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How do you pass away the time on an overseas flight?

How do you pass away the time on an overseas flight?

Old Sep 20th, 1998, 11:51 PM
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Hi! ~ great postings, folks! I thought I'd through my 2 cents in as well having flown extensively domestically and internationally.

1) Pillows and blankets ~ grab them! I always try and sit on two if not three pillows. Those cushions feel like a bus bench after a couple of hrs and you can re-adjust the cushions mid-flight for a different feel. Also, those seated at the window will probably be much colder as the cargo holds underneath their feet are unheated and outside the airplane is sub zero. Heavy, thick wool socks with the blanket will make a world of difference!

2) Prior to boarding don't rest up/work out! Prior to a 16 hr flight to Vienna, my mom advised "get to bed early the night before so you'll be rested" WRONG! While an all nighter is too much for some, start adjusting your body clock to it's new destination a day or two before. And if you have an afternoon flight, make a point of a vigourous workout (or walk or bike ride) in the early am (or night before if you have an am flight) It does wonders and allows you to relax on the flight.

3) Use the Sun as a "reset" Jet lag can be avoided or minimized by sun exposure. Don't get alot of it prior to leaving (i.e. sunbathing the day before) and by all means get a couple of hours exposure when you land if you can ~ even if it's simply sitting in a cafe with the sun in your face (and legs, if possible) Does wonders!

Hope this helps everyone as much as it's helped me!
Old Sep 21st, 1998, 08:58 AM
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All the above advice is good. Try any and all of them. If none of them work, just deal with it!! What's a few hours of stark raving mad boredom when you get off the plane in an exotic and exciting destination and will surely not experience another moment of boredom until you board your flight home?
Old Sep 23rd, 1998, 06:04 AM
Sherrie Miller
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Hi Everyone: Just wanted to add my two cents to this conversation. We just flew from Chicago to London and home from Paris all on United Airlines. They now have small TV's for every seat in the plane. You can watch stuff on this TV all through the flight. I was sleeping, with my eyeshades on, and woke up and peaked out of the eye shades and discovered the guy next to my watching this TV all through the night. I had it on all the way home because it is in daylight hours and found it certainly helped pass the time away coming home.
Old Sep 23rd, 1998, 06:07 AM
Sherrie Miller
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Whoops! I forgot to mention the type of aircraft we were flying in from United Airlines. We went and came home on a 777. They have TV's for all seats in the plane. Have a good trip!
Old Sep 23rd, 1998, 09:08 AM
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Had the same problem last year & am also seeking ways to pass the time for my upcoming jaunt to London. On my previous transatlantic crossing, I found myself "hanging" out in the back of the plane with several others who couldn't sleep or read. We stood up & chatted with each other & those coming/going to the bathroom for about 2 hours. Yes, I know the airlines don't like you to be out of your seat for any length of time, but as we were on Alitalia, they were a bit more lenient.
Old Nov 14th, 1998, 10:45 PM
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Denise, your probably back by now but take it from me, your first day back at work will feel like you've had half a bottle of vodka before turning up(a distinctly punch drunk feeling...later followed by nice headache). In the interests of cramming as much time in Europe as we possibly could I have twice returned from Europe (24 hrs plus) and gone to work within 10 hours of arriving...but you know you've rung the most out of your holiday!!
On the subject of boredom...cards are good.
Old Nov 16th, 1998, 09:18 PM
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The object is to do what you enjoy:
read a book
do crossword puzzles
play chess or backgammon with a travel sized set
study the language of the place you are going to
watch the movie
read newspapers or magazines
but do not disturb others
and do not wear perfume (my pet peeve)
Old Nov 18th, 1998, 12:36 PM
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Ok, this is going to sound a little wacky, but my father and I used to do it all the time on long flights from India to the States....it's worth a try if you're really desperate!

Watch the in-flight movie, but here's the trick -- without sound. Then, while the movie's playing, you can make up your own version. This game takes hours and is often more exciting than the movie itself!

