Long Overseas Flights and How to Survive Them

  • Written by Roxana Oliver

Some flights seemingly go by in the blink of an eye – while others some like they go on forever. In reality, no one likes long haul, overseas flights. Even the people who fly overseas infrequently dread the day of the trip, but nobody gets it worse than people who are forced to take long-haul flights regularly.

The matter of the fact is, the more you travel the more stressed you get. A recent study sponsored by CTW Solutions indicates that there’s a cumulative stress among frequent travelers, especially among businessmen and businesswomen. Some of the more frequent stressors include:

  • Lost luggage and personal items

  • General lack of sleep

  • Being away from your family for too long

  • Unhealthy, improper diet

According to the study, women are even more stressed than men during these flights. That’s the bad news. However, we have some good news as well. There are certain things that can help mitigate your journey along the way and allow you to remain relatively stress-free…

What to eat and drink…

  • Don’t’ forget to drink water

First things first – you need to drink at least one liter of water every three to five hours. According to research from St. John's University, people who don’t drink enough water during their flights usually start drinking alcohol to soothe themselves. Since the microclimate in your cabin increases the rate of dehydration, this is not such a good idea. Stick to water.

  • Starve your jet lag off

Although some people beg to differ, there’s actually a cure for jet lag. The so-called “Anti-Jet-Lag Diet” popularized by the former president Ronald Regan in the mid-80s will help you beat it. The idea is to alternate fasting and feasting a few days before your flight. Moreover, researchers from Harvard recently discovered that starving yourself a day before the flight works even better.

How to handle your surroundings…

  • Bring lotion to fight off dryness

Dehydration is possibly the worst part of every flight – even the short ones. According to Brent Blue, certified pilot and a doctor, pressurized air has basically 0% humidity and will leave your skin completely dry. Naturally you need something that will help you fight off the dry air, so you should pack some non-alcohol, hand lotion and a bottle of Evian spray.

  • Get some quality headphones/earplugs

In general, background noise can cause a lot of stress, according to researchers from the Seton Hill University in Greensburg. Listening to the plane’s engines for more than ten hours can even disrupt your ability to concentrate and think. You should either buy some noise-canceling headphones or get yourself a pair of good old earplugs. They work great for canceling out loud babies as well.

What to wear on your trip…

  • Compression socks

DVT, more commonly known as the “economy class syndrome” is a potentially dangerous type of blood clot, which usually develops in the veins of the arms and legs. It causes your feet and hands to swell and in worst case scenario, it can cause some life-threatening conditions. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing revealed that compression socks reduce the risk of DVT by 12 times.

  • Dress in layers

During long flights, you can go from feeling overheated to freezing in a matter of minutes. If you want to keep your body temperature at an optimal level, you should dress in layers. For instance, wear an ordinary T-shirt and a sweatshirt over it, plus bring a jacket with yourself, just in case. Plus, for all of you female travelers out there, bringing a scarf along might not be such a bad idea either…

Final Thoughts

While these tips will make your trip at least a little more bearable, we won’t lie – if this is your first trip overseas, you’re probably not going to enjoy it. The keyword here is “survival” and if you’re looking for a magic trick that will make a 12-hour flight pass by in a flash, good luck to you…

In truth, over time and with a little practice, you’ll get used to flying long distance. Nonetheless, the tips we gave you here will definitely make your trip bearable as possible. Just keep in mind, no matter how long it is, your flight will eventually end.

Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.

Roxana Oliver
Roxana Oliver

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