Interested in enjoying — not simply enduring — your next long-haul overnight flight? Consider these tips on making the most of your time in the air, adjusting to your new time zone, and getting through that first day.
1. Nab a good seat.
To maximize their chances of catching a few winks, many opt to pay extra for the comfort of a roomier seat in economy plus, business, or first class. To nab the choiciest coach seats do your research to avoid being stuck in the middle seat of the back row. Seat Guru scrutinizes seating charts to find the best seats possible. (www.seatguru.com)
2. Pack a goodie bag.
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Include a small bag in your carry-on filled with items that put you in the mood for sleep. Ear plugs, eye mask, a travel pillow, and warm fuzzy socks — you’re ready for bed. Nighty, night!
3. Consult your doctor.
Some travelers rest easily with a little help from either a prescribed sleeping aid or an over the counter medicine. There’s no one wonder drug that works for everyone — talk with your doctor about what will work best for you. If you decide to take anything, first take it at home well before your trip to ensure that it does not cause any unwanted side effects. You want to feel rested on your arrival, not loopy.
4. Just say no to napping.
On landing in your final destination, it can be very tempting to head straight to the hotel for a much deserved nap. Many red-eye regulars skip the nap — they grin (“I’m in Paris!”) and bear (“I’m not budging from this quaint café”) that first day and then go to sleep early that evening. The aim is to wake up the next day feeling relatively in sync with your new time zone.
5. Take it easy on the ground.
Ambition is the enemy after a long red-eye flight. Keep your plans for that first day as simple as possible. After checking into your hotel, take a stroll of the neighborhood, wander into a few shops, and settle on a local spot for a leisurely dinner. If you plan to rent a car at the airport and drive on to another city, be sure to consider whether you will feel alert enough to safely do so. Even short drives can seem like eternity after a restless night.
Written and compiled by Katie Hamlin