a chance to look at something that isn’t the back of the seat in front of me and walk around). I also prefer layovers that are about two hours long. Finally, I prefer to land later in the day to avoid jet lag. I compare these parameters with price to choose the best flight for me. If you are taller, you might want to consider an exit row seat or otherwise premium seat for the extra leg room.
What to wear: For such long flights, I try to dress as comfortable as possible. I usually wear a t-shirt, leggings, long socks and a light jacket with a hood. I make sure that every inch of my body (except my hands and face) are covered because there is nothing more uncomfortable than a small sliver of skin being blasted with the airplane air conditioner.
What to bring: Here, I’m going to refer you to a post I made a few months ago: What’s In My Bag: Carry On Edition for inspiration.
What to do: Finally, there’s the question of what to do with all that time…
- Watch movies: Load movies or television shows onto your laptop or tablet before the flight to watch in airplane mode. Netflix has material available to download.
- Listen to music: Spotify and Apple Music allow you to download music to listen to in airplane mode.
- Write: Prepare a Word document with blog post ideas and write away. I also work on updating my C.V., cover letters, etc.
- Organize your computer: Sort your pictures, documents, music, etc.
- In-flight entertainment: Some airlines offer in-flight entertainment including the latest movies, television show episodes and games.
- Sleep: Pop in some earplugs to drown out the engine roar and screaming baby and take a quick snooze.
- Color: Get a coloring book, some colored pencils and go to town. It can be quite therapeutic for some people.
- Games or puzzles: Download the newest game or entertainment app to your phone and have a go at it. I also like to get nostalgic and play on my Nintendo DS.
Photo by: Gabriele Ibba