SURVIVING: long haul flights


Globe Trotting. Ohhh the glamour. NOT. Sitting on a plane for 14 hours is not even remotely fun. How to make the time go by? I've become a bit of an expert. Just a month or so ago, I flew from Lisbon to Rome to Xian to Hangzhou....spent 10 days then flew to Hong Kong and eventually landed in Perth, where I have been since. Haven't heard of this distant land? Well it is the farthest city of any comparably sized population, on the planet.

Tonight at midnight, local time, I will fly from Perth to Melbourne ( landing at 7:35 am, local time and a total of 1670 miles). Three hours in transit, then Melbourne to Los Angeles for the next leg ( 7944 miles, with a flight time of 14 hours and 20 minutes ) where I land at 6:45 am local time. From here I have another 3 hour wait for my next 3 hour flight from sunny California to wet and cold Seattle, Washington. Whew! It's exhausting just thinking about it. So what is a weary traveler to do?

Begin with lots of Vitamin C. I tend to squeeze oranges and lemons into a sour concoction hours before departure. Airborne or Emergen -C are also two of my favorites to take early on flight day, or the night prior, depending on your schedule. Get outside: walk, hike, kayak, fly a kite, wander a city. Anything to smell fresh air, raise your heart rate, increase Vitamin D exposure. Lounging around watching the teli is the last thing you want to do prior to a long haul flight. Pack light and wear stretchy, comfortable clothing. My go to travel wardrobe consists of: leggings, long tank top, long sleeve t-shirt, converse tennies, jean jacket and scarf. I also bring along flip flops for ease of comfort when progressing through oodles of security check points as well as on plane. Do not wear a lot of makeup or heavy perfume.

Do your neighboring sardine -like passengers a favor, get a pedicure before you leave or wear nice socks. Nobody wants to see your crusty feet. I always suggest a window seat, as you have a bit more room to lean into. Always let the poor guy in the middle seat have the arm rests. Never put your seat back and get organized in your micro space long before take off. Book, magazine, journal, headphones, snack, pen, phone (with several long set lists already uploaded and ready to stream) ....ready to access in the seat pocket in front of you. Being vertically challenged, I use my carry on as a foot rest as well, so it is under the seat in front of me, you may want to place yours in the overhead bin. Don't be one of those people who needs to get into their bag all the time. My tried and true go to when on any trip, anywhere, is my cashmere wrap and silk pillow case. With some OCD tendencies, I don't want to use the airplane blanket or pillow they hand out. My plush "wooby" is perfect to curl into on both long flights and in random, remote, sterile, hotel rooms. Same MO for my pillow case, which allows me a number of ways to create a comfortable home for my weary head.

Hurling through the air at 35,000 feet for many hours on end, can be claustrophobic. Try to stay on the airline schedule; eat when they serve food, sleep when they turn the lights off. Not tired, that's ok. Read your book, leaf through a magazine and of course binge watch up to 6 movies! Seriously, try to sleep a bit, it will help the time pass and get you over jet lag sooner, rather than later. Have a drink. Have two. Don't get smashed, alcohol does affect you quicker at these altitudes. Walk to the farthest toilet you are allowed to use. Stretch every time you are up. Do some yoga in your chair.

This is what my 14 plus hours might look like:

- Get comfortable and wait for take off, flip through on board magazine. Read articles if in english. ( one hour )

- Based on the time of day this flight departs, food of some sort will be served soon after take off. Water, water, Water!

- Read a magazine or book awaiting meal. ( one hour)

- Get up, stretch your legs and body

- Watch a movie ( two hours )

- Read, write in journal, I also tend to use this time to edit photos on my iPhone. ( two hours )

- Food service will happen again around this time. Enjoy your meal with a glass of wine or favorite mixed drink.

- Get up, stretch your legs and body ( one hour )

- Cozy in for a long nap/ sleep. ( 4-5 hours )

- Yoga in your chair. Get up and stretch

- Another meal will be coming your way soon. Watch a movie or read. ( two hours)

- Customs and Immigration cards will be distributed, fill this out. Share your pen with those around you who invariably don't have one.

- Landing shortly. Time flew by ( pun intended ) ..welcome back to earth.

That was quick! Doing two in a row can be a bit daunting, but I am an old lady, and have survived just fine. Seattle to Dubai to Perth. Fifteen plus fifteen hours. Take advantage of those layovers and wander the concourse, go shopping, stretch. These folks are never going to see you again. It's ok to appear a tad crazy. Need some shut eye? Try one of the sleep pods in the hipper airports. They are a breath of fresh air. Some airports have spas and swimming pools. Base your layover excursions on the location time which you are arriving....it will help relieve jet lag if you get your mind wrapped around that time, long before you land. Have enough time for a quick jaunt into town? Great! Store your luggage and have fun! There are a number of international locations which provide FREE city tours to help you while the time away.

Bottom line, getting there is half the fun. Enjoy, relax. Covet the moment. Have more questions?

Please don't hesitate to reach out. Hello@accordingtouna.com.

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About Me

Not one to ever do well following directions, I am your typical OCD gal who makes just about everything from scratch, travels with wide eyed optimism, and believes that miracles happen each and every day. A realistic optimist...if there every was such a thing, you will find in Una.

Join me as I continue to explore our amazing planet, have unabashed enthusiasm eating and drinking my way through incredible cultures, and encourage acts of kindness whenever possible.

what do YOU seek?

Dream, Explore, Discover ...Thanks for joining me - Una