View from flight window

Flying long distances can be a great source of tiredness – if you’re only going somewhere for a week, you don’t want two or three days of that week to be spent recovering from that experience. Here are some handy pointers to make sure you hit the ground running after that marathon flight:

1. Less worry, less fatigue

A lot of flight fatigue comes from unconsciously (and often consciously) worrying about things that might occur during flight – where your passport is, can you get your connecting flight and so forth. Much of this worry can be alleviatedby keeping all flight essentials in one place so you know where they are at all times. One tip which helps is to keep a special over-the-shoulder bag which only gets worn on flights – your mind automatically comes to associate this storage place with flying, and you easily form the habit of returning your passport or tickets there every time they are handed back to you.

2. Arrive in plenty of time.

Those looking to make the most of every moment might try to time arriving with minutes to spare, but with experience, you soon come to know that the aggravation and worry that comes from standing in a check-in queue wondering if you will get there before it closes just isn’t worth it. You can easily think of something productive to do once you are safely relaxing in the departure lounge.

3. Master your sleep patterns

If you have that much-sought-after ability to sleep on planes, you can time your sleep patterns to reduce jetlag and adjust to your new time zone. For example, if you are flying westward on a morning flight, you can considerably reduce or even eliminate your sleep the night before, and then sleep on the plane. Or if you are going eastward on an evening flight, you can again reduce your sleep the night before and this time try to stay awake until the time strikes that would usually be your bedtime in the destination that you are traveling to. Of course, it all varies with the flight arrivals and departure times – with experience, you learn to form a ‘strategy’ for optimal sleeping during flights.

4. Don’t overindulge in food or alcohol

Excess consumption of either food or alcohol can definitely add to the ‘transatlantic blues’ – headaches, tiredness and irritability can all be amplified by the mixture of sudden timezone change and food and drink intake. Keep plenty of water handy, and of course the hard-boiled sweets if your ears are sensitive to pressure changes upon takeoff or landing.

5. Hunt down that privileged traveler status.

There is a common perception of ‘gold member’ status that one has to practically spend half one’s life on a plane to get the air miles necessary to achieve it, when in fact 2 or 3 transatlantic flights a year could put you on that road. The real benefit comes when you have time to spend in between connecting flights: a shower, good food and a place to lie down can make all the difference in the world.

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