How to Survive a Long Haul Flight and Avoid Being Jet Lagged

So you've booked a flight for the very first time that's more than 9 or 8 or maybe even 7 hours and you're thinking I'm definitely going to go crazy sitting in a small little chair with 31 inches of leg room next to a random stranger for that long. Well you won't go crazy. At least not if you follow some of these strategies to get you through the flight! 

And before we start I know you're asking what makes me an expert on long haul flights? Experience and boy do I have a lot of experience with this. I took my very first long haul flight at the young age of 6 months old! From Los Angeles to Bangkok I went, not crying at all the entire way according to my parents. From then until now, I've probably been on more than 30 long haul flights, with my longest being a 21 hour one (the plane was delayed, then had to be refueled, and all these other complications). 

Trust me now? Let's get started!

And you can this video if you're too lazy to read. PS. Don't forget to hit subscribe! 


First Determine Landing Time

You first have to determine at what time you land at your destination. This will change what you should do on the plane. 


Landing In the Morning Or Afternoon

You're going to want to be awake and ready to go once you land. So the strategy here is SLEEP.

1. Do nothing

I'm serious. Try to do nothing. Sit there and watch the plane take off into the skies. You'll have plenty of time later to do more things. Or you can even be friendly and meet your neighbors.

2. EAT

You're first meal (if you have 2) will be served anywhere from 1 to 2 hours after you take off. Take your time eating your meal. DO NOT WATCH A MOVIE WHILE EATING. 

3. Sleep, sleep, sleep, and more sleep

Sleep for as long as you can first. Even if you keep waking up try to go back to sleep. If you can sleep for most of the flight then you can skip basically all the steps below and go straight to number 8.  

4. EAT

So hopefully you've made it at least halfway through the flight now that you've slept. Long haul flights always have some sort of mid flight snacks. If they're not being served you can ask the flight attendant for a snack pack. 

5. Read a book, magazine, newspaper, etc. 

Pass the time by reading a new book. If you forgot to bring one from home, pick one up at the store in your terminal before boarding the plane. Maybe get started on that self help book you've been trying to open! 

6. Do some work

We all have some sort of work to do. Don't deny it. Draft up a business plan, edit some photos. And no you don't need to have a laptop to do this. Why not try jotting down some thoughts and ideas in a notebook?  

7. Watch some movies 

 So at this point you can start counting the rest of your flight time in movies. Movies are about 1.5-2 hours long. If you have 3 hours left, then that's just 2 more movies to watch. Doesn't seem so bad now right? 

8. Freshen Up

Freshen up before the second meal is served (if you have one) to avoid the insane post meal bathroom lines. You'll definitely want to brush your teeth and at least splash some water on your face.

9. Eat

Okay you're almost there! The second meal is served 1-2 hours before landing. So eat slowly savor your food and finish the rest of the movie you've been watching. Before you know it you'll be 15 min from landing!  

Landing in the Evening Or Night Time

You're going to want to be tired and ready to jump into bed once you land. So the strategy here is NO SLEEP

1. Do nothing

I'm serious. Try to do nothing. Sit there and watch the plane take off into the skies. You'll have plenty of time later to do more things. Or you can even be friendly and meet your neighbors.

2. EAT

You're first meal (if you have 2) will be served anywhere from 1 to 2 hours after you take off. Take your time eating your meal. DO NOT WATCH A MOVIE WHILE EATING. 

3. Read a book, magazine, newspaper, etc. 

Pass the time by reading a new book. If you forgot to bring one from home, pick one up at the store in your terminal before boarding the plane. Maybe get started on that self help book you've been trying to open! 

4. Do some work

We all have some sort of work to do. Don't deny it. Draft up a business plan, edit some photos. And no you don't need to have a laptop to do this. Why not try jotting down some thoughts and ideas in a notebook?  

5. EAT

So hopefully you've made it at least halfway through the flight now that you've slept. Long haul flights always have some sort of mid flight snacks. If they're not being served at this time you can ask the flight attendant for a snack pack.

6. Nap

Rest and digest. After your little snack you're allowed to take a little nap to pass the time. But don't sleep for too long. I'd say 2-3 hours max depending on on how long your flight is. you want to be able to sleep when you land. 

7. Watch some movies 

So at this point you can start counting the rest of your flight time in movies. Movies are about 1.5-2 hours long. If you have 6 hours left, then that's just 3 more movies to watch. Doesn't seem so bad now right? 

8. Freshen Up

Freshen up before the second meal is served (if you have one) to avoid the insane post meal bathroom lines. You'll definitely want to brush your teeth and at least splash some water on your face.

9. Eat

Okay you're almost there! The second meal is served 1-2 hours before landing. So eat slowly savor your food and finish the rest of the movie you've been watching. Before you know it you'll be 15 min from landing!  


Made It

Hey! Look at you you've made it and you didn't go crazy. Also don't forget to fill out your landing card for passport control if you need one. Have any other tips for surviving a long haul flight? Let me know in the comments below! 


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