Also, as a rule, I try to stay away from uneccessary medication while travelling because your body is already off-cycle anyways and sometimes reacts adversely to drugs, i.e. antihistemenes and sleeping pills.
Old Nov 19th, 1998, 03:05 PM
Robert Knights
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It sounds vacuous but three things are essential in my traveling kit:
1. sleeping pills for long flights (taken with a glass of wine they usually provide the stimulus required to nod off for around 5-6 hours - don't forget to loosen or remove shoes and ties);
2. earplugs, which lessen the surprisingly considerable amount of aeroplane and passenger noise; and
3. for those moments between meals, naps, books etc., a pocket nintendo gameboy with about two or three game cartridges and some earphones to shut off the noise. they have the added bonus of keeping talkative and inquisitive passengers away from you. If you have no earphones, turn the volume off for the benefit of your fellow passengers. The noise is as bad as a spoilt brat in the seat behind you.
Believe me, nintendo has been my savior during eight hour layovers in distant airports during the middle of the night, and on the murderously long hauls over the pacific.
good luck and happy playing.
Old Dec 6th, 1998, 01:14 AM
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drink whiskey...

thumb wrestle with the passenger next to you...

tell your fellow passengers that you shouldn't have had that mexican food as you usually get airsick...

read a book on air disasters...

do whatever it takes to get you to sleep
sleeping pills, melatonin, etc,(try b4 u fly)

sneak a gerbil on board and set it free, sit back and enjoy...

ask to check out the cockpit...

read a good novel...

did i mention sleep?

play video games if the airplane has it

if you feel crowded in and there is an empty row of seats, get up and claim them, i usually lay down across 3 seats if i can (u will have to loosen a seat belt and put it around you though sometimes)

Old Dec 14th, 1998, 05:53 PM
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Felt I had to respond to the sleeping pill controversy - and I AM an MD (not just playing one on TV!!)

1. Antihistamines: Any over the counter sleeper contains an antihistamine (Tylenol PM, Unisom, Sominex, etc). A side effect of antihistamines is sleepiness. There is no long-term problem with these or just regular antihistamines (Benadryl, Dramamine, etc), but another side effect is dryness and in the dry cabin atmosphere, drying your mouth and nose more with antihistamines may be uncomfortable. Also can leave you with a little drug-induced hangover.

2. Melatonin: Some people swear by melatonin and others get no response. Personally, it never helped me sleep immediately, altho there may be some carryover in preventing jet lag if you take 3-5 mg about 1 hour prior to the sleep time AT YOUR DESTINATION.

3. Prescription sleepers: A mild prescription sleeper like Halcion, Ambien, etc will be the most reliable for inducing sleep. Not addictive IF used occasionally, like on a plane. Must have doctor's prescription. Can leave some people with a hangover-like feeling.

4. Valerian: I have not seen this mentioned in any of the other postings. Valerian root is an herb with DOCUMENTED sleep-inducing properties. It has worked well for me. Induces sleep in about 30 minutes, lasts about 4 hours, no hangover, does not require prescription, not expensive, not addictive probably (altho JAMA reported a possible case with a man taking 1 gram 4 times a day for weeks on end). Usually found in capsules 400-500 mg per capsule. One or two capsules usually does the trick.

5. Alcohol: This is a poor sedative - it will induce sleep, altho the sleep isn't very good. It also increases leg swelling. However, on a plane sleep is never great, so it might be useful in a pinch Just drink lots of water too, to decrease the foot and leg swelling.
Old Dec 19th, 1998, 10:25 PM
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I agreed wholeheartedly with "Cassie". Valerian Root gives one a deep rem sleep with no sleepiness afterwards. It doesn't affect brain activity as melitonin can. I am not a doctor, just someone who likes to use 'natural' before a prescription mixed with alcohol. Even if I get only a half hour nap with Valerian root, I can awake feeling rested. Warning: it smells like gym socks when the bottle is opened. Hey, relax, this means the product is' okay', in its capsules.
Old Jan 3rd, 1999, 03:02 PM
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I'm all for the sleeping pill solution! I travelled to Russia from Tulsa, OK two years ago on TWA and it took from 8:00am departure from Tulsa to St. Louis, St. Louis to New York, NY to Helsinki and Helsinki to Moscow at 10:30am the next morning! The excitement kept me going but coming home was horrible. Last year I flew to France and my sister suggested a mild sedative. That is definitely the answer. No hangover, arrived feeling fresh and ready to see Paris! I'll be contacting my doctor for something like it before going to Europe this March.
Old Jan 7th, 1999, 08:54 AM
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Sleeping pill with wine? Are you nuts? Never mix the two. You are only fooling yourself and your previous body. Your liver won't like this at all.

