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sydpassin Jan 26th, 2005 10:09 AM

18 hr flight suggestions
I'm flying from NYC to Johannesburg and it's a direct -- flight 17+ hours!

Any suggestions for comfort, staving off major jet lag, etc? This is my longest flight ever.

P.S. I can't take meds b/c I'm 3 months pregnant. This also means no safari but that's ok. We've got a lot of fun things planned.


dreaming Jan 26th, 2005 10:22 AM

I'm heavily reliant on meds! But, I found a couple of websites that might have some useful tips...

This is an article about beating jet lag, the second page has a lot of tips.

Also, for inflight exercise there are a couple of yoga programs. Jet Blue has a downloadable card:

And there's this yoga book at amazon that has 35 different poses for the plane:

There are probably other inflight exercise programs as well....

Good luck and congratulations!

Mincepie Jan 26th, 2005 10:29 AM

Drink plenty of water. Try to get an aisle seat so that you do not feel hemmed in. Just chill out..I go into zombie mode!! Take plenty of crossword puzzles or reading material. make sure your first day is an easy one.

Why no safari?

sydpassin Jan 26th, 2005 01:51 PM

Thanks for these suggestions. I'll get the yoga book and plenty of crossword puzzles.

The reason for no safari is b/c I can't take malaria (sp?) medicine.

My husband goes to SA every year though so there will be other chances for safari on a later trip.

Oipuka Jan 26th, 2005 11:17 PM

My advice would be to wear something which emphasizes your bump as much as possible and use the 'pregnancy card' to try and get upgraded to business or first. I did that flight when I was 6.5 months pregnant and it worked for me.... Good luck!

sandi Jan 27th, 2005 04:59 AM

sydpassing -

For safari you can go to Madikwe which is a "malaria free" area. Do a search on this board for "Madikwe" - there are several threads with lots of information. Something to consider.

Aari Jan 27th, 2005 11:21 AM

Oipuka: Showing off your bum sounds like a good idea - I´m 5.5 months pregnant and will take a 12 h flight to CT next week, so will try playing the "pregnancy card" :-))

ms_katydid Jan 27th, 2005 12:54 PM

Invest in some noise reducing headphones. They can be expensive, but I think they are worth every penny. If you can’t afford these, buy some good earplugs. You’d be surprised how nice it is to get away from the engine noise for a while.

Take music, magazines and a really good book that you can’t put down (read the first few pages before you leave to see if you can "get into it").

Buy some saline nasal spray and some nasal saline ointment to rub in your nose so it doesn't get so dry and uncomfortable.

Dress comfy in layers and take your own travel blanket and pillow if you have room in your carry on bag (sometimes the ones they give you are --excuse me-- nasty).

Buy a “bio-band” if you are prone to motion sickness. They are safe to use while pregnant and worked wonders for me during turbulence.

I spent did 4, 10 hour plane flights in two weeks. The above suggestions really helped me stay sane.
Enjoy your trip!

Mamamia Jan 27th, 2005 01:13 PM

Here are some of the tricks I use for long, cross Atlantic flights:

I use ear-plugs (those small sponge-like yellow or white ones that can be purchased in drug stores) that cut at LEAST 50% of the noise, and then I wear regular headphone with soft music. I'd bring my own CD player, or IPod with my own music and my own headphones. In my last flight (with Alitalia) the ear phones were those tiny, very uncomfortable ones...

Try to catch a SLEEP during the flight! Even a couple hours can make a huge difference.

The trick with Jet Leg is to ADJUST yourself to the local time and schedule when you get to your destination. If you land at 3 pm, don't go to sleep, even if terribly tired. Go out for some sightseeing, occupy yourself, eat dinner and go to bed at 9-10 pm. I've done so and it made a HUGE difference. Same when arriving back home.

Watching a mocie on the plane is good entertainment and a good way to get tired. Watching ALL the movies they play is NOT a good way to spend the time...

Hope I helped.

Mamamia Jan 27th, 2005 02:34 PM

Yes, of course, to add to the earplugs, get yourself BLINDFOLDS, very very helpful to fall asleep!

Zoe Jan 27th, 2005 02:53 PM

You might try a herbal product called No Jet Lag - web site is The ingredients are listed and it states it's safe for those pregnant. I used it the last time I flew overseas 2 years ago and noticed a huge improvement. Mind you, I was also taking B-12 which helps with stress (and flying for that length of time is stressful!).

Get up and walk around a lot too. That helps with swelling. I've also heard socks recommended for diabetics also helps with feet swelling though I haven't tried that.

Drink lots of water - avoid caffeine/alcohol.

The travel pillows you can buy that inflate are wonderful for supporting your head while you rest - far superior to the ones you receive in flight.

Try to stay in sync with the local time - just go to bed a bit earlier.

eenusa Jan 28th, 2005 07:37 AM

I second adjusting to local time. Staying up at destination until a logical bed time seems to make all the difference in the world to us when it comes to jet lag.

jasher Jan 29th, 2005 03:27 PM

I'm a physician, so I often get this question. I advise my patients to spend as much time as possible outside on their first day at a new destination. Your internal body clock is set by the input from your retina, so if you're outside you get 'local time' input which switches you over faster. If you arrive at night, try to avoid aritificial light (while it's not as powerful a stimulus as natural light, it still provides some input).

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