A long flight with another flight connections can be exhausting especially if you travel with a standard economy class. The pain begins with a long queue at the airport, waiting for the check-in, spending your time at the airport, security check and again waiting for boarding.
Then you will be sitting in a plane for next 8-10 hours, and after that spending time at the next airport and waiting for another flight.
Are you wondering what can you do to feel comfy after your long flight? How to recover fast? Learn how to prepare for your long flight so that you will not spend the first day of your arrival with just sleeping.
Usual symptoms on your first day of your trip
- feeling tired
- craving or upset stomach
- getting use to a new environment
Imagine yourself that you just land at your final destination. You feel so tired but also excited to start exploring the city or the magical island. However, your energy is gone and your stomach is upset. You feel like to just go to sleep.
You might also travel with your partner or friends and whilst you feel kind of OK, others are tired so you cannot fully enjoy your first day. Is it necessary to always just rest the first day or pushing yourself to overcome this feeling through the pain when the energy is gone?
I am going to give you useful tips how can you prepare before you go. Maybe not everything can work exactly for everyone, but just try what will work for you.
Actions before you go
Choose your seat wisely
Think of your needs. Do you need an aisle seat because you would like to be able to walk regularly? Do you want to watch the clouds outside or see nature when you take off and land? Do you need extra space because you have long legs or are you just strong (I didn’t want to say overweight)?
There are many aspects to consider when choosing the right seat.
Get ready mentally and physically
Once you have your tickets, seat and the big flight day is here, prepare your body and mind the day before. Don‘t stress yourself!
You might exercise a bit, maybe do some yoga, eat proper food – light and fresh with a lot of vitamins – can check some of my healthy recipes here. Drink plenty of water and have a good quality sleep. Even if you are a really busy person, try at least 7 hours of sleep.
If you don‘t have time to prepare anything extra healthy, you might think to take some supplements to increase your vitality. The effect of the supplements is not immediate though. If you decide to take supplements, you should start taking them at least 2-4 weeks prior to your flight.
Finalise your packing the day before to not be stressed in the morning! Check my guide on how to prepare for a long flight.
What To Do During the Flight?
All it is about your needs, follow yourself and do what you need. Don‘t be negative by saying „Oh that will be horrible flight, too many hours.“
Try to make it fun, be excited, prepare comfy pillow or u-shape pillow which is the most comfy for a flight, your favourite music or games to play. It is always good to do something that will keep you busy when you don‘t feel like sleeping. You can also listen to some podcast, read a book etc.
Drink plenty of water and think about what do you eat
Have in mind that some food that the airlines serve will actually make you feel more tired. It might sound funny to you but the reason why they usually serve buns ad sugar-loaded food is to keep you sleepy to not make problems during the flight!
Also, if you like drinking alcohol during your flight, it will just dehydrate you, disrupt your sleep and cause a bad quality of your sleep. Try to avoid caffeine to not have a headache.
Take your own healthy snacks
Have some healthy snacks that you can eat as the food in the plane is not really healthy. However, eat it before you land. Be aware that when you arrive to the final destination, you shouldn‘t take any of your food outside the plane.
Follow your natural body rhythm and you will feel much better than stress out all the way during your flight. From my research some people recommended me to not eat at all during the flight! When you are in a plane in high altitude, your digestion will slower that’s why it is recommended to eat less. I think that to not eat at all doesn’t work for me as I know myself. However, it can work for you. Listen to your body.
Sleep whenever is possible
If you don‘t use any opportunity to sleep, you can get problem to fall asleep later. What usually happen is that the flight attendants start serving your next meal when you just started to fall asleep and then you eat and can’t sleep.
Maintain hygiene and keep yourself fresh
Have a toothbrush, mini toothpaste, chewing gums, some wet tissues, moisturiser and a small perfume always with you.
You will usually get a toothbrush with a toothpaste and tissues on a long flight but always good to have enough tissues and deodorant to refresh. Wear comfy clothes what will keep you warm when is cold in the plane. Have also clothes that will not make you feel too sweaty when is hot. That means that it is better to have more layers that you can take off.
Walk regularly and stretch
Don‘t feel ashamed of it. You want to feel fresh and nice after your flight, right?During the flight, ry to lift your legs whenever is possible to avoid blood clots.
Watch movies, listen to your favourite music, read a book, you can organise your diary, make plans. Do whatever you enjoy. Some people even draw. I remember I was using my iPad on a long flight for drawing. 🙂
Even if you start feeling tired and bored during the flight, keep a positive mind and be nice to others. Don‘t let any small issues to destroy your mood. If the person next to you do something you don‘t like, or have a light on when you want to sleep, talk to him or her politely.
If you need a water, ask flight attendant. Don’t be shy.:-) Don‘t think about how long is the flight and keep counting the hours left all the time. Just try to keep your mind busy and the time will fly faster.
First day after a long flight
Finally, you arrived! How are you feeling? If you feel kind of ok, don’t push yourself too much to see a lot in the first day.
Take it easy
Check-in at your hotel or if you arrived earlier and need to wait for your check-in, then ask where can you leave your luggage and explore some restaurants or cafes around or just have a short walk. Don‘t unpack all the stuff straight away, just have a nice shower, make yourself fresh and then choose some relax or mid-intensive activity – depends on how you feel.
Don‘t go straight to some touristic place
Choose something like swimming (ocean, swimming pool), have a nice food, check the surrounding, explore the hotel, take some brochures with local maps. It is better than pushing your limits to see everything on your first day.
You may ask at the reception what they recommend visiting. Make some research from the local source or online and think of what do you really want to see or what might be not as exciting for you. If you travel alone you might want to seek for some people to join. Go sleep early to be ready for your next exciting days.
Tip – If your long flight is scheduled that you arrival is in the morning and you still feel tired, don‘t go to sleep in the afternoon.
If you just go sleep straight after your flight in the morning, it will mess up your body rhythm and then have a problem to sleep at night. Consequently, you might feel several days tired earlier than normally. Keep yourself „alive“ and just go sleep earlier the first day.
I did a mistake when I arrived to Australia after more than 30 hours flight . It was morning and I was so tired that I just decided to sleep for a whole day. It caused that I couldn’t sleep at night and I was tired during the next few days.
Nowadays, when I travel for 24 hours I am usually tired just the first day (if I don‘t have enough sleep before). Then I can recover much faster than before. It is possible to do some stuff on the first day if I take it easy.