Most travelers put a lot of thought into what they want to do when they arrive at their destination, but how many people also plan for their time on the plane?
For an international journey, your plane ride can take many hours and land you in a distant time zone, so it’s definitely worth some attention.
Our best piece of advice is to get some rest! We know this can be much easier said than done, so here are some tips that can help.
Match flight times with sleep times.
Whenever possible, do your best to pick a flight time and schedule that will sync up most naturally with your natural sleeping and waking times. Leaving in the evening will work better than trying to get REM at three in the afternoon. Also, try avoiding itineraries that arrive at your destination too early in the day. It’s easier to manage jet lag when you can go to sleep a few hours after you arrive.
Consider your habits.
If you sleep on the left side of the bed, book your seat on that side of the plane. If you usually have a cup of tea before bed, bring a few packets of your favorite herbal. Save some space in your carry-on for your own blanket and slippers/cozy socks. The more familiar things you can do, the more your brain will recognize the cues that it’s time for rest.
We know not everyone can afford to fly up front in the luxurious lay-flat seats, but for long-distance flights, it can still be worth it to spend the money on an upgraded seat with extra legroom.
Breathing high-altitude air is dehydrating, which can make it harder to resist all those germs you’re exposed to on the plane. To keep yourself healthy, make sure you drink plenty of water during your flight, and try not to indulge too heavily in the free alcohol they serve on international flights. We promise you’ll feel a lot better when you land.
Block out distractions.
Even when the pilot dims the lights, there are reading lamps and flickering screens that can make it hard to sleep. In fact, the light emitted by video screens is proven to disrupt sleep. So after you’re done watching your chosen movie and you’re starting to feel drowsy, remember to turn off your screen. But don’t stop there. Bring an eye mask or cap to block out as much light as possible, and use earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to create the quietest environment you can.
Invest in a good travel pillow.
Believe it or not, having a pillow that is comfortable and properly supports your neck is one of the best ways to ensure that you arrive at your destination rested and refreshed. Plus, when you have your own neck pillow, you can use the airline’s pillow for lumbar support or extra cushioning on the armrest.
What about you?
What are your best tips for getting good sleep on an airplane? We’d love to hear from you and add them to our list! And if you’re ready to plan your next (well-rested) journey, we’re here to help! Drop us a line today.