Play Cards? Well if you do, please be considerate of other travelers and don't shuffle the desk by pounding them on your tray every 5 min. I was on a long flight and the constant noise drove me nuts. I hope this guy takes a sleeping pill and a glass a wine on his next trip.
Old Jan 7th, 1999, 09:09 AM
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Sorry - should read "precious body" not previous unless you know of your previous one
Old Jan 10th, 1999, 10:58 PM
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Melatonin is a naturally occuring hormone whose production declines with age. It affects younger people differently than older people. See the website www.drweil.com for some info. Many people think that it is a longevity aid as well. See also the thread on Jet Lag cures.

As far as things to do on the plane, I seem to end up making stories about the other passengers in my head. That one is a spy or grandmother or honeymoon couple etc. Just a game from an overactive imagination.
Old Jan 12th, 1999, 08:02 PM
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Just want to say I agree with Cassie. And I have my own little anecdote about the much loved Tylenol PM. My husband and I each took ONE (1) pill before we took off from LAX TO PARIS last summer. Well, talk about side effects! It was frightening...I don't even recall going to sleep.. it was like blackout for both of us... then for the next three days of my preciously short (2 wk.) trip I was knocked on my bum by this stuff! Every time I sat down, I thought I was goin' down with the Titanic or somethin' ...when I stood all was okay. 3 blasted days I felt out of sorts... and honey I don't drink, or do any other pill poppin' and let me say NEVER AGAIN to Tylenol PM. My husband agrees. I'd rather try Valerian a week or so before I go on my next trip. Better an herb any day.
So virgin pill poppers BEWARE!
Old Jan 13th, 1999, 01:43 AM
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You could try one of the electronic travel games you commonly see on television.
Old Jan 23rd, 1999, 07:13 AM
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My suggestions:
1. As soon as the seat belt light goes off, jump up and claim 3 or 4 seats in a row in the center of the plane if they are not occupied. Put the arm rests down and stake out your territory with your blanket and pillow. aah!
2. Put your headphones on and read a book or watch the movie.
3. Eat dinner, but not too much. If you will limit your eating before, during, and after you arrive, you will probably have less trouble with jetlag. The body doesn't have to work so hard with the food and can give YOU the energy.
4. Limit caffiene...preferably none at all a few days before, during flight and on arrival. The lack of caffiene and limiting eating really helps, I think.
5. I like the "something to help you sleep." Take the pill and snuggle up with your pillow.
6. When you get there, MAKE YOURSELF stay up until 8:00p.m., England time. You will get a little bleary in the afternoon, but you can do it, and the next morning you will feel almost your normal self! It's worth it! Do not plan a hefty day of sight-seeing the first day of arrival, or you will be beat. Just wander around and get the lay of the land, have an early dinner and to bed. Just easy stuff the first day.
7. Lighten up. Enjoy! You do not have to see every museum. Enjoy just being there and the local color. Pick a spot and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells.
8. The first night, or after a hard day of sight-seeing, just take a couple of Excedrin or something as you go to bed. I am NOT a pill person AT ALL, but my friend who is in the medical field gave me two the first night and they really did help.
9. Do not, do not, do not take much luggage. The happiest travellers I know are those who grab their one carry-on from the overhead bin and boogie off the plane, never having to bother with luggage claim and all those awful suitcases. Guess what? You're not going to need all that STUFF! You can wear the same thing more than once and you can wash it out in the sink, and you do not need three pairs of shoes! They do sell shampoo in London, so you do not have to take your industrial-size bottle and you will enjoy browsing in the local market to buy a bottle, getting to chat with the proprietor and see a little of the local culture. A heavy-laden traveller is not a happy traveler! The worst that could happen is that you may "have to" buy a dress while there for some event. Imagine!
8. Lighten up. Enjoy! You do not have to see every museum. Enjoy just being there and the local color. Pick a spot and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells.
9. The first night, or after a hard day of sight-seeing, just take a couple of Excedrin or something as you go to bed. I am NOT a pill person AT ALL, but my friend who is in the medical field gave me two the first night and they really did help.
Old Jan 23rd, 1999, 07:16 AM
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Sorry...bad editing. I have been here about 3 hours now (!)...I think it's time to go!

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