- Forget about a normal sleeping pattern for the day – don’t be one of those people who moan about having to get up early or late because time doesn’t really exist in this odd little day of travelling across time zones. I always say treat it like a day where you will sleep terribly and in small doses, you will be completely exhausted and won’t be able to catch up with yourself until you have had a day of normality again. This also means, it is totally okay to nap at any time of the day – grab some zzz’s while you can!
Alcohol is acceptable at any time of the day – particularly because of the different time zones, totally okay to have a whiskey for breakfast.
Always snag a window or aisle seat – nobody wants to be stuck in the middle of a row unable to get out and stretch their legs or get to the loo. These also usually have the most leg room – even with short legs like mine leg room can make or break a flight! Also, try and ensure you are sat a good distance from the toilets, close enough if you need it but far enough that the flush doesn’t disturb you.
Diets and healthy eating go completely out the window when you’re flying for 14 hours – two airplane meals loaded with salt, additives and all the rest, booze, and somehow fitting in 12 meals in one day.. Whoops! Praying every opportunity because you’re never sure where your next meal is coming from is allowed – plus with all the sleep deprivation you need all the sugar you can get!
Stay hydrated! Nothing worse than eating all this salty food and then being left gasping for a drink – and all that air conditioning just dehydrates you further. It’s amazing the way being dehydrated can seriously affect every aspect of your life – your mood, ability to make decisions and attitude are all influenced by this and yet it is so easy to control. Just try and make sure you have a bottle of water on you all the time and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage as these also dehydrate you.
It’s okay to get a bit emosh watching a soppy movie – yes people will think you’re weird, but who cares? When it comes to films like Marley & Me, and The Fault in our Stars, I reckon the people who don’t cry are the weird ones!
Always think ahead and have a place to stay at the other end and your transfers sorted out, after a long haul flight you are exhausted and more likely to end up in the wrong place or in a vulnerable position – don’t let yourself be a target for those who are looking to take advantage of this. Also – if you are staying in an apartment or self-catering, make sure you will have access to the place, that there will be someone to let you in and that it is secure. In some places there are whole gangs just waiting for people to be directed to the wrong apartment so they can break in and rob you while you sleep – don’t believe me? It happened to me on the first night of a holiday – pretty bloody scary and I was lucky they just took my valuables and didn’t attack me. I consider myself a pretty savvy traveller, and yet I was still a victim of this – don’t let yourself be one too.
Always stick to the time zone you are in when it comes to meals and sleeping – when you arrive at your hotel, if it is dinner time, try and eat dinner. Fight off sleep until it is time for bed there, it will help you adjust quicker and will fend off jet lag – give in and you will find yourself wide awake at 2am and wanting your lunch.
Keep your toothbrush in your hand luggage, after two six hour flights and and a three hour drive, you’ll be feeling a bit grubby and it’s amazing the difference brushing your teeth can make – it will make you feel so much better.
Take plenty of things to keep you entertained – iPad, phone, music, book, magazine – if you end up being delayed these will keep you sane. As will a packet of sweets and a drink. You might also find it helpful to keep your phone charger on you – there are loads of charging points in bars/restaurants these days and you never know when your battery will die on you!
How about you guys – any rules you fancy adding to the list? Leave me a comment with your suggestions!