How to Survive a Long Flight - A Wandering Scribbler
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How to Survive a Long Flight

How to Survive a Long Flight

plane windowI was going to write this post as a strict “How to:” with all of the things I wish I did on a long flight, like going to sleep right away, not eating, and a full skin-care routine like I’ve seen on other blogs.  Instead I’m going to be honest about what I really do.  So far nothing disastrous has happened so my “routine” can’t be that bad.

Here’s how I get through long flights.

What I wear:

  • Comfy jeans- I usually wear jeans because they can stand up to pretty much anything.  If you spill something you can easily get it off or hide it.  If they get wrinkly it’s not really a big deal, and if you have a good pair, they can be pretty comfortable.  I don’t wear sweatpants or pajamas because, well, while I don’t care really what I look like, I still don’t want to seem completely scroungy.
  • T-shirt or tank top– I wear these in winter or summer because I always get so warm when going through security or getting on the plane.  It’s a mixture of anxiety from the people around me and the strain of moving quickly with heavy bags that makes me thankful to not be wearing long sleeves.
  • Sweater– But I do bring a sweater, in winter and summer also.  Planes, in the air, can get so cold and nothing is worse than shivering while trying to sleep in a tiny seat.
  • Scarf– I wear scarves a good amount while traveling because it’s easy to make what you’ve been wearing for three days into a “new” outfit with one new item.  But I also bring it on planes because it can act like an extra blanket or, scrunched up, a pillow.
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting shoes– Even in the summer I always wear socks and shoes while traveling on planes because, gross floors, security… but I also hate when people take their shoes off on planes.  If I have comfortable shoes my feet won’t need to “air out” and I can just keep them on.

planebook.watermarkWhat I take with me:

  • Advil– I get headaches every time I get on a plane.  I don’t know if it’s stress or cabin pressure, but no matter what I can usually guess, up to the minute, when I’ll be getting a headache, so I always have some advil or similar to take.
  • Altoids– Altoids are the best thing ever invented.  I love having them on a plane for breath freshening, just a “snack” or stress relief.  It might be all in my head but altoids help me de-stress.
  • Earbuds- I have my own earbuds for my phone and music but I also bring it for movies.  I prefer my own earbuds over the weird, hard ones they usually give.
  • Book– Some people will tell you to never bring something as heavy and bulky as a book but, depending on how long I’ll be gone, I always bring one.  Even if it’s just a guidebook.  During those hours when I don’t have charge on my phone or want to save the battery, reading is a great way I pass the time.
  • Baby wipes– after being a nanny I have gone over to the “dark side” and say that baby wipes solve any problem. I use these for my hands, messes around me, removing make up, anything.  I primarily use this to wipe my face sometime during the flight.  Not washing your face during normal times can really mess with my face even if I don’t have make-up on or washed my face, it makes me feel a little cleaner and fresher.
  • Unscented face lotion– This is really it for my “skin care routine.”  I bring face lotion because I get really dry and unscented is usually kinder to the neighbors.
  • Pens and Pencils– This is something every writer, and traveler, should have with them anyway.  But specifically I take them on planes because I get so bored and sometimes movies, books, and music just can’t cover it.  So writing, or working on something for the blog can sometimes take away the boredom.  Besides, I should probably be using those free hours for something productive.

What I do:

I try to change my watch and  mind to the time zone I’m going to land in.  That way, hopefully, when I get there I’m not totally blindsided by the time.  Because of that, if I should be sleeping at that time, I try to sleep, if I’d be awake, I try to stay awake.  It’s really not a perfect science but it seems to sort of work.  I don’t eat a lot because the food is usually not great and I’d rather be hungry, than slightly less hungry and queasy.

Basically, I just do what I have to do.  I try to have a routine and it usually never works so I just do what I want.  If I’m tired, I sleep, if I want to read, I read.  If I have work to do I do it (which is usually the case).  I find that flying is one of those things that is different every time.  Even if you fly all of the time sometimes you just don’t feel like doing certain things you normally do.

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